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Canadian Kids Lost 277 Million Hours Of Sport & Play Time During The Pandemic

You can help kids get back in the game with a donation to Jumpstart.

Sponsored Content Contributing Writer, Studio
Canadian Kids Lost 277 Million Hours Of Sport & Play Time During The Pandemic

One upside of the pandemic is that many people got to work from home, "commuting" from their couch to their desk and taking nap breaks between virtual meetings. But if you or those close to you have kids, you'll know that this hasn't been such a great time for them. Not only have they missed out on school and social interaction, but they've also missed out on playing with their friends and participating in organized sports.

From March to December 2020, there were more than 277 million hours of sport participation lost for kids living in low-income households across Canada. This has had a deep and devastating impact on the well-being of kids both physically and mentally because sports aren't just about getting active — they also teach kids important life skills like courage, confidence and teamwork.

According to Jumpstart's State of Sport Report (March 2021), 74% of parents say their kids are feeling isolated and lonely, 69% say that their kids are already showing signs of being less physically fit, 64% say kids are finding it hard to reduce stress and anxiety, and 65% of parents say kids are finding school and classwork challenging. While 87% of parents say that their kids are very much looking forward to a return to sport and play, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for months — and likely years — to come.

That's a lot of impact.

Due to the pandemic, community sport and recreation organizations are also in deep crisis, with some worried that they'll have to close for good because of a lack of funding. Thankfully, in 2021, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities has now disbursed funding to more than 1,200 organizations across Canada through Jumpstart's Sport Relief Fund, dedicated to helping sport and recreation organizations continue to operate.

Pexels | Ron Lach

It's no secret how expensive it can be just to sign up to play sport, let alone buy all the equipment needed to play or cover the cost of transportation to training and games. When families face financial and systemic barriers, accessing sport becomes even more of a challenge.

Jumpstart was created to help ensure kids in need have equal access to sport and recreation by raising money to help families meet expenses like registration fees, transportation costs and equipment. Since launching in 2005, the charity has paid out more than $214 million to help over 2.4 million kids get back in the game.

Additionally, Jumpstart launched its Inclusive Play Project in 2017 — an initiative that is focused on inclusive infrastructure and programming to help give Canadian kids of all abilities access to sport and play.

If you're running out of ways to keep your kids entertained at home, Jumpstart also has a Play From Home Resources Hub full of indoor and outdoor activity ideas to occupy the kids, even during the pandemic.

Jumpstart is calling on Canadians across the country to help support its Jumpstart Month fundraising campaign, happening throughout the month of September this year.

Unsplash | Jeffrey F Lin

Any time you donate to Jumpstart in-store at Canadian Tire, 100% of your donation stays in your community, helping local kids of all abilities take part in sporting activities. And if you donate at least $2 in store throughout the month of September, you'll receive a limited-edition Jumpstart three-piece chalk set, while supplies last.

So, this month, donate to Jumpstart and help #savesports in your local community. Give every kid a chance to play and feel the positive impact of physical activity.

Donate To Save Sports With Jumpstart Month

When: During September

Details: Support Canadian Tire's Jumpstart Month by donating to help save youth sports in your community.

To make a donation or to learn more about Jumpstart, check out their website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter and use #SaveSports.

Elisha Barry
Sponsored Content Contributing Writer, Studio