Our mission statement is quite clear. This entire project is built on the 3 pillars outlined therein; Passion, Community, and (most importantly to me) Charity.
I would like to take some time to discuss the CanSportsOne Foundation and why I personally believe it is the heart of the entire CanSportsOne mission.
“No child should ever be forced to sit on the sidelines just because of their parent or guardian’s financial situation. Ever.” ~Mark Adam
First of all, I didn’t grow up in a moneyed home, much like most of the Canadian population. We weren’t poor. We had what we needed, but not a whole lot more than that. So when I wanted to play hockey, you can imagine the situation it put my parents in.
Like many good, proud Canadian parents, my folks wanted nothing more than to let me play what would later become the Official Co-National Sport of our beautiful country. The problem was, how were they going to afford it?
As a huge number of Canadian moms and dads know, hockey equipment is quite pricey. Then there’s the substantial registration fees, made worse in our family’s case by the fact that I was pretty good at the sport, which meant even higher fees for the top-tier league, as well as extra costs associated with “away tournaments”, which in turn meant travel costs including gas or plane tickets, accommodations, food, and whatever else.
Thinking back on it all, I can’t believe the amount of sacrifice that went into my ability to play hockey. I can honestly say that, as a child, I had no understanding or appreciation of what was happening behind the scenes. The hard conversations my parents must have had. The late nights making creative financial movements, the early morning drives to practice, and all the other little things that allowed me to play the game I loved.
It even took some outside help from time to time. My grandfather bought some of my gear, if I’m recalling correctly. The “it takes a village to raise a child” idea also continues through sports.
Now, as a father myself, I know I wouldn’t want my daughter to be thinking about that stuff. I am not going to let her know about my struggles to give her the things she needs and wants. So am I surprised that my parents silently did all that for me? No. But am I ever grateful.
No child should ever be forced to sit on the sidelines just because of their parent or guardian’s financial situation. Ever.
Further to that point, no parent or guardian should ever have to feel awful because they can’t afford to provide their child with the opportunity to follow their dreams and play the game. Ever.
Becoming a parent has made me realize just how important it is to give our children all the opportunities we can to pursue their passions. That is why the CanSportsOne Foundation is so important to me and the team behind it all. That is why it is at the very core of why this website and this community exist. That is why we want to get kids in the game.
The CanSportsOne Foundation’s main goal is simple. Let’s help as many children play organized sports as we possibly can. We will take the donations we collect, and use them to pay for individual children to play the sport of their choice.
I’m not going to ask you to donate money to the charity; but obviously, you may do so, should you so choose. That said, I will make a request. Please, if you have some spare moments, take the time to get involved in this community. Read the stories here, comment, share, or even submit an article yourself. All of it will point eyes back on the Foundation and maybe, together, we can change some lives.
Audio recording provided for the visually impaired.