It’s time for RBC Sports Day in Canada, which is taking place throughout the country for a fifth year on Saturday, November 29. A helpful searchable guide is available to get Canadians involved in every part of the country:
RBC Olympian, two-time Olympic medallist, and three-time World Champion figure skater Patrick Chan at RBC Learn to Play Project announcement on November 26, 2014.
One of the key messages to take away from Sports Day is that children need to be encouraged to participate and develop skills in a positive environment. A study called Sport Moves Us revealed 83% of Canadians say “community sport can instill character in youth by teaching them values and positive life lessons.”
While vast majority agree with the above, some roadblocks were identified. The same study finds that 60% of Canadians worry about parental behaviour. Meanwhile 48% are concerned with access and violence.
Sport should be universal, fun and safe. RBC is aiming to bring that narrative to Canadians through this ParticipACTION event that will be broadcast live on CBC on Saturday.
Throughout the day CBC will be featuring segments with many of Canada’s great Olympians. One of those athletes is retired women’s ice hockey player Jennifer Botterill. The three-time Olympic champion is no stranger to positive experiences in elite sport, but the foundations were laid long before she graced the Winter Games podium.
RBC Olympian Jennifer Botterill (second from right) joins other Olympic athletes and students in a basketball shoot-around leading up to Sports Day.
“I remember playing ball hockey in my basement with my family and going to the local community club to go skating,” Botterill says of her earliest sport memories.
Growing up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Botterill found access to sport to play “a key part” in her development where she “met many friends and learned important lessons about teamwork and dedication.”
“I was fortunate to have parents that encouraged me to be involved in sport and I am always grateful.”
Access, participation and encouragement worked for Botterill and she feels Sports Day can play a role in having the same impact on today’s youth.
RBC Olympian Jennifer Botterill says she has “met many friends and learned important lessons about teamwork and dedication” through sport.
“It’s a great celebration of sport … it is also a tremendous opportunity to continue to encourage Canadians to enjoy sport and physical activity.”
Not everyone can become an Olympian let alone an Olympic champion, but everyone should be able to enjoy sport, make connections with their community and learn skills that last a lifetime.