By Jack Lawson –
On Nov. 29, over one hundred parents, kids, and fitness aficionados came to the Dovercourt Recreation Centre to celebrate a $10,000 grant from the Royal Bank of Canada. The grant was awarded as part of RBC’s Sports Day in Canada campaign.
“It was a lot of fun. The kids were trying things that we never thought that they’d try,” says Erika Martin, the lead coordinator behind the event. “We have little boys trying yoga… they’ve all got their faces painted. Everyone’s happy.”
The $10,000 grant will be used to help fund Dovercourt’s new Kids in Motion program. Kids between the ages of four and 12 will get the chance to learn easily transferrable sports skills in a fun, relaxed environment.
“Usually we split them up into stations,” says Krystina Monette, one of the other coordinators for the event. “We tend to have three or four stations. They do a circuit… it’s trying to get the kids involved in healthy activities without realizing what they’re doing.”
“It’s about breaking down sports into basic skills,” adds Martin.
Dovercourt gave kids the chance to collect raffle tickets during the event. Prizes included everything from gift cards for local sports shops, to lunches at popular pubs along Richmond Road.
Soccer nets were positioned around the outside of the recreation centre. In the empty wading pool area, a championship hockey match was set up between two teams of kids from the centre.
Inside, away from the cold, were yoga demonstrations, dance classes, taekwondo, hooping, a rock wall, and a free swim period led by Michael Tayler, an Olympic kayaker who was born and raised in Kitchissippi. [article continues below]
“It’s really cool for me to come in,” says Tayler. “Sometimes it’s as simple as hanging out with the kids or hanging out in the pool with the boat. It’s about getting people interested in sport.”
The money from the grant allows Dovercourt to charge a substantially lower price than normal for their Kids in Motion program.
“Normally sessional programs cost anywhere between $50 to $200,” says Martin. “We do have a lot of at risk youth here, or people who aren’t as financially stable. This gives them an opportunity to introduce their kids to sport.”
Kids in Motion will run for ten weeks, starting in January and ending in March.