QUESNEL, B.C. (ISN) – The cooperative multi-sport program SOAR (Sharing Our Activities and Resources) is in Quesnel, British Columbia this week (Oct. 6-9) to deliver grassroots Tennis, Golf and Curling programming with the Minister for Community, Sport and Cultural Development Honourable Coralee Oakes in attendance.
SOAR, a collaborative multi-sport delivery program created by British Columbia’s Not-for-Profit bodies representing Golf (British Columbia Golf), Tennis (Tennis BC) and Curling (Curl BC), brings age-appropriate modified equipment to elementary schools to promote participation in each sport. The program visits remote areas of the province at an affordable cost to schools.
Funded by viaSport, SOAR, in partnership with the Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council, will be visiting the Red Bluff Lhatko Elementary School in Quesnel starting Sunday, October 6th with a full-day comprehensive certification program for interested community sport individuals who seek to facilitate all three sports following the departure of the program. Complimenting the theory education will be practical, in-class sport whereby leaders will be mentored in the delivery of all three sports to Red Bluff Lhatko Elementary students starting with Tennis on Monday, October 7th, Golf on Tuesday October 8th and Curling on Wednesday October 9th.
Attending Monday’s in-class Tennis programming will be the Minister for Community, Sport and Cultural Development Honourable Coralee Oakes. Oakes, the MLA for Cariboo North and a resident of Quesnel, will get the opportunity to witness the implementation of fundamental movements in alliance with the Canadian Sport 4 Life Model.
“Learning a sport is something that stays with a child for a lifetime,” said Oakes.
“Just like riding a bike, learning to swing a golf club or throw a curling rock sticks with you. That focus on skill development for lifelong benefit is what makes SOAR such a valuable program. Our government strongly encourages healthy, active lifestyles for all British Columbians. We want kids to develop confidence in their abilities, and the SOAR program is a perfect fit.”
Also in attendance over the four days of SOAR programming will be Sue Griffin, Executive Director of Tennis BC who like the Honourable Coralee Oakes, sees value in a collaborative approach to delivering grassroots sports to all communities in the province.
“Working together with our partners in SOAR provides Tennis BC with a unique opportunity to deliver key fundamental movements in sport to young children in a fun, interactive environment,” stated Griffin.
“If they have fun while learning basic movements, hopefully we’ll inspire them to continue to be active and encouraged to play.”
Playing an integral role in continued sustainability of the SOAR program in the northern regions of British Columbia is the Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council. Through a contribution agreement with SOAR, the Council has made avail key funding that provides the opportunity for SOAR to enter schools like Red Bluff Lhakto Elementary at a very minimal user fee. As a result of in-class introduction to the three sports, children experience and learn skills to use at local facilities within their community.
“Many smaller Aboriginal communities throughout the province don’t have access to Tennis, Golf or Curling facilities. This unique program has been a great opportunity for Aboriginal Youth to try a sport that they may not have otherwise had the opportunity to experience,” mentioned Joe Akerman. Manager of Regional Engagement with the Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council.
“The SOAR facilitators are well trained over a 4 day period and do a great job of including all participants, whether they are a seasoned athlete or new to the sport being presented.”
SOAR will continue to travel throughout British Columbia during the 2013-2014 school year. For more information on bringing SOAR to your community, please contact Kathy Gook, Director of School Golf with British Columbia Golf at firstname.lastname@example.org
For full information on how to get involved with the SOAR program attending Red Bluff Elementary School in Quesnel,