Giving Greater Victoria kids a Jumpstart on an active lifestyle

Charity raises funds to help local families get into recreation

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

Just Posted

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

Sun on its way after Greater Victoria sees wettest July in six years

Environment Canada meteorologists say the drizzle is likely to end soon

Mayor’s charity tournament sells out both Bear Mountain courses

23rd annual event raises funds to make ‘a positive difference in Langford’

After Victoria dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

VIDEO: 1,400 classic cars roll into Victoria for Deuce Days

The four-day festival highlights classic hot rods, with a special emphasis on cars built in 1932

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

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

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Most Read