Friday, January 31, 2014

Hundreds of Calgary kids have fun and get moving with Jumpstart


Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart first-ever Play Day was attended by more than 300 people, including top athletes, and The City was proud to be a part of the celebration.

Nearly 250 kids and 100 staff piled into The Calgary Soccer Centre transforming it into a ball of energy, with bright rainbow coloured T-shirts coating the fields and Gangnam Style pumping in the background. 

Grade 4 and 5 students from four different schools participated in a number of activities including floor hockey, parachuting and bounce house races to demonstrate the impact and importance of being active for at least 60 minutes a day. 

Olympic athletes Catriona Le May Doan, Helen Upperton, Robin Randall, Jaye Milley, Oluseyi Smith and Shannon Rempel joined Harry Taylor, Chief Operating Officer with Mark’s, (part of the Canadian Tire family), and Kurt Hanson, Director of City of Calgary Recreation, to open the event.

“Today is a special day,” says Kurt Hanson. “Our partnership with Jumpstart is phenomenal because it ensures kids get to play.”

“Being able to play gives you the chance to not only have fun, but also to learn important life skills. It’s about team spirit, getting along, developing your judgement, and doing things that make you want to try other sports.”

Being active has physical, social and emotional benefits for everyone. Children, in particular, do better in school when they have opportunities to play and be active. It also helps them make and keep good friends. Thus, activity helps them gain self-confidence, develop self-esteem, learn leadership skills and enrich their lives.

Unfortunately, one in three Canadian families cannot afford to enrol their children in sports or recreation activities. 

“Jumpstart gets kids out to play,” says Susan Olar, with Forazani Group Limited, (also part of Canadian Tire). “This is a great opportunity. It’s play for their health and it’s a day they can have super fun and no responsibilities.”

The Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charity has been working with City of Calgary Recreation for the past six years. Jumpstart provides financial support to help low-income children access recreational opportunities. Since 2008, Jumpstart has supported more than 4,000 children by providing funding for Recreation’s Fee Assistance Program.
In addition, their support to The City provided 325 children the opportunity to participate in the Jumpstart Fun Bus and another 300 children to participate in the Jumpstart I Love to Skate program.

Make recreation part of your everyday life. Registration for Recreation’s winter programs has already started. There are more than 3,000 registered programs and 6,500 drop-in opportunities to choose from this season.

There’s more than you think with The City of Calgary Recreation. 

Register online at calgary.ca/recreation or by calling 403-268-3800.

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