Giving Greater Victoria kids a Jumpstart on an active lifestyle

Charity raises funds to help local families get into recreation

Markus Mikey III

Markus Mikey III

Rhonda Brown remembers when a group of 18 elementary school students got off the bus before their first session of hockey at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

Brown, executive director of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Victoria, which organizes an on-ice mentoring program for children age seven to 11, recalls that essentially, chaos ruled the day.

“Literally, they couldn’t keep their hands off each other and were in each other’s space,” she says. “You put them on the ice and it was like they were learning to walk again.”

The students came into the 12-week program with differing physical abilities and attitudes. Brown says the playing field was definitely levelled given that few, if any of the children had ever worn hockey equipment, let alone been on the ice.

The transformation over the three months was amazing, she says.

“When we started they couldn’t make it from one end to the other without collapsing from exhaustion. By the end of the 12 weeks, it was amazing to see the progression in the kids. By the end they were respectful of each other, working together, passing to each other.”

The program is designed to boost the children’s self-esteem and develop teamwork, elements that will hopefully transfer into the classroom and other areas of their lives, Brown says.

The mentoring hockey program is just one of dozens of community programs whose participants are helped financially by the Greater Victoria chapter of Canadian Tire Jumpstart.

Kim Reynhoudt, franchisee for the View Royal Canadian Tire store, which is hosting Jumpstart Day activities for the region Saturday (May 26), appreciates the work the charitable arm of the company does to help families in need in Greater Victoria and across Canada.

“Things get so expensive these days,” he says. “It’s great to have an option where we can help kids get into programs, whether it’s soccer or other sports programs, where they can participate. It’s important to get kids active at a young age. It only helps them in future.”

In Greater Victoria, Jumpstart – comprised of reps from such organizations as Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the YM-YWCA, as well as Canadian Tire stores – distributed more than $95,000 worth of services. That meant approximately 1,200 children could sign up for soccer or hockey, have the proper equipment, or enjoy other experiences they might not otherwise be able to.

Showing the growth in the local program, in 2007 the Victoria chapter raised $29,000.

“One thing I like about Jumpstart is 100 per cent of the money raised in the community stays in the community,” Reynhoudt says.

While other more localized fundraising activities happen throughout the year for the charity, Jumpstart Day is the main one for the year across Canada.

A variety of activities, from kids’ games and a barbecue to a slapshot contest and smoothies by donation, are planned for Greater Victoria’s Jumpstart Day between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday. The View Royal store is at 1519 Admirals Rd.

editor@vicnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Various Victoria locations were hit with a slew of anti-bylaw graffiti Wednesday. This image has been altered to cover up profane language. (Submitted photo)
UPDATED: Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti an ‘unacceptable’ form of communication says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

The Gordon Head Recreation Centre stands in as the Quimper Regional Hospital on Feb. 23 for filming Maid, a 10-part Netflix series. (Greg Sutton/District of Saanich)
Netflix transforms Saanich recreation centre into hospital for filming

Facility was closed to public Feb. 23 for filming of Maid

Greg Chow is the 2021 Local Hero of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Fighting fire a family affair for Colwood Assistant Chief Greg Chow

With 38 years of service, Greg Chow is the 2021 Hero of the Year

This rendering shows plans for the new “flyover”overpass connecting northbound traffic on Highway 17 heading west on Keating Cross Road. Plans currently seeking public input propose two options for the median along Keating Cross Road. Option 1 will prevent left turns onto Tamany Drive and Buena Vista Road. Option 2 (seen here)will allow for left turns onto Tamany Drive and Bujena Vista Road. (Screencap/Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Public asked for comment on proposed overpass for Pat Bay in Central Saanich

New flyover overpass proposed for Highway 17 and Keating Cross Road

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

A Nanaimo RCMP vehicle in the Woodgrove Centre parking lot. (News Bulletin file photo)
Woman groped by stranger in mall parking lot in Nanaimo

Incident happened near bus loop Saturday, Feb. 20, at about 4:45 p.m.

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

Most Read