Alongside its physical tolls, the pandemic’s isolation has been hard on our mental health — particularly for youth who are still developing relationships and social skills. As we ease back into face-to-face activities, many families are using sport to help adjust.
“Sport BC believes in the transformative power of sport, and we’re excited about its return for our members and for kids across the province, but we also know there are many families who will struggle financially as a result of the pandemic,” says Rob Newman, Sport BC’s President & CEO. “Sport BC is proud of the impact of our signature program, KidSport, and are ready to help even more families.”
Participation in sport helps children gain confidence, build friendships and develop healthy habits, but across BC kids are being left on the sidelines because they don’t have the resources to play. That’s where KidSport comes in. Through a confidential application process, KidSport provides grants to kids aged 18 and under (from families facing financial barriers) to help cover the cost of registration fees for a season of sport.
“This means so much to my daughter’s well-being,” writes one grateful parent. “She has had a bit of trouble settling back at school after missing so much from COVID. This will be six months of a healthy sport that will help her focus and build up her self-esteem.”
Helping BC kids get in the game
Over the past two years, KidSport chapters across BC distributed more than $3.25 million to help 10,755 kids participate in 52 different sports in 150 communities across the province. Here in Nanaimo, $20,432 was distributed to 74 kids to help pay registration fees for sports like soccer, hockey, gymnastics, figure skating and taekwondo.
“I would make sacrifices for my son to play but thanks to KidSport we keep cupboards full of food and there’s less stress on this single dad of two,” writes another grateful parent.
How it works:
- Find an eligible sport: To be eligible for funding the registered sport program must be affiliated with a Sport BC member organization. Find a full list of members at sportbc.com/members, and a full list of sports at kidsportcanada.ca/british-columbia/who-do-we-fund.
- Apply for a grant: Apply online or download a paper form. KidSport uses low-income guidelines, which are based on family size, to determine financial eligibility. All applications are confidential.
- Play on! Grant amounts vary, but on average families receive $400 per child. KidSport gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia to help ensure more kids can participate in sport.
“Sport provides opportunities to renew connections within our communities and provide a positive outlet for kids, especially those from marginalized communities,” Newman says.
To find your local chapter, apply for a grant or donate, visit kidsport.ca. If your community doesn’t have a local chapter, you can apply for a KidSport grant through KidSport BC and the Provincial Fund.