‘A world of difference’: KidSport Victoria gives children a chance to play

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KidSport Victoria is a fundraising organization that works tirelessly to ensure children across the city can play organized sports due to high costs like registration fees and uniforms.

“There’s always been that financial hurdle,” says Jill Shaw, executive director of KidSport Victoria. “Then of course in the last year, we’re all dealing with so many additional hurdles, and we know the financial hardship has not gone away.”

KidSport Victoria provides up to $500 to cover a season of sport registration fees for children aged 18 and under so that they can participate in any of roughly 200 local sports organizations across Greater Victoria.

Shaw says all the money raised locally is invested back into the Greater Victoria community.

“In a normal year, and nothing about last year has been normal, typically we’re funding between 1,000 and 1,400 local kids into seasons of soccer, and gymnastics, and hockey, figure skating and diving, and swim club,” says Shaw.

Jeremy Mannall-Fretwell, longtime president of the Lakehill Soccer Association, stresses that KidSport can truly change the trajectory of a child’s life.

“KidSport makes a world of difference. We have usually about 30 kids a year who come to us through funding from KidSport, and quite frankly, I mean, that’s 30 kids who might not get a chance to play.”

Mannall-Fretwell also points out all the benefits kids who play on organized sports teams are receiving.

“Healthy hearts. That’s the start. Getting them running around, getting some exercise, doing something that isn’t sitting still. But they also learn things like teamwork, cooperation, responsibility, how to be a good winner, and right now, what’s really important, how to be a good loser.”

Learn more about KidSport Victoria, or donate and change a child’s life, here.

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