A KidSport fundraiser that’s raised thousands in Regina and Saskatoon is kicking off for its inaugural event in Prince Albert this May.
The KidSport Fun and Fitness Corporate Challenge brings together teams of businesses and other organizations to compete in several sports and fitness challenges. The event allows adults to experience the benefits of participating in activities similar to the spots KidSport helps fund for youth. Activities will include volleyball, soccer and pickleball, though organizers are keeping tight-lipped to prevent any team from gaining an unfair advantage over any other.
KidSport Prince Albert is hoping to have 20 teams compete in the daylong challenge. Each team must fundraise an $800 entry fee. So far, 14 teams have signed up, including private businesses, police, correction, and auto body shop, the Prince Albert Ski Club, the Kinsmen and Kinettes, and more.
“It’s not hard-core fitness. It’s more fun, goofy, kind of sports that anybody could participate in,” said Kidsport Prince Albert president Dwight Bergstrom.
“You don’t have to be a CrossFit or triathlon guy to be able to do it.”
The fundraiser has been going on in Regina for 22 years, and in Saskatoon for seven. The Prince Albert organizers are hoping to raise $20,000 from the event.
“KidSport Prince Albert is a pretty small committee,” Bergstrom said.
“There are only about eight or ten people. We look after taking the applications from the kids, and approving those and sending them to KidSport for funding. We are also required to do as much fundraising in the community as we can, and without people partnering with us, we would never get close to the kind of dollars we need.”
KidSport funds registration fees for sports for kids who are in a certain income bracket. Bergstrom said that last year, about 350 kids were funding, and the average amount applied for and approved was about 250 dollars. The local chapter of the national organization ran out of funds in September, and had to turn applications away.
‘That’s a heartbreaker when that happens,” he said.
In total, Bergstom estimates it takes about $80,000 per year to fund all the applications in Prince Albert.
KidSport Prince Albert has had some success finding sponsors to both donate and to help put the event on. At least one organization is providing a donation and entering a team.
Earlier this year, the Prince Albert Ski Club put on a Loppet out at Little Red Park. The $1,500 raised at that event was donated to KidSport. The club is also entering a team into the corporate challenge.
“Our Loppet chair Bill Jeffrey, it was his suggestion, and I’m a huge advocate for KidSport,” said Mike Horn of the ski club.
“When he brought this forward to us, we thought it would be a fantastic way for us to contribute. It helps get more people skiing, and raises awareness for not only the ski club but for KidSport as well. We’re pretty excited to be able to contribute to that cause.”
Other groups, who don’t have enough people to put a team together, are volunteering at the event instead. That includes Pat Weir and her coworkers at Lawton Partners.
“I think the KidSport program is awesome, and nothing is more important than children in our community,” Weir said.
“Busy kids tend to stay out of trouble and sport is the best way to keep them busy. This program allows kids to participate in sports.”
The Corporate Challenge is scheduled for Saturday, May 26, all day at the Alfred Jenkins Fieldhouse. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m., and the event runs until the evening, with a banquet at 5:30 p.m. Registration forms can be found at kidsportcanada.ca, or picked up at the Art Hauser Centre city office, or the Chamber of Commerce. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, contact Dwight Bergstrom at Dwight@sasktel.net or 306-961-9601