Published June 01, 2019 06:00
BGC Club Location: Central Hub
How long have you been a BGC member? Since I was 6 years old
How does coming to the Boys and Girls Club make you feel? Happy!
What is your favourite memory of the Boys and Girls Club? Fun Day in the summer – there are ice cream sandwiches and bouncy castles!
Whether due to expensive registration fees, lack of equipment or limited access to transportation, there can be a number of different barriers for families when they are looking to sign up their child or children for organized sports. Often, these barriers can lead to children missing out on the opportunity altogether. The Boys & Girls Club of Kingston & Area has made it a priority to remove some of these barriers to ensure that every child has the opportunity to experience the excitement and sense of belonging that comes along with being part of a sports team.
Over the past few years, the Boys and Girls Club has expanded their sport programming significantly. Through recreational activities, Boys & Girls Club members have an opportunity to work on their physical literacy on a daily basis. Using the High Five model, as well as Canada Sport for Life, the goal is to ensure that children remain active for the entirety of their lives and the Boys and Girls Club want to demonstrate the importance of this at an early stage.
“Each school year, Boys and Girls Club members are able to participate in a league that encompasses a variety of sports, and the goal is to get kids involved in each one. Not only are they creating a strong physical activity base; but, more importantly, they are building relationships with one another that could last a lifetime,” says Julian Burchett, Physical Education Coordinator with the Boys and Girls Club.
The BGC Sports League has grown in popularity, so much so that this year saw an expansion in age groups, as well as new sports added into the mix, including the launch of the BGC Soccer League this past Fall. The BGC Soccer League combines soccer-specific skill building and drills with league play for both children and youth alike and has been a huge hit with members. The BGC Soccer League was made possible thought the support of MLSE Foundation and the Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund.
This year, over 400 members participated in seasons of basketball, indoor soccer, ball hockey, dodgeball, baseball, and new this year, sabakiball. Members from the Boys and Girls Club West End Hub, Robert Meek Clubhouse, Rideau Heights Community Centre, J.G. Simcoe, St Francis of Assisi, Glenburnie and Joyceville locations are all bused to the game location to play against one another. All players receive a team shirt, Club water bottle and also are provided with the appropriate equipment on location to participate. At the Boys and Girls Club, the High Five certified staff see the value in having these children, aged six to twelve, participate in the league because it teaches so many strong life lessons. Members who are extremely active in these programs show a greater resiliency in other activities the Club has to offer and are able to use their experience to deal with challenging situations in and out of the Club. Every week, staff see members stepping up and being leaders. They see children who play competitive sports, on teams with children who have never played a sport, ensuring they get the ball and their chance to also be the star. Most importantly, time and time again, they see children ensure that sportsmanship and fun prevail after every game.
At the end of the Sports League season, the Boys and Girls Club brings all players together from every sport and every location for a large celebration. The Sports League Banquet serves as a night of accolades for the players that participated, as well as a chance to thank many of the donors, supporters, volunteers and coaches that make the Sports League possible. While food is passed out, shirts are given to each player, and medals are worn by all of the accomplished athletes. As you walk into the sport court, you can’t help but notice the smiles on the kid’s faces. This year’s Banquet is being held on Tuesday, June 11th, and members from all BGC sites will be in attendance for this special night.
Youth also play a big role in the athletics that happen at the Club. The Police Athletic League, in partnership with Kingston Police, sees nearly 200 youth participate year round. Although different sports are played, basketball is the main focus. Every Thursday, when you walk into the Boys & Girls Club, you will see a mix of staff, youth and police officers all playing a part in the league. From coaching, refereeing, and score keeping, to being a player on the court, you can feel the positive energy in the gym. From rep and high school basketball players, to players who have never shot a ball, both boys and girls from grade 8 to grade 12 have found that there is something in this league for everyone. Many youth who do not regularly play sports come out of their shell, and become monumental leaders throughout the seasons, sometimes leading to summer employment opportunities with the Club. Having a police presence support the league allows members to form healthy relationships with law enforcement in a fun and inviting setting. The goal is for the youth to see officers out of uniform and in the gym, so when they do see or need them outside of gym, there is no stigma. With all of these contributing factors, P.A.L. has been able to form friendships, athletes, and leaders on and off the court and when younger members saw the youth having so much fun, a Junior Police Athletic League was launched to expand the opportunity to younger kids.
Organized sport is a very important part the Boys & Girls Club programming. Programs not only focus on sportsmanship, dedication and teamwork, but members also learn fundamental movement skills through play and can improve their physical literacy while having fun. All of the Sports League and PAL programs are offered through the Boys & Girls Club for free to its members, made possible through community support and partnerships with organizations such as the City of Kingston, MLSE Foundation, Just Energy Foundation, Kingston Police, Jays Care Foundation, Canadian Tire Jumpstart, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, United Way KFLA, Government of Ontario, Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund, and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport.
Join us in helping to remove any barriers preventing children and youth in our community from staying active and being a part of a team, and support the Boys and Girls Club today!
Thank you to our donors!
$500 – Krishna Burra – Board of Directors
$100 – Anonymous
$100 – Jean Dougherty
$100 – Blanche Gosling
$200 – Anonymous
$250 – Anonymous
$100 – Haakon Industries
Total Raised to Date: $90,017
Whig-Standard/Boys and Girls Club Campaign How to Donate By cheque:
To the address below and indicate if you would like to keep your donation anonymous.
By credit card (Visa, MasterCard): Call 613-507-3306, ext. 110
By cash: At the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston and Area West End Hub, 1300 Bath Rd., Kingston, ON, K7M 4X4
Online: At www.bgckingston.ca , click on the secure “Donate Now” button on the top right side of the website.
Tax Receipt: A tax receipt will be mailed to you within four weeks.
Questions: Heather Hayhow, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for supporting the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston & Area!