Our 2021 Annual Report is here!
For our community, 2021 was another year of uncertainty and challenges. KidSport Calgary and the sports community was certainly not immune to the continued disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic stretching into its second year. The effects of cancellations and pauses left kids without a positive outlet that many of them rely on in their day to day lives. These disruptions have had an immense impact on the children of our community as they were left without the activities they love, the friendships with which they thrive and role models from whom they watch and learn.
At KidSport, we couldn't sit back and wait for sports to return. To do so just isn't in our DNA. Instead, we worked proactively with our partners focusing on getting sports gear and equipment into the hands of kids to help them get outside and active. We introduced curbside pickups and focused on equipment like scooters, skateboards, skates, rollerblades, skis, toboggans and snowshoes. The success of this focus led to the launch of our first ever "Play Pack Program powered by the Flames Foundation" in the spring of 2021. We distributed 300 play packs to low-income households across our community to give a boost during these difficult times. The Play Packs were intentionally built to include equipment for three sports, including brand new equipment across 10 different sports, all sourced through local partners in the local sports community.
As sport slowly began to return in the last half of 2021, we saw a gradual pick up in applications for our sport registration fee assistance program and an increase in equipment outfitting through our Calgary Flames Sports Bank. During this time, we saw over 30% of applicants approved being new to the KidSport system.
The success of the Play Pack program as well as the significant increase in new families to our programming quickly showed us the power sport will play in the recovery of our communities. These are strong indicators of the significance of sport as critical in the lives of our kids as they strive to get back some of the activities they so dearly missed. For low-income families, our support will be essential to reactivating sport as part of their households. The importance of sport in creating positive environments and outlets has only been highlighted as a result of the events of the past two years. This is why KidSport Calgary is stepping up our commitment to qualified kids in 2022 so we can get more kids back into sport.
Effective January 1, 2022, we have increased our funding per qualified child to $500 per calendar year. This is the highest amount we have ever be able to provide. We do this to support the families and organizations of our community who need us most. This increased level of support will help get our kids back playing while also providing our sport community with increased financial support to ensure these organizations can continue to provide programming.
On a personal note, I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of KidSport Calgary over the last number of years. KidSport Calgary is positioned as a key contributor to healing our communities after COVID-19 as we bring our families back to sport and impact more than we have ever before. As outgoing chair, I have had the opportunity to reflect on the 10+ years that I have been able to serve KidSport Calgary. I can say with confidence that the best is yet to come for KidSport Calgary as the organization continues to grow in reach and increase in impact.
On behalf of the entire KidSport Calgary organization, I would like to thank all who have and continue to donate, volunteer, advocate, sponsor and partner with our organization and cause. It is because of your generosity that we are able to use the power of sport to positively impact the lives which are the foundation of our community - our kids. It is because of you that KidSport Calgary will continue to have such an amazing impact on the lives of the kids who need us most. THANK YOU.
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