A group of seven local organizations have banded together to form the driving force behind the official launch of “True Sport Manitoba Lives Here.” That group includes Sport Manitoba, Baseball Manitoba, the Manitoba Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Council, River East Transcona School Division, The City of Winnipeg, The University of Winnipeg, and the Canadian Sports Center-Manitoba.
This movement is aimed at replacing what has gone wrong with amateur sport, with the good by agreeing to maintain seven basic principles.
Go For It- Rise to the challenge, always strive for excellence. Discover how good you can be.
Play Fair- Play honestly. Obey both the letter and the spirit of the rules. Winning is only meaningful when competition is fair.
Respect Others- Show respect for everyone involved in creating your sporting experience both on and off the field. Win with dignity and lose with grace.
Keep It Fun- Find the joy of sport. Keep a positive attitude both on and off the field.
Stay Healthy- Place physical and mental health above all other considerations. Avoid unsafe activities. Respect your body and keep in shape.
Include Everyone- Share sport with others. Ensure everyone has a place to play.
Give Back- Find ways to show your appreciation for the community that supports your sport and helps make it possible.
Baseball Manitoba is one of the seven organizations involved with the launch and Vice President of Development and High Performance Calvin Hawley says it was a slam dunk for he and his association to get on board. “Instead of the focus on the bad things that come out, like when somebody gets bean balled,” said Hawley on Tuesday in reference to the recent incident in Texas between the Rangers and Blue Jays. How do we shine the light on the people who pour their blood, sweat and tears into creating a real positive. good sport experience for baseball.”
Hawley says Baseball Manitoba had actually begun the process of mandating change within the culture of the organization before getting involved with True Sport Lives Here Manitoba. But it became a pretty easy sell to coaches and officials when the principles they were discussing, pretty much mirrored that of True Sport. “This was a no brainer for us, it just made sense. Because the only risk to us, and anyone that endorses and signs on to the True Sport principles and becomes a True Sport Member, is acting like a jack ass on the field.”
Karri Dawson is the National Executive Director of True Sport and says across the country there are over 3500 membership groups, but Manitoba is the first province to take a provincial stand on this movement. “We did some public opinion survey way back when and it said that 90% of Canadians felt that community sport had this huge potential to do good for our kids and our communities,” said Dawson. “But less than 20% of Canadians felt that sport was living up to that potential.”
A Manitoba survey found that the three main concerns for parents with children involved in sports were concussions, violence and harassment, and poor behaviour of parents at games and events. “People are joining on and we’re seeing a difference,” says Dawson. “Kids who are involved in True Sport experiences are hopefully going to stay longer, meet new friends, have more fun.”
To date, provincial membership in True Sport Lives Here Manitoba consists of 146 and also includes 12 schools, 8 facilities, 7 communities, and 54 citizens. Membership is free and you can register by clicking here.