Empowerment Squared soccer program gets a Jumpstart from Canadian Tire
Empowerment Squared is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a grant from Canadian Tire Corporation’s Jumpstart Sport Relief Fund to help sport and recreation organizations build back sport and play in Canada. Our funding will be invested in safely expanding our soccer program, which is offered free of charge to youth in our community.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Empowerment Squared piloted a program called E-movement – an online sports program that kept kids active by attending virtual classes in yoga, movement, dance, etc. No equipment was required, which removes economic barriers to participation. The goal is to keep kids healthy, active, and moving. Attendance is high and consistent, and the feedback has been very positive.
While this made a meaningful impact, we’re looking forward to having kids back in person and outside again. This Jumpstart grant will help us to rebuild our sports and recreation programs by providing a physical outlet for 40 youth in an environment that promotes physical activity, introduces them to activities that they may not have had the opportunity to try, and will facilitate social interaction among peers.
We will be modifying activities we are adhering to health and safety guidelines. Our summer soccer sports program has been designed to be no contact. Participants will be broken up into small groups, with volunteers assigned to each group. We will practice as a team (while maintaining distance from one another), and will work on skill development, drills and fitness under the supervision of a coach, volunteers and staff members. Areas will be clearly marked by pylons, and staff/volunteers will ensure distancing is maintained.
Empowerment Squared recognizes and acknowledges the challenges faced by underrepresented groups, and is committed to ensuring that these groups have access to recreational activities in a safe environment. Participation in Empowerment Squared’s sports programs is age-based rather than skills-based, which allows children to interact with others in their peer group and participate in all activities, regardless of their skill level. This encourages kids to try activities that they may not have had the opportunity to participate in due to financial constraints, skill level or cultural differences. All E2 programs are gender and culturally inclusive and free of charge, to encourage participation from families that may not be able to afford programming for their children.