Championing Good Sport

The great thing about the Champions program is that anyone can join. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, an all-star athlete or someone who’s never laced up a pair of cleats.

Championing Good SportAs we enter 2012, True Sport is proud to have surpassed 2,500 members who represent millions of Canadians from coast to coast. With the New Year still fresh, we realize that some resolutions can be difficult to keep, but why not consider giving back to your community by resolving to become a True Sport Champion?

The great thing about the Champions program is that anyone can join. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, an all-star athlete or someone who’s never laced up a pair of cleats. As long as you have a desire to make a difference in your community— you are qualified.

“Because True Sport is a social movement, its heart really lies with its members,” said Christina Parsons, True Sport Project Manager. “By joining, members are making a commitment to uphold the principles of values-based sport. The Champions program is for people who want to take it to the next level and contribute to the growth of the movement. Join, live, and grow are the three steps to engagement and the Champions program is one of the key ways members can really get involved.”

Champions are free to decide the best way to share the True Sport message in their community – after all, who knows their community better? No idea is too big or too small. The most important quality of a Champion is simply having a passion for improving the lives of the people around them. An elite athlete might include True Sport messaging in a speaking engagement at a school. A parent might make a presentation to their child’s school or school board, write a letter to their city council or encourage all the soccer teams in their community to join the True Sport Movement. A coach might bring True Sport to life in his/her team and sport organization using various True Sport resources. It’s up to you!

“The beauty of the program is that everybody has a different way that they go about it,” said Parsons. “What they decide to do is really up to them and our role is to support them. It’s really more a matter of where the passion of the champion lies; they do what they know.”

As the True Sport Movement has evolved, we’ve learned that the most prominent change and the most exciting things happen when it’s actually the individuals in their own communities who take the lead in promoting values-based sport. People who really care about where they live have become some of the strongest advocates for True Sport.  

“I believe in True Sport because I’ve seen first-hand what it can do for the development and growth for not only young people but people in general, young or old,” said True Sport Champion Evan Chamakese, Pelican Lake First Nation, Saskatchewan.  “In my community, sport brings people together and helps create a sense of belonging.”  

Sport has the power to make a positive impact in your community. The greatest benefits can be seen when it is fair, inclusive, fun and supports the pursuit of personal excellence. The values, principles and lessons that a child learns on the court, field or rink will help to shape them into the adults they will become.

“I personally live the True Sport values everyday and wish to spend my life helping youth develop into well-rounded adults,” said Tim St. Pierre of the Edmonton Eskimos. “I believe in the power of chasing your dreams and living a very balanced lifestyle that incorporates physical activity and social interaction. I enjoy spreading the value of sport largely because of how it has positively affected my life. I owe a great deal to the community leaders who have been involved in my life and want to continue spreading these lessons to others.”

True Sport would like to thank all of its Champions for the work they do. A series of regional workshops will be held in the coming months to reconnect existing Champions and to provide training for new ones. These workshops will be a great opportunity for Champions to come together to share their stories, discuss strategies they have used for community engagement, and brainstorm plans for the future. Workshop dates and locations will be available soon.

To learn more about how you can become a True Sport Champion or for more information about the program, please visit truesportpur.ca/be-champion.