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Spirit of the Game now ready to help local kids participate in sports
The Spirit of the Game Society has exceeded fundraising expectations and is now ready to help local children get involved in minor sports.
That’s the word from Mike Campol, board chair for the local non-profit foundation established last summer to remove financial barriers to underprivileged children participating in organized sports.
Campol said the society has helped four local children so far, but it wants to put the word out so that other children can also be helped.
“People can spread the word if they know people who could use our help,” said Campol, adding information and applications are available through the Spirit of the Game Society’s website at www.sotgsociety.com.
Information about specific children needing help is handled confidentially, Campol added.
“We don’t ever speak beyond the board about the specific children that we’re helping,” said Campol. “Pride should not be a factor in deciding whether to reach out to us. It’s confidential and the benefit for the kids far outweighs the pride of the parents. We don’t want kids not having the opportunity because of the parents’ pride, which is understandable.”
Although its original mandate was to help underprivileged children get involved in organized sports by helping with equipment costs and registration fees, Campol said the society will also help children take part in school outings. Spirit of the Game is working with the schools to identify children needing help.
“I think it is very important when you have recreational outings as a class or group of classes going to do something that’s team building, fitness related and gets you out of the school,” said Campol. “I don’t think that there’s any child that shouldn’t have that opportunity and the school recognizes that. We want to make sure that no child is left out of these outings.”
Campol didn’t want to put a dollar figure on the money raised so far, noting funds should jump considerably with a fundraiser scheduled late in May.
“It will be another celebrity situation coming into Osoyoos,” he said as a teaser, adding details will be announced shortly.
Previous fundraising initiatives by the group have included the Festival of Trees, a golf tournament, a photo signing with car racing star Jacques Villeneuve and former NHL hockey player Gino Odjick, among other events.
Spirit of the Game Society currently is equally active in Osoyoos and Oliver, Campol said.
He doesn’t exclude eventually expanding to other nearby communities such as Keremeos and Okanagan Falls if resources someday permit, but that’s not the immediate plan.
“The goal was to keep it as local as we could and see what kind of impact we could have first,” said Campol. “The community support has been overwhelming.”