Giving Greater Victoria kids a Jumpstart on an active lifestyle

Charity raises funds to help local families get into recreation

Markus Mikey III

Rhonda Brown remembers when a group of 18 elementary school students got off the bus before their first session of hockey at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

Brown, executive director of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Victoria, which organizes an on-ice mentoring program for children age seven to 11, recalls that essentially, chaos ruled the day.

“Literally, they couldn’t keep their hands off each other and were in each other’s space,” she says. “You put them on the ice and it was like they were learning to walk again.”

The students came into the 12-week program with differing physical abilities and attitudes. Brown says the playing field was definitely levelled given that few, if any of the children had ever worn hockey equipment, let alone been on the ice.

The transformation over the three months was amazing, she says.

“When we started they couldn’t make it from one end to the other without collapsing from exhaustion. By the end of the 12 weeks, it was amazing to see the progression in the kids. By the end they were respectful of each other, working together, passing to each other.”

The program is designed to boost the children’s self-esteem and develop teamwork, elements that will hopefully transfer into the classroom and other areas of their lives, Brown says.

The mentoring hockey program is just one of dozens of community programs whose participants are helped financially by the Greater Victoria chapter of Canadian Tire Jumpstart.

Kim Reynhoudt, franchisee for the View Royal Canadian Tire store, which is hosting Jumpstart Day activities for the region Saturday (May 26), appreciates the work the charitable arm of the company does to help families in need in Greater Victoria and across Canada.

“Things get so expensive these days,” he says. “It’s great to have an option where we can help kids get into programs, whether it’s soccer or other sports programs, where they can participate. It’s important to get kids active at a young age. It only helps them in future.”

In Greater Victoria, Jumpstart – comprised of reps from such organizations as Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the YM-YWCA, as well as Canadian Tire stores – distributed more than $95,000 worth of services. That meant approximately 1,200 children could sign up for soccer or hockey, have the proper equipment, or enjoy other experiences they might not otherwise be able to.

Showing the growth in the local program, in 2007 the Victoria chapter raised $29,000.

“One thing I like about Jumpstart is 100 per cent of the money raised in the community stays in the community,” Reynhoudt says.

While other more localized fundraising activities happen throughout the year for the charity, Jumpstart Day is the main one for the year across Canada.

A variety of activities, from kids’ games and a barbecue to a slapshot contest and smoothies by donation, are planned for Greater Victoria’s Jumpstart Day between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday. The View Royal store is at 1519 Admirals Rd.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Mental health walk/run aims to outpace depression

Walk increased to 5k, run to 10k

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Governing bodies accused of ‘destroying’ girls’ hockey by Island’s top team

When asked for advice hockey dad says ‘put your girls in soccer’

Guns could use smartphone-style fingerprint locks in near future

Startups looking to outflank traditional gun manufacturers using tech knowhow

Syrian violinist plays with new Canadian band at upcoming fundraiser

Sari Alesh played with the Symphony Orchestra in Syria for six years

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Most Read