Help Keep Kids In Sport Money-Saving Tips That can be a Game-Changer

With the rising cost of everything, families are trying to find ways to stretch budgets further.

Many are willing to make sacrifices to cut costs, but keeping children involved in activities they love is often top priority.

Why?

Sports do not just help with physical health, an exhaustive list of studies detail other positive effects, including improved mental well-being, better self esteem, enhanced social skills, and greater academic achievement.

To ensure children have fun, stay active, and continue to build on this positive development, it is imperative that as parents — and as a community — we work together to keep them connected to sports.

Historically, non-profits like KidSport and Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart have allowed those facing financial barriers to offset their sports registration fees via an application process.

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For successful applicants, the approved portion of the registration fee is sent directly to the sports program.

Several local sports organizations have seen funding come through for 2024.

“The impact of additional funding from sponsors and programs like Jumpstart is considerable,” indicates Kipp Van Kuren, President, Windsor Minor Hockey Association. “We have several families each year that apply for Jumpstart funding and those families have enjoyed their hockey experience due to the help of this program.”

“We usually have a number of players every year able to access Jumpstart, KidSport, LaSalle’s Pathway to Potential, and others,” says Jerry Kavanaugh, President, Windsor Minor Lacrosse Association.

The Administrator for the Windsor Soccer Club Janice Boyd, informs Biz X that: “Families that applied within the first couple of days of Jumpstart opening their individual child grant portal, did receive funding. Approximately 15 to 20 players were able to utilize Jumpstart funds.”

She adds that since Jumpstart changed their funding format in 2023, approved applications for summer sports, like soccer, have been on the decline.

“We were told by Jumpstart that funding from January 2024 submissions were greater than expected and funds were exhausted in Windsor Essex,” Boyd reports. “When families contacted us to advise of their situation, we suggested two alternate funding organizations, KidSport and The Assist Group — Putting Kids in Sport. These two organizations have been amazing and really stepped up to assist our families, and combined, have assisted approximately 40 to 45 children with funding towards their summer registration costs.”

Boyd continues by stating: “In past years, we have seen on average 100 to 125 requests for funding. So far this year we have received funding for about half of what is typically funded.”

To help with the cost of playing, Windsor Soccer Club also offers discounts for early registration, provides a full uniform, and offers used soccer shoes and new shin guards at reduced prices.

Windsor Minor Lacrosse Association helps families with early registration discounts, providing loaner sticks for “Try Lacrosse” clinics, and giving a stick to every new registered player. There is also a discount for registering three or more family members.

Kavanaugh points out: “We have an equipment buy/sell program through our Facebook page too; this allows people to access used and outgrown equipment.”

Parenting Biz Continues on Page 30