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Letting Kids be Kids

Published August 22, 2017 18:17

Source https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/our-communities/times/Letting-kids-be-kids-437672253.html

Dripping sweat, pink cheeks, and lots of laughter were sure signs that kids were healthy, active, and having fun in Robertson last week.

On July 27, more than 800 children aged six to 12 years old, participants of Boys and Girls Club of Winnipeg and CanU Winnipeg, were at Sinclair Park Community Centre for a day of fun activities. Winnipeg Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Mark’s, Atmosphere and PartSource hosted the Winnipeg Jumpstart Games once again.

"They will be exhausted by the end of the day today," Glenn Mclean, Jumpstart regional manager for central Canada, Nunavut and Northern Ontario, joked. "They’ll be active all day."

Mclean added these types of events bring kids together and make them feel part of a team.

"This is really about them building friendships, not only among their teammates but other kids on the field as well. It also gives them the exposure to other activities and maybe dream about participating in those activities on a longer term."

For 11 years, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities has helped 1.4 million kids from four to 18 years old. Mclean said if they engage children or spark that interest in them, then CTJC supports them to get involved in sports and physical activity by covering registration, equipment and transportation costs. Last year alone, CTJC provided almost $350,000 to help nearly 5,000 kids in Winnipeg.

This year, kids had the opportunity to meet and play with back-to-back Olympic gold medallist in the trampoline, Rosie MacLennan, who’s also been an ambassador for CTJC for five years. She said CTJC’s mandate — to create a celebratory program that generates awareness about Jumpstart’s work in local markets and provides a fun-filled day of play for in-need kids — is something that resonated with her moral values.

"Sports has been a huge part of my life, it’s taught me so many life skills, and giving the opportunity to young kids to have that same chance is something that I really believe in," she said. "It’s a really fun day and the more kids we can get playing sports, I think it’s a great opportunity for them to create community and learn life skills and hopefully live a healthier, active, happier life."

Nearly 80 employees from the participating sponsors volunteered to facilitate games and activities. Kids were divided into groups that rotated through five stations: Inflatable, relay races, mission impossible, motion zone and parachute.

Families can call 1-844-YES-PLAY, or visit jumpstart.canadiantire.ca to apply for Jumpstart funding.

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