Wednesday, 22 April 2015 16:08

Popular Roughriders player helps out KidSport to raise funds in Swift Current

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Popular Saskatchewan Roughriders receiver Weston Dressler spoke about the importance of providing children with opportunities to play sport during a breakfast fundraiser for KidSport in Swift Current.


He was the keynote speaker at the event, which took place at the Living Sky Casino Sky Centre on April 17.
He talked about the importance of sport in his life since a young age and how he received his greatest life lessons through sport, including the need to work hard consistently.
“Really, for me it was everything,” he said afterwards during a media interview. “I went from season to season, it wasn’t winter, summer, fall, it was football season, basketball season, baseball season. That’s how it was for me growing up — whatever season I was in, that was my favourite sport at the time as a kid. I just got into it and fell in love with sports and activity.”
As a football player, he always had to prove himself against larger players. One of his biggest disappointments occurred when he was not drafted for the National Football League in 2008, but only a few weeks later he signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders to start a successful career in the Canadian Football League.
That experience helped him to develop a personal perspective on the meaning of success and failure.
“It’s just something I’ve pieced together from different book I’ve read and things like that,” he said. “Failure is what you get when you don’t get what you wanted and really it’s just reiterating the fact that sometimes you can set your goals real high and not quite reach that goal, but even when you do that, if you work towards it, you’re gaining a lot along the way.”
His advice to coaches of young athletes is to provide them with opportunities to be successful.
“It’s easy to throw out your best player and let that person take over a game with young kids, especially because usually there’s always that one or two kids that is that much better than everyone else,” he said. “I think as a coach of young kids you have to try and make sure every player on that team has a moment of success as often as possible. ... That’s what draws kids in and as humans what draw us in is success. It keeps you coming back for more and if we can set kids up for success that’s what’s going to get them interested.”
He noted an organization such as KidSport is making a real difference to provide children with opportunities to participate in sport.
“If you don’t have the opportunity to even start playing sports, you never have the opportunity to grow within the games you’re playing and grow into the man or woman you can become. So to give these kids opportunities that would not necessarily have them is huge.”
Swift Current KidSport Board President Carla Congdon appreciated the good turnout at the event.
“We are absolutely thrilled with this morning’s breakfast,” she said. “Great support from the community, good turnout, having Weston Dressler here was phenomenal. So, we’re just really happy to be able to put on an event like this and have it so well supported.”
The funds raised by KidSport help families with financial difficulties to register their children in the minor sport of their choice.
KidSport Swift Current processed 11 applications when it started in 1996. The organization spent $49,584 in 2014 to fund 165 applications.
“I think it’s an increase in the need, but also the awareness that we’re here and that we’re here to help,” she said. “We don’t want kids to not be able to play sports because they don’t have the money for the registrations. So as we get out in the community and tell them that story that there is a way that can help them play sports if finance is an obstacle, then I think that the raising of the awareness just actually has grown it.”
KidSport Swift Current has spent more than $405,000 on local sports registrations for children from 1996 to 2014. They receive applications for a variety of sport, but hockey is very popular as well as swimming and soccer.
This breakfast fundraiser does not take place every year, but it is an important event for KidSport Swift Current. The group will have a variety of fundraising events throughout the year.
“There was a corporate hockey tournament in town two months ago and we volunteered at that,” she said. “They actually donated a significant amount of money to KidSport for that. ... We’re always looking for opportunities to partner with different businesses to raise some funds for KidSport.”
Congdon noted KidSport Swift Current has never turned down an application because of a lack of funding. Tim Hortons’ annual Smile Cookie fundraiser raised more than $46,750 for local children during the past seven years.
“We’re proud we can all work together,” she said. “The community, the business community and individuals have been very supportive of KidSport and we’re lucky to receive donations like we get from Tim Hortons ... That goes a long way to what we need in a year.”

Read 11172 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 April 2015 16:20
Matthew Liebenberg

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