Sports are not cheap. At minimum, families will spend $1,000 annually per child on sports. That $1,000 gets your child into introductory or recreational leagues and activities. What if your child is very talented or exceptional when playing at these recreational levels, what’s next?
Well, that next level may shock those of you that are not involved directly in elite youth sports. Hockey families can spend anywhere between $4,000 and $12,000 annually in the Quinte area per child to play rep hockey.
Other rep sports have complicated situations. Some sports require large amounts of travel or athletes must train remotely. Because of these costs it is a fact that some of our best athletes never get a chance to develop or to maximize their potential due to geographical and socio-economic reasons. It’s a problem that isn’t addressed effectively in our region. Some organizations have benevolent funds available, but the process can be awkward and lack the privacy required for some families to feel comfortable enough to engage in the process.
Some large corporations have started athletic support funds, but these organizations have their own difficulties due to the scope and size of the offering. Quinte needs its own answer. Young families may need help getting young people engaged in sports. Other families may need help getting support to help their gifted athlete. All these young people deserve the chance to play.
The community needs these athletes to succeed as well. Sports promotes a healthy lifestyle, which in turn means a healthier community going forward. Secondly, kids in sports are more likely to find a purpose and focus to keep them on a proactive and healthy path forward. Sports teach kids important values of commitment, work ethic, teamwork and integrity. If we invest in kids our community will be better for it.
Total Sports has stepped up to support this initiative with the creation of the Total Sports Youth Fund (TSYF) is a not-for-profit corporation created by Total Sports to assist Eastern Ontario athletes and families to reduce the costs of youth sports.
As the fund grows and develops the hope is to not only help athletes and families, but eventually contribute to capital projects to increase opportunities for all sports in our area. “Sometimes our area becomes hyper focused on hockey, which is natural because of the passion for it in our area,” said Randy Uens, one of the Directors of the new non profit. Uens went on to say, “As a community we need to support all sports and all athletes. Too many great athletes that we see in schools at a young age never get a change to maximize their talents because of economic reasons Total Sports Youth Fund hopes to fix that problem.“
A group of independent directors have been established to guarantee a transparent and efficient non-profit board as well as an infrastructure that will ensure privacy and confidentiality for the families.” It is important that the community has insight into where the funds are going but it is also important to support these families in a very secure way. We will be sure to maintain that balance,” Uens said.
Initial fundraising will be accomplished via a large regional 50/50 draw. Tickets will be sold at local participating retailers and through local sports organizations. These local sports organizations can also benefit within the fundraising structure as they will receive support in exchange for helping sell tickets for the fund.
If you are a local sports group looking for a great community initiative to participate in as well as a fundraiser for your group, please get in touch with Total Sports Youth Fund. Call Kelly Martin at 905-914-7454 or email email@example.com
Draws are anticipated to begin in the New Year. Funds will begin to be distributed to families and individuals sometime in the spring/Summer pending the success of the rollout of the 50/50 draws. Stay tuned to Total Sports quinte in the coming weeks to find out how you can buy tickets, volunteer with the organization or to access funds for your young athlete.