Regina’s Ehrlo Sport Venture program looking for volunteers

WATCH: A Regina program aimed at reducing barriers between families and kids participating in sport, is putting out a call for volunteers. Katelyn Wilson explains.

Sports can be a great way to increase physical and mental well-being in kids, and for one organization, that means putting a call out for help in order to continue providing youth with those opportunities.

The Ehrlo Sport Venture program aims to reduce barriers between families and participation in sport, offering five free sports programs throughout the year.

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“There are so many things we learn through sport, fun first and foremost,” said Amanda McConnell, program manager with Ehrlo Sport Venture.

“It’s a great way to meet their peers, to learn all types of skills outside the sport — turn-taking, building self-esteem.”

But over the years, McConnell says while the number of kids wanting to participate is increasing, it’s becoming harder to find volunteers.

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“Over the summer we did have to cancel a program due to lack of volunteers, which is quite devastating,” McConnell said.

“People’s lives are busy. They’re being pulled in several directions, so it’s just become harder to find those good volunteers to come out and lend a couple of hours a week.”

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Tracie Leost is a fourth-year volunteer who coaches hockey and football. She says when she moved to Regina for university, she was looking for a place to connect with the community when she happened upon the program.

“There’s not a day where you don’t come and have excessive amounts of fun,” Leost said. “It’s literally the highlight of my week a long with the other coaches.”

“It’s kind of the thing that really makes your heart feel good at the end of the day, I would really encourage [people to volunteer]. It’s not something you’d ever regret.”

Right now, the program is looking for volunteers to coach its upcoming hockey season, saying all levels of experience are welcome.

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“We have volunteers from every background, we have some that have volunteered with us that have tonnes of sport knowledge, some who are just learning and some who don’t but want to fill in other roles. So we are open to a little bit of everyone,” McConnell said.

“As much as we are teaching sport, we’re also teaching a lot of other things at the same time.”

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