True Sport Principles in Action – the True Sport Community Give-Back Challenge

On September 17, Canadians celebrated the second annual Sports Day in Canada with over 1,300 sport events hosted from coast to coast.

Principle in Action

Give-Back Challenge finalists

On September 17, Canadians celebrated the second annual Sports Day in Canada with over 1,300 sport events hosted from coast to coast. Presented by CBC Sports, ParticipACTION and True Sport, Sports Day in Canada recognized the unifying power that sport has on people, communities and the country as a whole. In the weeks leading up to Sports Day, we saw compelling coverage of community events during CBC Sports broadcasts and on

In celebration of Sports Day in Canada, True Sport challenged its members to make a difference in their communities by taking the True Sport Community Give-Back Challenge. One hundred and twenty-two groups stepped up to the challenge and sent in inspiring and heartwarming submissions from across the country in the form of videos, photos and written stories. 

“The Give-Back Challenge is an excellent way to recognize how Canadians are using sport to give back to their communities,” said True Sport Director Karri Dawson. “The entries we received truly displayed the power of good sport. We are continually impressed with the contributions of our members.”

This year, the True Sport Community Give-Back Challenge Selection Committee included Hayley Wickenheiser, National Women’s Hockey Team; Scott Russell, CBC Sports; Kelly Murumets, ParticipACTION; and Karri Dawson, True Sport. After careful review, they narrowed down the entries to six finalists who they believed truly demonstrated how the power of sport can make a difference in their community. The selection criteria included community impact, ability to motivate others to get involved, innovation and creativity, and ability to connect and work with others to make a greater difference.

The responsibility of choosing the winners was then handed over to the public who participated in an online voting process from September 11-14. The three entries with the most votes were deemed the winners of the 2011 True Sport Community Give-Back Challenge and were announced during the Sports Day in Canada broadcast on CBC Sports on September 17.

The first place winner, with 38 per cent of the votes, was “Pump it up for Platelets” from Saint-Lambert, QC, in support of the Platelets Disorder Support Association (PDSA). The PDSA was awarded a prize of $7,500 to help them to continue to live the True Sport Principles in their community. The event was a 5-km walk/run organized to raise awareness of immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), a lesser-known autoimmune disease that attacks platelets.

"I am so honoured and excited that ‘Pump it Up for Platelets’ won the True Sport Give-Back Challenge,” said Kristin Hunt, the Saint-Lambert race organizer. “It is my goal to continue encouraging those around me to participate in sport and physical activity no matter what limitations they may experience in life, and at the same time, spread awareness of ITP in Canada."

True Sport is proud to support Kristin’s give-back initiative. Living with ITP hasn’t held her back and she has proven to be an influential person in her community and beyond. “Kristin organized one of the very first ‘Pump it Up for Platelets’ 5-km walk/runs in the US and Canada – inspiring others to do the same,” said PDSA Executive Director Caroline Kruse.  “Despite a very low platelet count, Kristin’s leadership of this annual activity brought other ITP patients and their families and friends together and showed courage in the face of adversity. The money that Kristin raised through the walk and the True Sport Community Give-Back Challenge will be used by PDSA to support and educate other ITP patients and their families.”

The second place winner of $5,000, with 18 per cent of the total votes, was Rock Solid Productions, from Oakville, ON, for their submission “Learn to Curl…On Purpose.” In partnership with the Oakville Curling Club, this learn-to-curl event collected 600 pounds of food for the local food bank.  Rock Solid Productions will use the funds to support additional “learn to curl” events throughout the Greater Toronto Area and in support of their “Learn to Curl for Variety Village” event in the Spring.

In third place, with 15 per cent of the votes and a prize of $2,500, was Courage Canada Hockey for the Blind, from Quebec City, QC, for the submission “Inline Skate for Courage Canada.” From August 13 - October 15, blind hockey player Mark Demontis has taken on the challenge of inline skating from Halifax, NS, to Toronto, ON. The goal of the campaign is to raise funds and awareness to start additional blind hockey programs across Canada with the mission of bringing the blind to the ice, one stride at a time. The True Sport Community Give-Back Challenge prize will help them to continue to support established “learn to skate” programs with blind youth and to start new programs in provinces that are not currently serviced. Courage Canada will also use the funds to support a blind hockey tournament that will run in conjunction with the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa.

This year’s True Sport Community Give-Back Challenge was a huge success. True Sport would like to thanks its members for their submissions and encourage them to start planning for next year. To view the submissions of this year’s finalists please visit