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One in three Canadian kids are left sitting on the sidelines

JumpStart gave Casey the opportunity to pursue her dream of an athletic career. - Photo submitted
JumpStart gave Casey the opportunity to pursue her dream of an athletic career.
— image credit: Photo submitted

In Canada, one in three families cannot afford to enrol their children in organized sport or recreation activities because of financial barriers.

Ever since she was a little girl, Casey, 17, knew she wanted to play professional golf, but her family’s budget was stretched with a busy household of seven young children.

“We knew that Casey had extraordinary talent, but we could not afford the expensive membership and green fees,” said Casey’s mom, Julie MacNeil. “The last thing we wanted was to keep her off the golf course due to affordability. She had such big dreams for herself.”

Kids who are able to participate in organized sport and recreation, outside of school hours, gain many short and long term benefits including increased self-esteem, greater self-confidence, leadership skills, and better grades.

“The benefits of kids participating in sports affects their entire lives, not just their childhood years,” said Dan Thompson, president of Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities. “Programs like Canadian Tire Jumpstart are dedicated to removing barriers so financially disadvantaged children can participate in organized sport and recreation.”

Despite the financial hardships many Canadian parents are facing, 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 417,835 children like Casey get in the game.

“We couldn’t be more proud of what our daughter has accomplished,” said MacNeil. “This year Casey is heading off to Charleston Southern University on a full golf scholarship and we have Jumpstart to thank for giving her the opportunity to continue to perfect her game.”

Help kids in your community by visiting Canadian Tire, Mark’s, Canadian Tire gas and Pita Pit locations throughout the month of May and on Jumpstart Day, Sat., May 26 to donate $2 in exchange for a red ball, with all proceeds going to Canadian Tire Jumpstart.

Visit www.canadiantire.ca/jumpstart to learn more.

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