Spring is back and with it the joyful sounds of laughing, playing kids. Bikes, basketball and general playground action are sure signs that children are having healthy fun at this beautiful time of year.
Activity is positive, particularly as far as kids are concerned, because recent reports continue a trend showing that not enough youngsters are getting enough exercise. The Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology suggests a daily dose of at least 60 minutes of vigorous physical activity. Many children, sadly, fall short of that goal.
Why not sign your child or children up for something physical (organized sports or otherwise) this spring and summer… soccer, baseball, swimming… cricket… there are plenty of choices.
Freida Rubletz, Regional Manager, Jumpstart Programs Greater Toronto Area, Canadian Tire Jumpstart, explains that in addition to the physical benefits, organized play also helps to:
• Increase self esteem and self confidence
• Develop leadership skills
• Improve academic performance
• Teach healthy lifestyle habits
“As important as physical activity is for our young people, the reality is that one in three families in Canada can’t afford to enrol their kids in organized sports or physical activity programs,” continued Rubletz. “Charities like Jumpstart remove some of those financial pressures so all kids can have the opportunity to get in the game.”
Dealer Bob Saari of Castlegar’s Canadian Tire outlet, and business partner Kerry Saari have given enthusiastic support to the Jumpstart program since 2005, in that time channeling roughly $72,000 toward the effort, according to Kerry Saari who told the Castlegar News on May 2, “Our focus is still children between the ages of three and 18. The goal is just to get them outside and active in some kind of community sport. We’re pleased to be able to help.” Saari estimates an average of 90 local kids per year have benefitted directly from the Jumpstart program.
Help bring back play in your community this May by supporting the Jumpstart Red Ball campaign. Head into your local Canadian Tire, Mark’s, Sport Chek, Atmosphere or National Sports store and donate $2 in exchange for your own Jumpstart Red Ball, representing the gift of play you are giving to a deserving child. One hundred per cent of your donation helps kids in your community. To learn more about how Jumpstart is making an impact in your community or to make a donation, visit canadiantire.ca/jumpstart