KidSport funding unable to keep up with demand

The Williams Lake KidSport and Area chapter has raised funds since 2005 so that all kids in our community.

Pat and Deb Radolla

Special to the Tribune/Advisor

The Williams Lake KidSport and Area chapter has raised funds since 2005 so that all kids in our community, regardless of financial challenges, can play organized sports.

Due to increased demand and decreased funding, tough financial decisions must be made.

For the first time in chapter history, funding has not kept up with demand and applicants may receive reduced funding.

Community donations from businesses, individuals, past recipients, and service clubs are appreciated more than ever.

KidSport is a national not-for-profit organization that provides assistance to families in covering sports registration fees for children aged 18 and under.

Through a confidential application process, grants to a maximum of $225 are provided so that kids can play a season of sport.

Activities have included figure skating, speed skating, minor hockey, Learn to Skate, swim lessons, competitive swimming, dance, ballet, fencing, lacrosse, martial arts, wrestling, gymnastics, soccer, curling, rugby, baseball, fastball, judo, archery and therapeutic riding.

Kids get in the game and learn valuable life skills with participation in sport.

In the past 11 years, the local KidSport and Area chapter has dispersed more than $135,000 in grants to children for registration in a variety of sports.

A committee of community volunteers has processed more than 1,100 applications.

In past years, donations have been received from the Canadian Tire JumpStart program, B.C. Provincial Government, Ryan Schonke Annual Funball Tournament, KidSport Classic, McDonald’s Fun Run, Operation Red Nose, B.C. Retired Teachers Association, Lions Club, Lioness Club, Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, Oliver and Company, RCMP Golf Tournament, Hyundai, as well as many individual donors.

Several of these contributors have changed priorities, which has resulted in a significant reduction in local KidSport revenues.

Groups or individuals can donate directly to Williams Lake KidSport by visiting the KidSport Canada website and clicking on Williams Lake.

Local donations are an investment in healthy children and youth in this community.

Chapter volunteers are also available to speak to service clubs and other groups to explain more about KidSport.

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