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Low turnout a cause for concern on RBC Sports Day

Only 13 families came out to this years RBC Sports Day at the Kerrisdale Community Centre. Photo by Tanner Bokor

Reported by Tanner Bokor

Kerrisdale Community Centre may have celebrated RBC Sports Day in Canada this past Saturday, however due to lack of resources for this year’s event, few residents were in attendance.

Lack of publicity could be a cause

Only 13 families attended this year, a significant decline from previous years and Austen Tsu, program assistant at the Kerrisdale Community Centre, said the low attendance was in part due to the lack of publicity.

“I think it’s just not that well promoted [of a] program nationally and regionally,” said Tsu. “I know sponsorship got taken down for this year, which is why we haven’t had a lot of promotions.”

RBC Sports Day in Canada is a national event funded by the government of Canada, Royal Bank of Canada, CBC, ParticipACTION and True Sport. The day was created to bring families together to try out different sports and recreational activities, with the hope of instilling a healthy lifestyle. However, the national event was discontinued for 2016 due to a lack of resources, though local community centers in Vancouver continue to host their own events.

Tsu organized the event on Nov. 19 that featured prizes for participating in activities such as ball hockey and indoor tennis.

New national initiative in the works

Katherine Janson, director of communications & public affairs for participACTION. Submitted photo

According to Katherine Janson, the director of communications & public affairs for ParticipACTION, the group will be starting a new event in 2017 to replace RBC Sports Day in Canada with a new focus.

“Our organization is taking advantage of Canada’s 150th birthday,” said Janson in an email.

She added that funding from multiple partners will create a new national initiative.

The families that did attend this year said the opportunity to spend time together without being glued to a computer screen was well worth the trip.

“We want our kids to grow up knowing how important exercise and play are, and that there’s a whole wide world out there to explore,” said Brian Xu, a Kerrisdale resident who brought his two daughters to the event.

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