Strutting your stuff 

Register for sports and support a sporting charity

To make it easier for parents and kids to register for sports, Kidsport Whistler is once again hosting Strut Your Stuff, on Sept. 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Whistler secondary school.

Local sports organizations, teams, coaches, community group leaders and parks and recreation staff are invited to set up a table or a booth, sign kids up for the coming fall and winter season, and talk to the public about their sports.

There will be mini displays of the different sports that kids can watch and take part in, and a place to donate or trade-in sports equipment.

One of the booths featured at Strut Your Stuff will belong to Kidsport Whistler, a non-profit organization whose goal is to make sports more affordable for families who otherwise couldn’t afford them.

"On any given weekend, we may have only 1,000 school age children," says Sheila Mozes, a co-ordinator for Kidsport Whistler. "Our image tends to not include those children in need, but they do exist in Whistler. This glaring financial disparity brought Kidsport into existence five years ago."

Faced with a growing number of kids who couldn’t afford to take part in local sports, community sports organizations, the parks and recreation department, and the Whistler Social Services Society created Kidsport to level the playing field for less privileged kids. Under the guidance of Kidsport B.C., Whistler was the first to use a community-based model in 1996, and since then more than a dozen communities have followed the lead.

The Kidsport Whistler motto is "So All Kids Can Play," which means that no child should be denied the benefits of organized sport because of financial barriers. The program is available for kids from five to 18 years old, covering or helping to cover the cost of equipment, registration or coaching.

"Each year the need in our small community grows," says Mozes. Last year Kidsport helped almost 60 kids take part in sports.

Traditionally, Kidsport was funded by community events such as the Mouton Cadet Ski Festival, the Gordie Howe Oldtimers hockey game, the Team Canada Exhibition Hockey Game, and the RCMP Redguard events. Last year the Whistler-Blackcomb Foundation became Kidsport’s title sponsor.

"We no longer need financially to run events ourselves because of the Whistler-Blackcomb Foundation, but we still run our favourite," says Mozes.

Strut Your Stuff is "an excellent time for you to come out and help our little community, personally say thank you to the Whistler-Blackcomb Foundation, and other private donors who make it possible for all kids to play in Whistler."

The cost of setting up a booth at Strut Your Stuff is $15 for non-profit and community service groups, and $30 for commercial service groups and suppliers. One hundred per cent of the funds raised for Kidsport are spent on the kids.

To set up a display, contact the RMOW Parks and Recreation front desk at Meadow Park Sports Centre at 935-PLAY (7529).

For more information, contact Sheila Mozes at 935-8378.

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