"Sport has the power to reduce crime, foster character and citizenship, introduce newcomers to their communities, stimulate the local economy, provide adult mentorship for young people, teach kids important life lessons and strengthen community connectedness.”
This statement is from the ‘Sports Day in Canada’ website. Did you know that Saturday, September 17th is our nation’s national sports day?
As a child and as a youth, I was quite heavily involved in organized sports. I hated peewee baseball, played volleyball and basketball in high school, and eventually banned golf from my life (much to the horror – and constant disappointment - of my golf-addicted father). Heck - I even tried curling! It was only recently, however, as an adult that I returned to an organized sport.
This year, I took a huge leap and joined the Calgary Rage – Calgary’s all women, full contact, tackle football team. Who knew I would even have the gumption! For five months, I braved the injuries, the fear of learning something new and looking silly, and the sheer ferociousness of the sport because, in the end, I was looking for something.
And it was on the football field that I found it. There I found a new community. I found a group of people with infectious passion for a game that I slowly beginning to love myself. I found the courage to push myself to new limits and the ability to wrap my brain around a whole new physical vocabulary.
But what I found, ultimately, was the most important thing of all – I found a renewed love of playing sports.
Sports Day in Canada celebrates this true power of sport. From grassroots to high-performance levels, in communities across Canada, September 17th caps off a week of thousands of local sporting events and activities, open houses and try-it days showcasing sport at all levels, and includes a special television broadcast on CBC Sports.
This day is presented by CBC Sports, ParticipACTION and True Sport and is guided by a committee of national sporting organizations and their networks of coaches, athletes and enthusiasts across the country. It's an opportunity for all Canadians to celebrate the power of sport to build community, fortify our national spirit and facilitate healthy, active living.
In the week leading up to, and including, September 17, thousands of organizations across Canada will throw open their doors to celebrate sport at the local level, and help build momentum for Sports Day. On the ground in communities across the country, sport organizations and providers will hold a blitz of Sports Day in Canada events, with festivals, open houses, games, competitions, meet-and-greets, try-it days, tournaments, fun runs, spectator events and pep rallies that celebrate sport at all levels.
Organizations can create something new, or throw open their doors to something they're already doing--and invite Canadians to lace up and join them. Wherever possible, elite athletes, celebrities, politicians, Paralympians and Olympians will be making special appearances at Sports Day in Canada events in communities across the country.
So I ask you, how will you get out there and celebrate your potential? If I can learn how to tackle a running back, get into a 3-point defensive stance (albeit very badly!), and take down an opponent on a kick return, what can you do?
To find out what’s happening community, click here! And let me know how it all turns out….