The value of sport has been well documented as a healthy outlet for youth.
A recent documentary out of Kugluktuk, Nunavut, titled The Grizzlies – which was recently screened in Cochrane – demonstrated how a sports group transformed the isolated Inuit community by increasing school attendance and success while also fostering leadership skills for youth to become successful later in life.
Closer to home, Calgary and Area KidSport is providing youth with the same chance at success by providing funding to families facing financial hardship.
in Cochrane, that translates into 112 young people last year, double the number from five years ago, and indications are that total will rise again in 2019.
Though that demonstrates a significant need in the community, Cochrane has yet to step forward with a partner to help meet the financial need, meaning much of the funding coming to assist Cochrane youth is being donate from outside the community.
Considering the benefits of sport to youth mixed with the need, we are joining KidSport's call to encourage a Cochrane community partner to step forward and help.
That being said, we would be remiss if we didn't recognize the incredible work already being done in the community to help our youth hit the fields, pitches and rinks.
Canadian Tire's Jumpstart program, which was revamped here in town to keep all the funds in the community, is one such example.
That program alone has donated upwards of $50,000 to help nearly 300 children access sport.
Considering the numbers between Jumpstart and KidSport the need is immense and possibly greater than many in town might suspect, and that does not account for those who might be embarrassed to come forward or are on the cusp of qualifying.
Cochrane is known for its generosity. In the past few years, the community has been tapped on the shoulder for everything from hospice care and a women's shelter to aiding the museum in flood repairs and helping the Cochrane and Area Humane Society.
With all that we give it might leave little left for other initiatives, but if there is an organization out there looking for a cause to support, KidSport might be a worthy initiative.
Any one who has been involved in sports or who has children in sports knows the benefits of getting in the game.