Kidsport facing fundraising challenges as sport registration costs rise
The Swift Current Kidsport Committee will be expanding their fund-raising efforts in the coming year in response to an increase in costs of sports registration.
The local Kidsport group held a successful fundraising breakfast on November 16, with the funds raised helping them fulfill their mandate of providing the necessary sporting equipment and paying for sport registration fees to allow children to participate in sports.
Swift Current Kidsport has operated in the community since 1996 when they had 11 applicants. They have grown to support around 150 children a year, and spend approximately $40,000 to $50,000 to support those children.
Swift Current Kidsport Committee Chairperson Richard Bissonnette noted there are challenges in meeting their needed fundraising totals.
“We need to continue to raise money,” he said. “During the year we have two basic blitzes, spring and fall for sports. And every time its $70,000 to $80,000. And we need to have our community continue to step up and help us out in helping these kids get out there.”
As they are competing with other charities and community projects, they are looking for new ideas and exciting ways to get people involved. In 2019 they will be unveiling a sponsor a child program where a business or individual can sponsor a young athlete to participate in sports.
“We really appreciate all the support we get from our City, because without them we wouldn’t even exist and there would be a lot of kids on the sidelines.”
The guest speaker at the breakfast was Swift Current Broncos all-time leading goal scorer Todd Holt. Holt played five seasons between 1989-90 to 1993-1994, scoring a franchise best 216 goals and his is the team’s career point leader with 423 points.
Holt gave an encouraging address for parents to be a positive influence and encourager for their children.
“The message I try to share with a lot of people, it doesn’t matter if you’re in gymnastics or badminton or hockey or baseball, or what sport the kids are in. If the kids are going to go in it, bury yourself in it. The more downtime kids have it is where they find the video games and become couch potatoes,” Holt said. “I always try to push the parents and push the people around them to really give them the opportunity. And that’s exactly what Kidsport does, it gives these kids who are less fortunate that want to play but can’t, it gives them an opportunity to be a part of something special. Being part of teams is what it’s all about.”
“The championships, the goals, the records, they all come and go. But it’s the friendships and the stuff you achieve through sport they came on forever.”
He also advised young athletes to keep pursuing their athletic goals as long as possible.
“Don’t stop. Life throws curve balls at us all the time. We don’t know where life is going to take us, and that’s a good thing. I think that if we knew how life was going to turn out we’d try to put a twist on it that we’d mess it up worse than it actually was. So my message to the youth would just be to keep striving, set goals.”
Holt, who attended a number of Bronco games during their 2018 Championship playoff run, said he is proud to still hold a number of team records.
“I’m absolutely honoured,” Holt admits. “The number 423, it’s got a special place in my heart. I worked really hard though some difficult times to achieve that. And I’ll always hold that dear to my heart. I never would have been able to do that without my teammates, my line mates, and the people who were on the ice with me who were there every step of the way.”