Reported by Becca Clarkson
For two single mothers on disability leave, a local fundraising campaign is allowing their kids to stay in sports while their families stay out of debt.
Hundreds of B.C. children between the ages of five and 18 will get to play sports next year because of a matching fundraising campaign between Athletics for Kids and Victory Square Technologies.
A4K’s first ever Double the Scoreboard, a six week fundraising campaign that ended this Sunday, hoped to support parents facing financial barriers to register their kids in organized sports.
Carla Rubin, a single mother who’s benefitted from A4K, said that if it weren’t for the charity’s financial aid, she would still choose debt over taking her two kids out of their martial arts lessons.
“[My children] share a room so they need an outlet, they need male figures in their life, they need a bunch of things that martial arts can give them, and A4K supports me to do this for my kids.”
Maori Pomeroy, a 9-year-old from Surrey B.C., has Olympic aspirations in diving. His mother, Renata, has multiple sclerosis which keeps her from working as a nurse, and she struggles to support Maori’s training which costs over $4,000 a year.
“The charity makes the possibility of your child being able to access sports, but also when they get to a higher level it means that they can stay,” Renata said.
In 2017 alone, A4K received 100 requests per month to fund sports grants for youth between the ages 5-18, with the cost per grant averaging around $200.
Sandy Hancock, A4K’s executive director, said she’s happy with the outcome of the campaign, which when matched earned between $75,000-$76,000 for future grants.
“It’s a wonderful story to be able to tell your donors that they’re actually having double the impact when every dollar donated is being matched,” Hancock said, adding that the campaign was not just about money, but also about promoting awareness of the charity.
Howard Blank of Victory Square Technologies, the company matching donations up to $50,000, said that sports go beyond physically benefiting the kids who play them, it also teaches teamwork, problem solving, sportsmanship, camaraderie and leadership skills.
“A4K gives children from underprivileged families who can’t afford organized play to share in that experience, which I think is second to none,” Blank said.