KidSport Delta is holding a month-long fundraising campaign and celebration of sport in lieu of its cancelled gala this year.
With COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings still in place, organizers made the decision to cancel its annual gala for the second straight year and instead hold a “media campaign” aimed at raising both awareness of — and funds for — the non-profit.
KidSport Delta provides grants to kids from families facing financial barriers so they can participate in registered sport programs and experience the lifelong benefits of a season of sport. The organization provides up to $500 per eligible child, per calendar year towards sport registration fees.
“We are trying to get the word out to everybody that KidSport is available to you. There’s a lot of families that probably haven’t ever used KidSport before but are in a position where they’re having to decide whether [they] can afford to put [their] kids in sport, and financially we don’t want anything to be a detriment. So we’re here to help them,” said KidSport Delta chair Carlene Lewall.
“We’re pleased to do that because the price of sport has gone up so much, and COVID has not helped that.”
Lewall explained that restrictions brought on by the pandemic have limited the number of kids sport organizations are able to take on, making it more expensive for families as the organizations’ costs are shared between fewer people.
“There’s some sports that haven’t even come back. Basketball, for example, they can’t rent the school gyms so they’re not operating. Same with volleyball. That’s really sad. These kids are now going outside of Delta to go to private places that are costing four times as much as what they would have paid here,” Lewall said.
“We want to be there for people and help them, for whatever sport. Our motto is ‘For all kids to play.’”
In a normal year, KidSport Delta gives out $60,000 to 70,000, with the gala bringing in the bulk of those funds. All money raised in Delta goes to Delta kids.
Last year, with COVID putting a stop to most organized sports, Lewall says KidSport Delta gave out around $25,000 or $30,000, leaving the organization enough to sustain it through 2020 and into 2021.
“We’re fortunate that because of the gala being successful and [us] not giving out 100 per cent of what we had brought in, we had that cushion to get us through last year and this year.”
However, even with the organization’s all-volunteer staff and very low overhead, those funds won’t last forever.
Enter May’s Gift of Sport campaign.
All month, the organization will be raising money while celebrating sport in the community through a series of short videos shared on its Facebook page (facebook.com/kidsportdelta).
The videos will feature KidSport Delta sponsors as well as notable local athletes — including two-time field hockey Olympian Mark Pearson (whose video is up now), former CFL defensive back Greg Frers and two-time Olympic swimmer Richard Hortness — sharing why they love sport and why they support KidSport.
Members of the community are invited to participate as well. Local athletes and teams can submit their own 30-second videos telling why they love sport for a chance to win gift certificates to local businesses — $50 for best individual entry and $100 for best team entry.
The campaign has a goal of raising $50,000, which KidSport’s sponsors have committed to help make happen.
“All of our sponsors have come back with no hesitation. It’s so wonderful,” Lewall said. “I was happy [to have them] just participate, whatever you can give, but the majority of them are giving what they gave last year or the year before.”
“It’s a great community that we live in.”
To contribute to KidSport Delta’s Gift of Sport campaign, visit kidsportcanada.ca/british-columbia/delta/donate.