Bullying is a societal problem that is impacting individuals in all areas of school, work, sport, and home life. In the sporting world, there is a fine line between competitive play and bullying. Whether it’s from parents, players or coaches, disrespectful behaviour has become a growing concern in our gyms, swimming pools, rinks and on our playing fields.
In North America, 7 out of 10 youth quit organized sport by age 13. The number one reason for this mass exodus, according to youth, is the continuous yelling and criticism they must endure from their coaches and parents. The ‘fun’ in sport has been replaced by a ‘win at all cost’ attitude. Sadly, the cost of this attitude is an increase in dropout rates, an increase in childhood obesity, and an increase in youth mental illness. The correlation between a child’s participation in sports and a child’s overall well-being, whether it be at a recreational level or competitive level, is undeniable. We need to bring the fun back into organized sports, and the first step is to eliminate the stressors that are causing kids and families to drop out in the first place.
"I am very proud that myself and Sport Calgary are very supportive of Dare to Care and its programs. We understand the importance of mental health and confidence, and we know that sports can play a huge role in helping to strengthen that side. Dare to Care helps integrate the students, athletes, and the entire community so that our youth will be healthy in body, mind, and spirit."
-Catriona Le May Doan, 2 Time Olympian, Double Gold Medalist