KidSport Delta held its fourth annual Gift of Sport Gala this past weekend, raising funds to help ensure kids in financial need have the means to participate in sport.
The theme of the evening was Hollywood, and guests were welcomed at the door by a Marylin Monroe look-a-like and an actor dressed as a director. They held a silent auction as well as a live auction at the end of the evening, with all money raised going towards the Delta chapter of KidSport.
In the decade since KidSport Delta was formed, the organization has provided over 800 grants to kids in the community, and today they are able to grant grant up to $500 per child per year.
For KidSport Delta chair Carlene Lewall, getting kids participating in sport at a young age builds their “physical literacy” and is key to their development, not just physically but also mentally and socially.
“Physical literacy means having the competency and the confidence to participate in any recreational activity,” Lewall said.
“It’s life skills that they can learn through sport.”
Among 16 sport ambassadors to attend the event on Saturday, April 27 was former Canadian Football League defensive back Greg Frers. Frers played in the league from 1993 to 2002 — primarily for the Calgary Stampeders with whom he won the Grey Cup in 1998 and 2001 — and was inducted into the Delta Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
Frers said sport has been a huge part of his life and that being part of a cause that helps kids gain access to the world he has been intimately involved in for so long is a cause that’s close to his heart.
“I’ve met a lot of great people, traveled a lot of different places, [had] great experiences and really want that to be given as an opportunity to as many people as possible,” he said.
“If there’s opportunity to support a cause like this, whether it’s time or financial, then it’s something that I’d like to be able to be apart of.”
Also there was former BC Lions coach Wally Buono, who spoke at the event. He reminded attendees that it’s not all about winning or losing; what’s important for kids is that they are having fun and doing their best.
“Don’t live your dreams through your kids,” he said.
For Buono, family played a big part in his football career. He said he was fortunate to have a lot of people in his life who helped him to become successful, supporting him both on and off the field.
“Every championship that you win, it doesn’t matter at what level, is unique. The group of men that you go to war with every day, that you battle with every day … you’ve got to be mentally strong all the time,” Buono said. “So when you can do that … it is a very special bond that you have.”
For more information on KidSport Delta, including how to get involved or apply for assistance, visit kidsportcanada.ca/british-columbia/delta.