The SPORTS FOR KIDS Program is a Vancouver Firefighter Charities initiative that works with the Vancouver School Board to address the fitness needs of some of the city’s most vulnerable students.
One in five Vancouver school kids lives in poverty and do not have the resources or the opportunities to participate in sports activities. Statistics from Health Canada show that a quarter of Canadian children and youth are now overweight or obese and face a myriad of related health problems. Health Canada recommends children and adolescents aged 5 – 17 years should accumulate 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. Instead, without guidance and opportunity, marginalized kids often end up inactive, bored and disengaged.
Off-Vancouver Firefighters support SPORTS FOR KIDS with voluntary payroll donations and countless volunteer hours spent fundraising, sourcing equipment and instructors and finding ways to introduce fitness programs to at-risk students. From supplying tennis balls, providing special instructors and even accessing a rental van to transport kids to games at other schools.
Adding a fitness component to these kid’s lives helps keep them healthy and engaged. It teaches them about teamwork, stress management, participation and goal setting.
The first official commitment of the SPORTS FOR KIDS is to sponsor 15 students from Streetfront Alternative Middle School to attend a week long Indigenous immersion camp at Hooksum Camp in Hesquiaht Harbour. Without support from the SPORTS FOR KIDS Program students would not have been able to go to camp this year due to a lack of funding.
The Vancouver Firefighter Charities SPORTS FOR KIDS Program helps purchase running gear, supports marathon entry fees and travel costs to running events. As well, many firefighters run beside students to encourage them as they train.
This school’s unique running program has changed the trajectory of at-risk student’s lives. The SPORTS FOR KIDS Program will raise funds to help them with the costs of running gear, transportation and marathon entry fees.
Now, SPORTS FOR KIDS is making it possible for these inner-city kids to connect with their culture and be immersed in a natural environment. There will be plenty of kayaking, surfing, hiking and outdoor sports as well as cultural activities, cooking lessons and solo expeditions. These kids open up to the grounding experience of nature and grow confident in the knowledge of their unique culture. They return healthier in body and spirit.
Streetfront operates out of a small portable behind Britannia Secondary School in Vancouver’s Eastside. Dedicated teacher Trevor Stokes uses running and outdoor activities to reconnect his at-risk students with their education. These are kids who don’t fit into conventional school programs. Without Streetfront, many would simply drop-out and be lost. Streetfront’s vigorous running program teaches these kids self-regulation and the rewards of commitment – theirs is now the largest student marathon running program in the world! And it works…75% of these students go on to graduate from high school.
Vancouver Firefighter Charities operates their community Programs without any government funding and relies entirely upon the Firefighter’s voluntary payroll donations, corporate and private donations. Please open your hearts and make a donation to the SPORTS FOR KIDS Program and help make a real difference in the future of at-risk kids.