KidSport Greater Victoria reaches significant milestone

Organization that began in 2002 making a difference throughout the region

Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff

You only need to spend a few minutes with Jeff and Annabelle Stratford to understand the difference KidSport Greater Victoria has made for thousands of families throughout the Capital Region.

Annabelle, who just completed Grade one at Willway elementary school in Langford, was recently acknowledged as the 10,000 child in need that KidSport Greater Victoria has assisted in helping their dream of playing sports come true. Many of those helped so far are kids on the West Shore involved in sports through the Juan de Fuca soccer and hockey associations.

Jeff said registration for Annabelle and her brother Landon cost $400 each last year, and is set to rise to $600 for Annabelle, in her third year of hockey, and $460 for Landon in his second.

“We simply couldn’t have done it without the help from KidSport,” he said. “Their sticks, skates and equipment have to be upgraded each year because they grow so fast at that age.”

He has seen the difference hockey has made for Annabelle, who he described as shy by nature. “She has gained so much confidence and is blossoming,” he said. “She’s always smiling when she’s on the ice.”

Annabelle said hockey is a lot of fun and she’s made new friends.

KidSport Greater Victoria has raised $2.24 million since its inception in 2002, and has helped 10,000 youth in need with registration fees to local sports organizations. Although that’s an accomplishment the organization is proud of, it has become more of a challenge the past few years, especially when you consider the rising cost of sports registration fees, noted Jill Shaw, executive director for KidSport Greater Victoria.

The aim is to reach more than 1,500 kids this year who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to play at a cost of $420,000, a task made more daunting by the fact that represents double the funding total compared to five years ago.

With only a small amount of funding from the provincial government, the organization has to rely on fundraisers and support from organizations and donors to make ends meet. Most of that comes from two annual main fundraisers, the Thrifty Foods Kids Run and the KidSport Golf Tournament, which has been held for the past five years.

“We’ve had to run a deficit for the past two years,” Shaw said. “We have a reserve fund, but ultimately we’re going to have to increase revenue and look carefully at how to decrease the dollars we distribute annually to ensure our long-term ability to help. At this point, there is simply more need for our support than donations to disperse. Looking at reducing the $400 total we provide [per child] is our worst case scenario.”

Shaw said efforts are underway to apply for more funding grants and create partnerships with the 200 sports organizations they are involved with, as well as plans for a huge fundraiser in October.

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Experts to capture and collar 20 female deer in Oak Bay starting this month

Does sedated, examined, collared and ear tagged in latest phase of deer management plan

Cherry blossom map points to where spring has sprung in Victoria

City released a handy guide to find the most beautiful buds

Gypsy jazz drives rhythms and humorous mash-ups on Oak Bay stage

Van Django performs Feb.23 at 7:30 p.m. at Oak Bay Recreation Centre

Oak Bay Beach Hotel ranked in the top 10 hotels in Canada by TripAdvisor

Ranked tenth among top 25 hotels in Canada for 2018 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards

Former five-term mayor endorses Murdoch’s mayoral bid

Causton endorses Murdoch’s 4-Pillar Platform; invites public to ‘meet the candidate’ event

WATCH: Oak Bay hosts inaugural Vancouver Island Polar Plunge for Special Olympics BC

Local cops drag multi-media journalists out for a swim ahead of March 11 event

Wounded Warrior Run 2018 leaves Port Hardy

The Wounded Warrior Run is a relay run where a group of runners cover Vancouver Island in seven days

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday

Virtue and Moir break their own world record

Virtue and Moir break short dance record to sit first in ice dance at Olympics

Trump gets angry about election meddling, but not at Russia

‘Weirdest thing’: Trump expresses anger, but not over Russian election-meddling

New doping charge could hurt Russia’s chance at reinstatement

Russia could lose its chance to be reinstated before the end of the Winter Olympics because of a doping charge against curling bronze medallist Alexander Krushelnitsky.

‘Black Panther’ blows away box office with $192M weekend

In estimates Sunday, Disney predicted a four-day holiday weekend of $218 million domestically and a global debut of $361 million.

Canada wins gold in bobsleigh

Justin Kripps and Alexander Kopacz tied for first in two-man event at 2018 Winter Olympics

Most Read