In 2021, KidSport Manitoba funded 769 kids for a total of $188,528.42, despite putting applications on hold for 5 months due to the pandemic restrictions put forth by the Province of Manitoba for youth sport. We assisted kids in 80 different provincial communities and 35 different sports, with Indigenous and New Canadians accounting for 35.5% of our funding.
KidSport believes that all kids should have the opportunity to play organized sport and that the benefits of sport are tremendous for both the individual and the community. We believe in the power of sport to transform lives. Sport fuels healthy habits, teaches life-long skills, creates safer communities, improves mental and physical well-being and helps cultivate the leaders of tomorrow.
Across the world, there has been a dramatic increase in mental health crises during the pandemic. Kids in our province need sport to help improve their mental health and to gain a sense of normalcy in their lives. We need sport now more than ever to positively impact the lives of children in Manitoba.
The sad reality is that 1 in 3 Canadian kids can’t afford to participate in organized sport. We know that this number will continue to increase post-pandemic as many families have experienced financial strain. KidSport anticipates a large increase in demand for the program as sport continues to open up and become available for our youth once again.
The kids we support are from low-income families, single-parent homes, foster families, new immigrant and refugee communities, and other underserved populations. Thanks to our Provincial Sponsor, Canada Life, KidSport has been able to give over 26,000 children the opportunity to participate in 71 different sports with more than four million dollars provided since 2004. Canada Life has been a proud supporter of KidSport since its inception in Manitoba in 1996, helping remove the financial barriers in sport for kids across our province. Canada Life takes pride in helping build stronger communities by encouraging employees to engage in volunteerism, workplace campaigns and corporate donations. In 2020 alone, Canada Life raised $11.3 million in support of over 500 community initiatives.