There is poetry in motion to the simplicity of some things.
It’s the sort of action that causes time to slow down: a buzzer-beating shot bouncing imperfectly around the rim, holding the attention of everyone in the gym; a putt creeping across the green and pausing ever-so-slightly at the rim of the cup before falling in; a dancer hangs in midair, perfect and frozen in space.
Any one or all three of those moments may have been made possible by a KidSport grant. The national organization has a presence in the Northwest Territories and provides grants of up to $300 so kids in need can enjoy a season of a sport.
Just ask Phoenix Smith, studio director at Bella Dance Academy: “We really like KidSport because it helps make activities for youth more accessible. We have had a number of students who have taken advantage of the instruction we have provided through KidSport funding and you can really see their improvements of mental wellness in staying active and engaging in group activity and creating friendships that are outside of school.”
And as Smith also pointed out, KidSport is self-propagating to a degree as it “helps inspire other organizations to get involved to support youth programming.”
They include the Yellowknife Golf Club, where a fundraising tournament is held for KidSport annually. The event generated about $10,000 for the charity this year and was run for the last nine by Roger Walker, who died in February. Nahanni Construction has stepped in to ensure the tournament will be held in his honour for years to come. A healthy heap of kudos to Walker and to Nahanni Construction for helping to cement his legacy.
Walker believed as KidSport does that every child should be able to be involved, regardless of what financial barriers they may have. In 2019, 2,894 such kids in the NWT benefitted from $600,800 in grants. That’s mind-boggling.
The great thing is the work that Kidsport does can be incredibly complex in its logistics, and in relation to the mental health and socialization benefits it provides to participants, but supporting it is simple: just visit the organization’s website at kidsportcanada.ca/northwest-territories to either donate or apply for a grant for a worthy child or children.
There is some distinct pandemic-influenced fine print on the registration form, but the message is clear: handgames are back.
The traditional sport, which the Yellowknives Dene First Nation is hosting through a Aug. 19 to 22 tournament, is not alone in the fare that summer has to offer as we enter August: many Yellowknifers must be relieved and ready to Ramble and Ride through Old Town this weekend.
In addition, summer multi-sport camps staged by the city and Tennis NWT continue. The weeklong camps cost $240, plus tax, so some parents may wish to avail themselves of the services of KidSport that we referred to above.
Either way, if the rain, rain can stay away and fall upon us another day (or month, or season) there is a cornucopia of reasons, organized or otherwise, to get outside and enjoy everything Yellowknife has to offer before the snow flies. So slap on a hat and slop on some sunscreen and get at it while it lasts.