Staff at the Nelson and District Credit Union are seen during Jersey Day 2014.

Jersey Day benefits KidSport Nelson

KidSport Nelson is encouraging businesses to wear favourite sports jerseys and donate on Friday.

KidSport Nelson is encouraging businesses and employees to wear team jerseys this Friday. Nov. 20 is National Jersey Day,which celebrates the power of sport to build community and get Canadians moving.

“The campaign isn’t just to raise funds but also the awareness of KidSport programs to assist children to get active in team sports,” said Jennifer Lehmann, a Kidsport Nelson volunteer. “It’s a fun day just to show your love of sport by wearing a jerseyof the team you play on or one you cheer for.”

KidSport’s mandate is that all kids should be able to play sports, regardless of financial circumstances. KidSport helps out through a sports funding program.

KidSport Nelson has increased its annual grants over the years from $200 to the current $275 per athlete. Athletes can apply more than once in a calendar year. That means if they play soccer for $125, the remainder can be put toward another sport within that same year.

“We want to make sure people know these programs are available,” said Lehmann, pointing to the Nelson Regional SportsCouncil’s website at nelsonsports.ca as a resource for local parents to visit.

From 2007 to the end of 2014, over $117,000 has been allocated by KidSport Nelson on behalf of 800 local athletes ages six to 18.

In 2014 KidSport Nelson granted over $25,000 to aid 153 athletes.

Lehmann, who got involved through a friend, said the Jersey Day fundraiser seems to get a little more popular every year.They would like to match or surpass last year’s event, which raised $1,814.

Lehmann said volunteering for Kidsport is “very rewarding.”

“Whether it’s financial or other social barriers, it’s very nice to see kids get connected with sports,” she said, adding the community is supportive financially.

“We’re very lucky to have Columbia Basin Trust and private donors,” she said.

Donations can be dropped off at Vince DeVito Shoes, 411 Hall St. or contact Lehmann at jennifer@vincedevito.com or 250-352-1384.