Winsport in Calgary is the site today for a fun All-Stars for Kids event.
Local sports stars including members of the Calgary Stampeders, Olympic curler John Morris and Paralympic snowboarder Michelle Salt helped kids in Big Brothers Big Sisters navigate a ninja warrior style obstacle course.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area CEO Karen Orser said this type of mentoring is invaluable for the kids in the program.
“I think mentoring is really being recognized in the community as a critical intervention for kids,” Orser said. “It actually changes the trajectory of their lives.”
Stampeders receiver Reggie Begelton said the event brought back memories from his youth growing up in Houston, TX.
“I grew up in a neighbourhood where the kids were always older than me and what helped me build my confidence was the fact that I always had to compete with them,” Begelton said. “The fact the kids see us here and see we’re just as human as they are, I think it’s going to give them a little bit more confidence”
This is the fifth year Salt has been involved with this event.
“I’ve seen kids with life challenges and they’re building confidence and resiliency so it really is great,” Salt said. “I believe that we all have a role and that role is to support and encourage our youth and the kids within our community, and these kinds of events do exactly that.”
Rhiley Stapledon-Young, 14, and 16-year-old Ceira Stephenson are in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and said they really enjoyed Thursday’s event.
“I had a lot of fun, I didn’t expect to have this much fun for the life of me,” Stapledon-Young said. “It’s actually a lot more fun than I expected it to be.”
Stephenson agreed and said the most fun part was playing a trust game over obstacles.
“The most fun was probably being blindfolded and her trying to guide me through it,” Stephenson said.
This event is part of a month-long fundraising drive for Big Brothers Big Sisters. For more information, go to allstarsforkids.ca.