Jumpstart's Red Ball campaign aims to raise $1.7 million to help kids get in the game

Show your support by posting a photo with your #JumpstartRedBall

TORONTO, April 30, 2014 /CNW/ - Spring has sprung and Canadian families are eager to get outside, get active and enjoy outdoor sports again.  However, the reality is that one in three Canadian families cannot afford to enrol their kids in organized sports or physical activities. On May 1, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities kicks off its annual month-long Red Ball campaign, challenging Canadians to donate throughout the month of May to help get kids in the game. Jumpstart's goal is to raise $1.7 million through the month-long nationwide campaign, which will give 17,000 kids the chance to experience the power of play.

"Sport and physical activity has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember and I can't imagine it any other way," said Hayley Wickenheiser, women's hockey star and four-time Olympic gold medalist. "The benefits of participating in organized sports are endless, from increased self-esteem and confidence to adopting good habits and leading a healthy life. It's great to see Jumpstart Charities making this a reality for those kids and families in communities across Canada that can't afford the costs associated with organized sport."

During the month of May, Canadians can make a $2 donation in exchange for a Jumpstart Red Ball at Canadian Tire, Mark's, Sport Chek, Atmosphere and Canadian Tire Gas+ locations. For the first time, National Sports and Sports Experts locations will also participate by accepting donations in-store in return for a Red Ball. Jumpstart is encouraging all Canadians to post a photo of themselves with their Red Ball using the hashtag #JumpstartRedBall, to show their support. 

The campaign will conclude on Saturday, May 31, 2014 with the sixth annual Jumpstart Day where participating Canadian Tire stores across Canada will celebrate with special events and activities for community members to celebrate the campaign and raise additional funds. 

"Organized sports teach kids life lessons that reach beyond the field and arena. Confidence, self-esteem and leadership are just some of the skills that children across Canada are learning at every practice and every game," said Landon French, Vice-President, Jumpstart and Community Relations, Canadian Tire Corporation. "Financial barriers including equipment costs, registration fees and transportation shouldn't be the reason kids aren't getting involved. We're proud to say that to date our efforts have helped over 720,000 kids in Canada cover these costs, giving them the chance to play, learn and grow."

Leading up to Jumpstart Day on May 31, participating stores and partners will host local events across the country:

  • Haley Wickenheiser Store Visit: Burlington Canadian Tire customers can spend the afternoon with five-time Olympic medalist, women's hockey superstar, Hayley Wickenheiser.  Hayley will be meeting local residents, taking photos with fans and signing autographs. The event will be held at the Canadian Tire store at 777 Guelph Line on Saturday May 3, 2014 from 11:00a.m.- 2:00p.m.
  • Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, National Sports, Sports Experts, Atmosphere, Mark's, and Canadian Tire Gas + Locations:  Throughout the month of May, Canadians visiting these stores can make a $2 donation in return for an iconic Red Ball, giving kids in communities across Canada a sporting chance.
  • Jumpstart Day at Canadian Tire Stores:  On Saturday, May 31, Canadians can take part in a variety of fun activities at participating Canadian Tire stores across the country, including charity barbeques or games.
  • Twitter Party: Join @ctjumpstart on May 28 at 9:30 p.m. EST for a discussion about the importance of getting kids involved in sports and physical activity. Using #JumpstartDay, join in the discussion and learn more about how Jumpstart helps kids get in the game and how you can get involved.

All funds raised through the May Red Ball campaign and on Jumpstart Day go back to the local community in which they were raised. Since 2005, the Red Ball campaign has raised over $7,184,700 across Canada.

About Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities
Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities is a national charity dedicated to providing kids from disadvantaged families with the opportunity to experience the benefits of organized sports and physical activities. With an extensive, national network of more than 330 local Chapters, Jumpstart helps kids in communities across Canada by assisting with the costs associated with registration, equipment and/or transportation.

Supported by the Canadian Tire Family of Companies, which includes Canadian Tire, PartSource, Gas+, Sport Chek, Atmosphere, National Sports, Sports Experts, Mark's and Canadian Tire Financial Services, Jumpstart has enabled more than 720,000 Canadian kids and counting to get in the game since 2005. For more information or to lend your support, visit canadiantire.ca/jumpstart

Follow us on:
www.facebook.com/CTJumpstart
www.twitter.com/ctjumpstart (Using #JumpstartRedBall)
www.youtube.com/CTJumpstartCharities

SOURCE Canadian Tire Jumpstart

For further information: Erin Chard, North Strategic, Erin.chard@northstrategic.com, 905-806-2956; Candice Bruton, Canadian Tire Corporation, candice.bruton@cantire.com, 416-520-3184