In Canada, one in three families cannot afford to enrol their children in organized sport or recreation activities because of financial barriers (Vision Critical 2011).
Six years ago, Marlee Stein wanted to learn to skate but she didn’t think it would be possible coming from a family of four kids and facing the struggles of a parent battling illness.
Through a family support service in her community, Marlee and her family were introduced to Canadian Tire Jumpstart. The Jumpstart program supported Marlee’s skating lessons and skate Canada membership through financial assistance.
A year after lacing up her skates for the first time, Marlee decided to turn her desire to skate into a goal...to one-day join the Canadian Olympic Figure Skating team. Through Jumpstart, Marlee is able to continue her skating lessons and is working to achieve this dream.
“Jumpstart helped me get the lessons I needed to enter some very challenging provincial and national figure skating competitions in Canada,” said Marlee Stein. “With all the lessons I have taken, I hope it opens up opportunities to eventually become a part of the Canadian Olympic team.”
“The benefits of kids participating in sports affects their entire lives,” said Johnny Misley, President, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities. “Jumpstart is dedicated to removing barriers so financially disadvantaged children can simply participate, and ultimately pusue their dreams.”
Kids who are able to participate in organized sport and recreation, outside school hours, gain many short and long term benefits including increased self esteem, greater self confidence, leadership skills, and better grades.
Despite the financial hardships many Canadian families face, there is a way to get kids into the game, no matter what barrier. By covering the cost of registration, equipment and/or transportation, Canadian Tire Jumpstart has helped 570,000 (and counting) children like Marlee participate in the sport of their choice.
Help kids from your community by visiting Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Atmosphere, Mark’s and Canadian Tire Gas+ stores as well as Pita Pit locations throughout the month of May to donate $2 in exchange for a red ball, with 100 per cent of all donations going to help kids play. The May campaign will be celebrated on Jumpstart Day on May 25, with fun activities taking place at participating Canadian Tire Retail stores across the country.
Visit jumpstart.canadiantire.ca to learn more.