It was a day of fun for everyone as Canadian Tire Financial Services (CTFS) held a Jumpstart Games Day for three local schools at Youngs Sportsplex in Welland Thursday.
“We’ve invited three local schools here from the Niagara Region,” Bibianne Gulla, project manager Jumpstart Games said. “We have Fitch St. School from Welland, Peace Bridge Public School from Fort Erie and Cherrywood Acres from Niagara Falls.”
“There’s about 250 kids who have come and are enjoying the day with us under the Jumpstart Charities banner,” she said. “Jumpstart has covered all the costs for this for them. They get to enjoy the games, have lunch and we covered transportation, it costs nothing for the schools.”
“It is a great opportunity for the kids to get out and get active today, when they leave they’ll each receive a Jumpstart backpack,” she said. “The kids are thrilled, they’re having a blast today.”
Nancy Cameron, project manager Jumpstart Games talked about how the schools were selected to participate.
“We select the schools from the Niagara-area that are in more need, (don’t have the access to the resources needed for an event like this),” Cameron said. “These kids may have less opportunities to be out there and be active.”
“Jumpstart is an advocate of kids being active, getting the kids in the game,” she said. “So, this is a day of fun, play, and being active.”
As an introduction to Jumpstart, Maureen Hart, manager communications CTFS agrees that this is a great way to accomplish that introduction.
“It’s one day they can come, it’s totally carefree, and they know it’s sponsored by Jumpstart,” Hart said. “They hear the Jumpstart name and can feel really good about the opportunities it gives them.”
“Other programs that Jumpstart does, providing funding for families to help kids get involved with specific sports in their communities,” she said. “They may be seeing it in a couple of different ways, so, hopefully they are seeing Jumpstart in more than one way and really able to take advantage of it. That’s what it is there for.”
“It builds awareness with the teachers and the parents,” Gulla said.
Jumpstart has been around for almost 25 years, Canadian Tire Financial Services is now in their 11th year running the program.
“Last year we reached a huge milestone,” Hart said. “Helping one million kids since 2005.”
“This is really big for the company as well,” she said. “The point of it is to get kids into the sports activities but, as a company, we have employees enjoying the opportunity to get involved in this kind of thing and get out for a day and have as much fun as the kids.”
“That’s the other side of this,” Gulla said. She also said that for this day, they had so many employees volunteer to help, they actually had to turn some down.
“Besides the 250 plus kids we have here, we also have 85 volunteers from our family of companies,” she said.