Free Tennis Lessons for Disadvantaged Kids

Project title: Free Tennis Lessons for Disadvantaged Kids

 Participatory Budgeting funding request: $10,000

 Organization/Individual: Society for Kids at Tennis

 Location: Tennis courts around Victoria

What is your project?

We provide free tennis instruction and equipment to children and youth facing challenges created by family financial circumstances or by developmental disability (Autism, Down Syndrome, Wheelchair Disabilities).

In our 5 years of operation, over 10,000 kids have participated in our classes.

We partner with many organizations in Victoria including: The City of Victoria Department of Parks and Recreation, Recreation Centres, Community Centres and social organizations: The Cridge Centre for the Family, Inter-Cultural Association (ICA) of Victoria, Victoria Immigrant & Refugee Society(VIRCS), Victoria Native Friendship Centre, Community Living Victoria Autism Services, plus 8 elementary and middle schools.

Classes are conducted year-round on public courts or indoors in a gym rented from Quadra Village Community Centre.

Classes are delivered in a series of 6 to 10 weeks and are conducted for 1 hour per week. Series are repeated in Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer sessions.

We would respectfully like to apply for funding of $10,000.00 which along with our other donors will complete our budget.

How does your project benefit the lives of youth in Victoria?

Benefits to these children include: promotion of physical literacy which encourages a life-long involvement with physical activity, enhanced physical fitness and emotional well-being and improved social skills.

With kids spending an average of 7.4 hours per day on television, their cell phones, game consoles and computers, our kid’s physical fitness is being seriously eroded. A recent ParticipACTION Canada’s “Report Card on Physical Activity” awarded a grade of D minus. They indicate that in children between the ages of 5 to 17, only 9% are getting the activity they need.

The incidence of childhood obesity is climbing at an alarming rate! There are predictions that this generation of kids may, for the first time ever, have a shorter life span than their parents.

Matt Young, a Director of Sport for Life Canada in a recent TEDx Talk said: “Physical literacy is the gateway to fixing the childhood obesity epidemic”.

The growing trend to “techno-play” is not only creating damage to children and youth’s physical health, but also to their emotional health. The isolation which this type of play promotes is leading to increasing reports of emotional distress and depression.

Therefore benefits to the community can be measured both in terms of the improved physical and mental well-being of our kids and the savings in future health care costs.

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