B.C. athlete and Canadian Olympian Evan Dunfee is using his success as a bronze medal race walker to raise awareness of KidSport BC so every child can enjoy and reap the benefits of sport.
“I am uniquely situated to speak about the power of sport as someone who has reached the highest level sport offers, the Olympic podium,” Dunfee said. “As a child, I was lucky to have the opportunity to play sports because my parents had the financial means. It is important to understand that many kids don’t have that same luck, but that shouldn’t stop them. KidSport BC helps break down the financial barrier to sport.”
As a KidSport BC Ambassador, Dunfee participates at KidSport BC events to promote the value of sport and help raise funds for KidSport BC. Since 2016, he has spoken with many people, including more than 10,000 school kids, about his sport journey, the importance of kids’ participation in sport and how it has shaped his life.
“What is awesome about the Ambassador program is it isn’t limited to elite athletes. It is a collection of people who are all passionate about the role sport has played in their lives,” Dunfee said. “There are so many skills and lessons I’ve learned and developed through sport. All kids should have this opportunity to gain these skills and learn these lessons.”
In 2018, Dunfee upped his fundraising game in celebration of KidSport BC’s 25th anniversary. He took on the challenge to walk 25 kilometres a day for 25 days. Along the way, Dunfee spoke at more than 25 schools that helped raise more than $26,000. In 2020, despite the challenges of the pandemic, Dunfee raised $8,000.
“It is so important to me to use my voice to help KidSport BC as much as I can,” Dunfee said. “For me, it brings the purpose of my training and competing to a whole new level. I’m motivated by reasons that go beyond myself. I’m driven by the example I can be for others. This makes the successes so much more meaningful and the hard times that much easier to weather.”
This year, KidSport BC Week is Sept. 13-18. Established in 1993 by Sport BC, the KidSport BC program is a not-for-profit organization that provides financial assistance for registration fees to kids 18 and younger whose families cannot afford the cost.
"The biggest takeaway from being involved in KidSport BC is hearing from kids about what they love about sport,” Dunfee said. “Apart from the crucially important funds we help raise for KidSport BC, I’ve heard from thousands of kids about their experiences, and from parents, teachers and coaches who have told me what KidSport BC has meant to the children in their lives.”
The work of KidSport BC is focused on increasing participation by children who are often under-represented in sport, including children from lower-income families, Indigenous children, children and youth with disabilities, girls and newcomers to Canada.
As an Olympic and World medallist, who set the Canadian record in the 50-kilometre race walk at the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games and who won the bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games, Dunfee recognizes he is a role model to many kids and adults. Through his volunteer work for KidSport BC, Dunfee is using his influence and the skills he acquired through sport to give back to his community.
- In spring 2019, government invested $2.5 million in Sport BC to expand access to amateur and recreational sport programs for children through its member organizations and KidSport program.
- In 2019-20, KidSport chapters distributed more than $3.25 million to help 10,755 kids in 150 communities throughout B.C.
For more information, visit: https://kidsportcanada.ca/british-columbia/