Confidence, resilience, problem solving: Some of the most important life skills we want to pass onto our children are best learned on a soccer field, hockey rink or, in Olympian Erica Wiebe’s case, in a wrestling ring. Sadly, one in three Canadian families can’t afford organized sports. To help get kids in the game, Dairyland has teamed up with KidSport, a national non-profit organization that removes the barrier of registration costs through granting opportunities.
We spoke with KidSport ambassador and Olympic gold medallist Erica Wiebe about how sport has changed her life and why she believes that every child deserves a chance to get in the game.
Why is KidSport so valuable to Canadian communities?
Wiebe: Sport is the perfect vehicle to acquire valuable life skills. I think it’s incredibly important that all children have access to sports in order to acquire those skills. KidSport bridges the gap, granting opportunities for children of all backgrounds to get involved in sport and play. I worked specifically with them to try and close the gender gap in sport and to ensure that grants are distributed equally between boys and girls.
Were you active in sports as a child?
Wiebe: Yes, very active! Recreational soccer was probably my first love but I also had lots of informal experiences like hiking, biking with friends and playing with boys.
You mention playing with boys. How has being a woman shaped your career path?
I am fortunate in that I never questioned my place in sport. As a young girl and woman, I had really strong female coaches, mentors and role models. It was never something that I saw as a challenge—other than the fact that I like the challenge of playing with boys.
How did you get into wrestling?
I saw a sign posted outside my high-school gymnasium door and convinced three of my girlfriends to join with me. Two of them left after the first day but my best friend stayed with me the entire season. We had so much fun that year and I fell for the sport.
How has sport shaped your life?
I’ve had the opportunity to see the world. It’s given me confidence, resilience and belief in myself. My experiences in sport didn’t shelter me from the challenges and hardships we all experience in life but it provided me with a tool kit for resiliency and a network of role models, friends and supporters who have helped me through it all.
To learn more about Dairyland and KidSport, visit DairyLand.ca.
For over 100 years, we’ve delivered fresh, local, high-quality dairy products that make the people of Western Canada feel right at home. We are committed to caring for our communities and championing always fresh and local dairy for our consumers. We are proud to be recognized as a Most Trusted Brand* and to be the #1 Dairy Masterbrand in Western Canada.
Dairyland and KidSport are working together to help Canadian families have happy, healthy days. Kids need to be active now more than ever. That’s why we’ve united to bring fun to the forefront. So, lace up your sneakers and score some new skills! Every product of Dairyland purchased, helps a kid play. Dairyland, Proud Partner of Kidsport.