A Sport in the Storm

An ECF grant to KidSport translates into feet on the field

According to Dayna Hyman, Executive Director of KidSport, Covid-19 has spun the KidSport community for a turn. But from chaos comes opportunity.

“At KidSport, we celebrated 25 years in the community this year, while being faced with earth-shattering experiences since March 2020, we turned to pivot towards our whiteboard, allowing us to strategize around how we will survive the turmoil and how we will thrive out of it, ensuring our capacity to continue to show up for Edmontonian families for another 25 years,” says Hyman.

“One of our biggest obstacles is fund development, alas, it is also one of our biggest opportunities. They say innovation is born out of necessity. This is the opportunity that KidSport sees, and is excited to explore falls within a new-found fund development strategy, that we would not have thought about before the pandemic.”

On August 12, Edmonton Community Foundation donated $6,500 to KidSport as part of the Government of Canada’s $350-million Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) to help charities and non-profit organizations adapt and increase frontline services to vulnerable people during COVID-19.

“KidSport plays an integral role in providing children with the opportunity to play and grow in a healthy environment,” Nneka Otogbolu, ECF’s Director of Communications and Equity Strategy, says. “They were a great fit for funding though the ECSF.”

Because of this, they can upgrade their technology, which is the lifeblood of their network.

“KidSport is not in the game of hosting specific sport programming, KidSport is in the game of getting kids from the bench and into the game through managing and administering a subsidy program,” Hyman explains.

“KidSport’s ‘So ALL Kids Can Play!’ Grant Program assists with the cost of sport registration fees for kids who come from families that face tough financial times and cannot afford to provide access to sport for their kids. This program is facilitated through technology, and without proper, working, computers and systems, it makes facilitating KidSport’s program very difficult.

‘Receiving a tech upgrade grant from The Edmonton Community Foundation, KidSport is provided with an opportunity to replacing failing computers and systems, ensuring that we’re able to show up for Edmonton’s youth sport community, when they require support the most amidst the chaos brought on by Covid-19’s impacts.”

When kids play sports, it helps them to more than just grow on the field or on the ice. It contributes to them growing as people and strong members of their community.

“Being a part of the football team has taught me to stand up and speak up for myself, because in football you cannot be shy,” says Grade 10 student Moulid.

“In football, you have to be focused and be able to make the moves, instead of standing still and being knocked to the ground. I learned how to work within a team, and do my part, because other people are relying on me. I learned that, even when I am scared of something, to just do it, then I will not be afraid of it anymore. In football, my heart races the whole bus ride to the game, and through the warm-ups too.

”My heart races until the first snap of the game, and then I am focused, because I have also learned to perform under pressure.”

Learn more about ECF’s COVID-19 response.