Vital Signs champions sport and belonging 100 days from Olympics

(Ottawa, ON - April 27, 2016) - 100 days out from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Community Foundations of Canada and the True Sport Foundation have released an in-depth report that explores the role of sport in building belonging in our communities.

Vital Signs: Sport and Belonging looks closely at how sport – when grounded in fairness, excellence, inclusion and fun – can strengthen our sense of belonging to each other and our communities.

The report tackles the declining participation and a growing gender gap in sport across Canada. Only three in 10 Canadians participate regularly in sport activities, and women – across all ethnicities and levels of education and income – are far less likely to participate in sport than men.

The report’s research also uncovered some of the realities at play related to sport and belonging in our communities:

  • 85% of Canadians agree that participation in sport builds stronger communities
  • 75% of children and youth are active in sport, but participation declines dramatically with age
  • Men are twice as likely to participate regularly in sport than women
  • Newcomers and those from marginalized groups are often left on the sidelines

“We already know about many of the individual benefits of participation in sport, but sport is also a powerful catalyst for community health and well-being,” said Ian Bird, President of Community Foundations of Canada. “We’re using the next 100 days until the Olympics to consider the power of sport in our communities and ask how we as community foundations and sports organizations can mobilize around a game plan to make sport more inclusive, affordable and fun.”

“We know that good sport can instill character in our kids, increase opportunities for excellence and strengthen our communities,” said Karri Dawson, Executive Director of the True Sport Foundation. “But for sport to live up to its potential, it needs to be inclusive and accessible. This new report helps shine a spotlight on these important issues.”

Community Foundations of Canada is making “belonging” a major focus of its work leading up to Canada’s sesquicentennial in 2017 and beyond. On October 4th, community foundations across the country and around the world will release local Vital Signs reports, including publications in Banff, Grande Prairie, Nanaimo and Windsor-Essex that will dive deeper on the topic of sport and belonging.

About Community Foundations of Canada
Community Foundations of Canada is the national network for Canada’s 191 community foundations which help Canadians invest in building strong and resilient places to live, work, and play. Vital Signs is a national program led by community foundations and coordinated by Community Foundations of Canada that leverages local knowledge to measure the vitality of our communities and support action towards improving our collective quality of life. To learn more visit

About the True Sport Foundation
The True Sport Foundation is a national charitable organization dedicated to advancing and supporting values-based and principle-driven sport in communities throughout Canada. To learn more visit


Media Contact:

David Venn
Director of Communications
Community Foundations of Canada
Phone: (613) 236-2664 ext. 302
Twitter: @CommFdnsCanada

Megan Cumming
Manager, Corporate Communications
+1 613-521-3340 x3233