KidSport Launches 9th Annual Give the Gift of Sport Campaign

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Nov. 24, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — KidSport™ has launched their ninth annual Give the Gift of Sport™ fundraising campaign, calling on Canadians to donate online at KidSport.ca/GiftofSport. Over 30 percent of Canadian youth under the age of 18 cannot afford to play organized sport. With the support of the Government of Canada, corporate partners, and the generosity of donors across the country, KidSport’s annual campaign—running until January 4, 2021—aims to get more kids off the sidelines, into the game, and experience the gift of sport.

“Organized sport provides our children with so many benefits. We know it can help them be healthier, but it can also help them with things like their education and social development,” says Jamie Ferguson, Chair of KidSport. “In essence, sport can provide our children with a head start on life. At KidSport we believe every child deserves that chance. Please give to our Give the Gift of Sport campaign and help make more head starts happen.”

The power of sport is in how it shapes us in those special moments – in the memories cherished today and stories told tomorrow. It nurtures our growth and strengthens our communities. “Sport has been the driving factor in shaping who I am, it has taught me all sorts of life skills and gave me the confidence to set goals and dream big when I was a kid,” adds Canadian race walker and Olympian Evan Dunfee. “KidSport believes that every child should have that same opportunity and help remove the financial barriers to make that happen.”

Since its creation in 1993, KidSport has disbursed over $84M and helped over 930,000 kids from coast to coast to coast receive grants and sport introduction programming. Bryan Ezako, KidSport Canada National Manager says that now more than ever, kids need sport! “Not only for the thrill of the game, but to help strengthen their mental and emotional health.” Families are facing financial strains like never before, “so we need to work together to ensure all kids get to experience the joys of being part of a team,” Ezako adds.

This year, by giving the gift of sport that you received as a kid, you can help create lasting memories and fill the gap for other kids who want to play. Help bring the power of sport Full Circle and Give the Gift of Sport at KidSport.ca/GiftofSport where personal, corporate or tribute donations can be directed to any of KidSport’s 166 community chapters.

About KidSport:
KidSport is a national not-for-profit organization that helps remove financial barriers that prevent kids from playing sport by providing assistance for registration fees and sport equipment to children aged 18 and under. Through a confidential application process grants are given so they can play a season of sport. Learn more about KidSport and join the holiday conversation on Twitter @KidSport and #GiftofSport, Facebook.com/KidSportCanada, Instagram.com/kidsport.canada or online at KidSport.ca/GiftofSport.

For more information:
Bryan Ezako
Manager, KidSport
[email protected]
204.925.5914


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Bears Picked 9th in Pac-12 by Media, 10th by Coaches

Cal was picked to finish ninth in the preseason Pac-12 women’s basketball media poll and tabbed for 10th in the coaches conference poll.

The Golden Bears finished last in the Pac-12 last season in Charmin Smith’s first season as Cal’s head coach, but the addition of a freshman recruiting class ranked as the seventh-best in the country gives the Bears a chance to move up this year.

The Bears have only one returning starter — sophomore point guard Leilani McIntosh — but all six newcomers are expected to get significant playing time.

Stanford, which is ranked No. 2 in the preseason AP national poll, is the overwhelming choice to win the confefence title according to both the coaches and media polls.

Arizona is picked to finish second in the media poll and is tied with defending champion Oregon for the No. 2 spot in the coaches poll.

Four Pac-12 teams are ranked in the preseason top-10: Stanford, Arizona, UCLA and Oregon.

Pac-12 programs’ combined to add 18 of the country’s top 100 incoming freshmen according to ESPN’s HoopGurlz recruiting rankings, including a national-best eight McDonald’s All-Americans – Oregon’s Angela Dugalic, Te-Hina Paopao, Sydney Parrish, Maddie Scherr and Kylee Watson, California’s Dalaylah Daniels, Oregon State’s Sasha Goforth, and Stanford’s Cameron Brink.

Pac-12 Media poll (with first-place votes in parentheses followed by total voting points)

1. Stanford (19) 248

2. Arizona (1) 225

3. Oregon 201

4. UCLA 200

5. Oregon State (1) 174

6. Arizona State 135

7. USC 130

8. Utah 94

9. Cal 76

10. Colorado 75

11. Washington 53

12. Washington State 27

.

Pac-12 coaches poll (first-place votes in parentheses followed by total voting points)

1. Stanford (10) 120

2. Arizona (2) 103

2. Oregon 103

4. UCLA 88

5. Oregon State 83

6. USC 69

7.  Arizona State 61

8. Utah 52

9. Colorado 43

10. Cal 31

11. Washington 34

12. Washington State 15

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UMaine men picked 9th, women 7th

Without Jeremy Swayman, chosen the nation’s best goalie last season, the University of Maine men’s hockey team will return to the bottom tier of Hockey East this season.

That’s the evaluation of the league’s coaches in their preseason poll released on Friday. The Black Bears were picked to finish ninth in the 11-team league after placing fourth last season.

It was UMaine’s best finish since it wound up fourth during 2011-2012, the last season UMaine reached the Hockey East semifinals and the NCAA Tournament.

However, the playoffs were canceled because of COVID-19.

The UMaine women’s team was chosen to finish seventh among 10 teams in Hockey East.

That is where the Black Bears finished last season, but they upset second seed Boston University in the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Northeastern in the semis.

If the UMaine men wind up ninth, they would miss the playoffs under the eight-team format.

Defending Hockey East regular-season champion Boston College, with 12 National Hockey League draft choices on its roster, was picked to repeat as the winner.

Boston College earned 95 points and eight of the 11 first-place votes and Massachusetts (87 points, 2 first-place votes) was picked to match last year’s second-place finish. They were followed by Providence (77), UMass Lowell (71, 1), Northeastern (68), Boston University (55), Connecticut (48), New Hampshire (44), UMaine (27), Merrimack (23) and Vermont (10).

Swayman won the Mike Richter Award given to the nation’s top goalie after he posted a 2.07 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage in 34 games.

The Hockey East Player of the Year and All-American decided to pass up his senior year and sign with the Boston Bruins, who drafted him in the fourth round in 2017.

That leaves the Black Bears (18-11-5, 12-9-3 in Hockey East last winter) with an inexperienced netminder this season.

Vancouver draft pick Matthew Thiessen appeared in one game as a freshman and will be battling freshmen Victor Ostman and Connor Androlewicz for the starting job.

The entire defense corps is back after limiting opponents to 2.21 goals per game, 10th best among 60 Division I teams.

Seniors J.D. Greenway, Cam Spicer and Veli-Matti Tiuaniemi, juniors Jakub Sirota and Simon Butala and sophomores Adrien Bisson and Levi Kleiboer all played in at least 29 of 34 games last winter.

The defense will be bolstered by highly touted freshman Kabore Dunn from British Columbia.

Scoring will be another question mark as leading scorer and All-HE second teamer Mitch Fossier (10 goals, 32 assists) graduated and No. 2 point-producer Tim Doherty (14 & 23) transferred to Penn State. Patrick Shea and Ryan Smith, who tied for sixth in scoring with 10 points each, also graduated.

Senior Eduards Tralmaks (14 & 16) and juniors Adam Dawe (9 & 11) and Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup (9 & 9) are the top returning scorers. UMaine looks for more production from A.J. Drobot and Ben Poission, who had solid freshman campaigns.

In the women’s poll, Northeastern was selected to make it three consecutive

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