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Kidsport Whistler to expand programs

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For the past six years Kidsport Whistler has been helping kids and families to participate in sports programs by assisting with the cost of equipment and registration. Their motto is "So all kids can play," and over the years they have received donations from a variety of sources.

The main sponsor, however, is the Whistler-Blackcomb Foundation.

As the first Kidsport organization in the province, the Whistler program served as a model for other programs across B.C. There are now 12 Kidsport organizations in the communities of Burnaby, Campbell River, Quesnel, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Mission, North Peace, Penticton, Vernon and Victoria.

This year the organizers of the Whistler program are taking the lead again in a bid to expand the program even further. On Tuesday, March 12, the Kidsport Whistler organization will meet to discuss ways to break down more barriers that prevent kids from participating in sports.

To generate support for this growth from the community, Kidsport is inviting all interested community sporting groups and individuals to participate in the discussions.

Recommendations for discussion include:

• Extending criteria to include all eligible children in any division of sport; recreational, developmental and competitive; previously it was only recreational.

• Developing a community-based membership so that locally approved organizations without a provincial sport governing body can apply for Kidsport support for their athletes.

• Developing local agreements with sporting goods suppliers to subsidize Kidsport recipients.

• Creation of a committee to pursue support from the 2010 Olympic Bid LegaciesNow program for the Kidsport Bursaries Program for developmental athletes below the provincially carded level.

The meeting will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. in the multi-purpose room at Whistler Secondary.

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