Hundreds of participants will gather this Sunday, June 23 in Boitanio Park for this year’s KidSport Classic half marathon, relay and 10-kilometre walk and run.
But, don’t let the name fool you, the event is not just for kids. Everyone is invited to take part to help raise money for the Williams Lake and District KidSport Chapter.
KidSport chairperson Denise Skarra, secretary Deb Radolla, communications director Brian Stefan and treasurer Mike Franklin spoke to reporters Tuesday morning about the importance KidSport plays in the community in helping cover the costs of sports registration for kids who might not otherwise get the chance to play sports.
In 2012 110 kids were assisted in registering for a sporting activity in Williams Lake. Of those, 79 were boys and 31 were girls and kids were given the chance to register with 11 different sports organizations in nine different sports. In total, the Williams Lake and District KidSport Chapter provided $14,310 in financial support to families in 2012.
“Our primary goal is to enrol children in sport in Williams Lake,” Stefan said. “Our first position and our first answer to enrol children is always a yes and we always do our best to make their application fit our criteria.”
Every cent of the money raised stays in the community, he added.
“Our expenses equal zero,” he said, noting a few big events annually such as Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart Day, Operation Red Nose, the Ryan Schonke Memorial Baseball Tournament and, of course, the KidSport Classic run help fund the organization.
This year, Williams Lake McDonalds donated the proceeds from its McHappy Day and McHappy Fun Run to KidSport, resulting in a $4,000 boost. Additionally Telus and Kiwanis help sponsor KidSport.
Skarra noted KidSport can provide a maximum of $200 per child once a year to help them play the sport of their choosing.
“We’re probably about 65 or 70 per cent new applications each year,” Franklin said. “That’s pretty consistent. There are a few kids that repeat but there are some we only see once.”
“People see it as an alternative,” Stefan added. “Rather than having to say no to their children they can say yes.”
KidSport applications are available on the City of Williams Lake website, the provincial KidSport website, the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex and at various schools throughout the district.
The KidSport Classic begins Sunday at 8 a.m. in Boitanio Park and includes both individual, relay and team categories. For route maps, parent information and school team information visit www.activewilliamslake.com/activeindex.asp?p=834.