KidSport, developed by Sport B.C. in 1993, is a national program that helps disadvantaged kids overcome barriers preventing or limiting their participation in organized sport. Through its 165 community chapters across Canada, KidSport Canada identifies needs in the community, raises funds and supports programs that create new opportunities for young people to participate in sport. To date, the national program has helped over 50,000 young people and has raised over 4 million dollars in 10 provincial chapters.
KidSport Canada realizes that its program of subsidizing fees and providing sports equipment has thrived in communities that already have established social networks and parents who are able to volunteer. In neighbourhoods where these conditions are less present, KidSport needs a new strategy for engaging young people and their families.
This grant from the Foundation will allow KidSport Canada to build an innovative partnership with food banks to offer its services to youth in hard-to-reach communities.
In 2008 KidSport will partner with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank to introduce hundreds of children from families using food banks to existing community sport programs. During subsequent years of the project KidSport will expand the initiative to include three more cities in Western Canada (2009) and two cities in Ontario (2010).