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Will your child ever return to community sport and play again?

BY Jumpstart
(1 Vote)

Did you know that the majority of community sport organizations are concerned about permanent closure as a result of the pandemic? This impacts our children’s access to sport and recreational play in ways that will have real long-term effects.

With the state of sport in Canada so bleak, it’s no wonder that a majority (69%) of parents of children aged 4 to 18 say that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a strong impact on their kids’ participation in sports or recreational play. Likely linked to this, a majority of parents also say that due to the pandemic their kids are feeling isolated and lonely (74%), are finding it hard to reduce stress and anxiety (64%) and are showing signs of being less physically fit (69%).

A recent Ipsos survey reveals that 81% of community sport organizations are worried about their ability to offer programming in 2021 and 52% are potentially facing permanent closure as a result of the pandemic.

This is where Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart Charities steps in... Canadian Tire Corporation’s recent commitment of an additional $12 Million to Jumpstart Charities’ Sport Relief Fund (JSSRF) will help build back sport and play across Canada – and that means right here in Fort McMurray and the RMWB area. The Jumpstart Relief Fund has two streams of funding available to local sports and recreation organizations and program providers: operational support, which assists with equipment procurement, re-hiring and training of staff, organizational development, etc., and, programming support, which assists with the costs of delivering sport and recreational programming such as facility, equipment, coaching and transportation costs. Local qualified organizations may apply for either stream – or both.

In March, the most recent application intake period, over $60,000 in grant funding was awarded to six local organizations to help with operational and programming support, so they could keep over 400 children and youth active and engaged in sport and physical activity.

Nanase Tonda, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta, knows first-hand the challenges her organization has faced, stating “the Covid-19 pandemic catalyzed our organization to shift, reminding us of the value of outreach and adaptability to continue to serve girls in the region. Through translating our programming to the virtual setting, we have been able to reach girls remotely, facilitating a recurring safe space for them to discuss their physical and mental wellbeing with their peers. Through the support of Jumpstart, we have been able to continue this community out of our screens as well through curb-side visits with program kit deliveries.”

David Parsons, Principal of Thickwood Heights Elementary School recently applied for, and was successful in receiving funding for two programs in his school and adds, “We are excited and fortunate that the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program is available to schools. This funding enables organizations to provide new opportunities that may not otherwise have been possible. The application process was straight forward and the Jumpstart team was very supportive and helpful.” 


Jumpstart’s impact on Fort McMurray:

Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities is a national charity committed to ensuring kids in need have equal access to sport and recreation. In Fort McMurray, in 2019, Jumpstart helped 943 kids get active in sport, contributing $83,765 to our community.

If your organization is interested in applying to the Jumpstart Relief Fund, go to to apply online or contact your local Jumpstart Chair at