The benefits are immeasurable but the numbers aren’t.
Last week KidSport Greater Victoria made Victoria Minor Hockey Association players Gabriel Campbell, 15, and Bracia Tyler, 11, the 4,999th and 5,000th kids to receive a grant towards the cost of registration in organized sports.
“As a single mom of a very active teenage boy, the funding I received from KidSport this years, and in past years, has been vital in allowing Gabe to participate in hockey,” said Melanie Matherly, Campbell’s mom.
Campbell is student at Spectrum Community School where he’s part of the Spectrum Hockey Academy.
KidSport helps him play midget hockey for the Victoria IceHawks, as he hopes to play hockey at university while pursuing a degree in electrical engineering. Not bad for a kid who was once considered “at risk” for behavioural issues.
“His dedication to hockey has positively impacted every aspect of his life,” Matherly said.
Without KidSport, Tyler would also be on the sidelines. Bracia has a twin brother and the costs for sports, hockey especially, climb in a hurry for the family, just as it does for hundreds of families in Victoria.
KidSport started in Victoria in 2002 and funded 86 children for a season of sport. In 2012, KidSport Victoria helped more than 800 kids play in 170 different sport clubs in the city, a cost of nearly $200,000.
“We believe that sport and physical activity provides a lifelong opportunity for goal setting, commitment, fair play, teamwork and the acquisition of lifelong social and fundamental movement skills leading to healthier lifestyles now and later in life,” said KidSport Victoria chair Patti Hunter.
Historically, KidSport Victoria’s top funded sports have been soccer, with 1,491 children funded at a cost of $275,300; hockey, with 771 children funded at a cost of $171,430; football, 293 kids, $103,300; baseball, 504 kids at $56,600; and lacrosse, 343 kids, $52,700.
For more information or to donate, visit kidsportvictoria.ca.