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Program supports Nanaimo youths in sport

With the cost of sports programs becoming prohibitive for some, the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program is available to provide opportunities for disadvantaged children.

The program provides funding on an individual basis and assists children between the ages of four and 18 years old with costs related to sports activities, including registration and equipment.

Misty Duifhuis, Nanaimo Jumpstart chapter group member and Nanaimo school district community school coordinator, said the program isn’t really for high-end or elite sport or training for competitive sport.

“It’s just to get those kids who wouldn’t otherwise be participating in a sporting activity into something that they like and they are interested in and then we work with families here at the school to work that out and get the kids active,” she said.

As a community school coordinator at Georgia Avenue Community School, Duifhuis said she works with families, but there are other representatives – including for hockey, soccer, volleyball and baseball – in the chapter group, all with their own allotment of funds.

“But as far as school, [it’s] things that fall outside of that, things like taekwondo, dance and that sort of thing that doesn’t have their own person [managing it], so then it would fall to the schools to help support that,” Duifhuis said.

Donations can be made at Canadian Tire and Sport Chek in Nanaimo and money granted is dependent on money received. People can hold fundraisers for the program as well, Duifhuis said, adding that all money raised in Nanaimo stays in Nanaimo.

“There are no administration charges that come out of it; it’s all done by volunteer basis, so all the different chapter members are volunteering their time to administrate it so it’s a great, great program,” Duifhuis said.

To apply for the program, please call 1-877-616-6600. To get more information, please go to jumpstart.canadiantire.ca.

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