There’s something magical about global sporting events like the World Cup. For the athletes, the magic is in realizing a dream and revelling in the spotlight on the world stage. For the rest of us, it’s all about the energy, excitement and camaraderie that comes with cheering on our favourite teams.
Global sporting events not only work to bond fans and teams together, but also fuel the kind of passion and determination that inspires people to get involved in sports.
And soccer, in particular, has captivated people and cultures around the world because at its essence, all you need is a ball, a field and a few players to get in on the game.
Kids the world over grow up playing soccer, and in Canada, according to Statistics Canada, “soccer has become the most common sport for both boys and girls, with nearly 20% of young people playing the game.”
Why Sports Are Charitable
But taking it from the neighbourhood field to the regional, national or international level requires a lot more investment than just a ball and the desire to play. Financial considerations often dictate who gets to participate in organized sports, with higher income households dominating the pitch.
While federal sports funding initiatives in Canada have increased our podium time at world events, the money doesn’t always reach the communities that need it the most. And, of course, it’s not just podium time that matters; access to organized sports affects children’s health, confidence and personal growth. That’s why sports charities have been working to fill the gap with creative initiatives to raise the funds needed to support athletics.
So as you cheer on your favourite World Cup teams and find yourself inspired by the energy, determination and skill of those top-notch athletes, consider channelling some of your spirit into support for the charities that play a role in nurturing future players. And who knows, maybe someday we’ll all be cheering for a Canadian team at the World Cup. Olé, Olé, Olé!
Five Simple Ways to Support Sports Charities
1. Make a Donation to a Soccer-related Charity
With more than a thousand sports charities operating in Canada, there’s no shortage of recipients seeking charitable donations. But if you’re looking for a soccer-specific initiative, take a look at Freekicks, a charity that collects funds and soccer equipment to take to disadvantaged communities around the world. With the aim of connecting people through soccer, Freekicks is working with an inner-city school in its hometown Vancouver, as well as with a community school on the western side of Uganda. Its founder’s dream is to see soccer unite war-torn regions.
2. Dedicate Your World Cup Party to Charity
Getting your friends together for a World Cup viewing party? Why not encourage each attendee to put $5, $10 or any amount they choose into a Giving Group. Or, have a little fun with it and make it a game — maybe supporters of the losing team donate, or alternatively, money is donated every time the opposing team scores. This way, even if your favourite team loses, it’s still a win for the sports charity (or multiple charities) selected by the group or by the host.
3. Allocate Part of Your Soccer Pool to Charity
Are you organizing or taking part in a World Cup soccer pool? Why not add a charitable dimension to it? Rather than using winner-takes-all rules, you could split the pot instead: winner takes 50% and the rest goes to a sports charity of your choice. Or, let the winner choose the charity that will benefit.
4. Hold a Fundraising Soccer Match
Does watching World Cup soccer make you want to get outside and kick a ball around? Why not organize a neighbourhood soccer match with proceeds going to charity? Invite your community to play or attend for a small donation, or encourage players to secure pledges based on goals, passes or specific plays. At the end of the day, you can turn a fun community event into a huge boost for the charity of your choice.
5. Get Involved in Play Better
Are you a kids’ soccer coach or player? Then consider taking part in Play Better, a kids’ soccer program that fuses charitable rewards with the goal of playing better soccer. Players receive charitable dollars for achieving developmental milestones like passing the ball to their teammates. The result is better players who understand positive impact beyond the scoreboard: an innovative way to support charity and sports development all in one.
Ready to make a donation to a sports charity? Set up your Chimp account now and get started!