These values directly correlate with the mission of Jays Care,the charitable arm of the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club, which is committed to creating opportunities for children and youth through programs that help kids get active, engage in the sport of baseball, excel academically and lead healthy lives. Jays Care has made a significant commitment to breaking barriers to sport and education in communities across Canada with more than $8.3 M invested to date.
"Jays Care is a terrific National partner for KidSport.," says Bryan Ezako, National Manager, KidSport Canada. "The [Blue Jays Baseball Academy] Rookie League program aims to grow participation in baseball, and KidSport helps provide the awareness and support to families so that, as participants are engaged in Rookie League, they're able to not only learn about the sport of baseball, they are provided with the opportunities and resources to continue on in the sport."
Jays Care and KidSport have worked together in Ontario to introduce sport options to children and youth through the KidSport SportZones. This week, the two organizations announced a National which includes a $100,000 grant provided by Jays Care, to subsidize baseball registration fees for children who wish to access baseball programming in all 170 KidSport Canada chapters.
The new partnership will focus on three aspects: participation, longevity, and legacy. By removing barriers and getting children out on the baseball diamond, Jays Care and KidSport aim provide more opportunities in baseball for children and youth across the country, while growing the national love and passion for the game.
"The Toronto Blue Jays are excited to grow the partnership with KidSport Canada," says Danielle Bedasse, Executive Director, Jays Care Foundation. " Jays Care programs like Rookie League are far-reaching and have had a great impact in getting kids physically active, connected in their communities, and introduced to the game of baseball. Now we want to make sure that kids interested in continuing to play can access teams and leagues in their own communities and have the opportunity to grow in the game. . By partnering with KidSport Canada, we are able to provide access to organized baseball for children and youth who could not otherwise afford to participate and immediately broaden the reach of Jays Care programs and outreach initiatives , connectingwith more kids and communities across Canada."
To celebrate this announcement, Jays Care hosted representatives from KidSport - including KidSport leadership and beneficiaries - in the Jays Care Community Clubhouse to watch the Blue Jays take on the Baltimore Orioles.
"KidSport is thrilled to partner with the Toronto Blue Jays through Jays Care as both organizations share the same goal: to give all Canadian kids the opportunity to experience the positive benefits of sport," said Ferguson, Chair of KidSport. "We look forward to working with their entire team to ensure more kids get off the sidelines and onto the baseball field. Our work together is just beginning and we are looking forward to making a major league difference together, so all kids can play."
To find out how you can get in the game, visit; www.bluejays.com/kidsport for more information.