Sport Calgary awards presentation to karate club and charity

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Sport Calgary has recognized two organizations for positively impacting the local sports community by presenting prestigious awards at the 2022 Celebration of Sport gala.

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South Calgary’s Wado Kai Karate Club received the Perry Cavanagh Award for Sports Leadership, while Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities received the Ron Southern Business and Sport Award which celebrates a company that supports sports in Stampede City.

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“We have all been challenged during the pandemic, but the commitment of the South Calgary Wado Kai Karate Club and Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities to ensuring the health and well-being of our community has not wavered and will continue to help build back stronger,” said Catriona Le May Doan, CEO of Sport Calgary. “It is the work of organizations like these that play a vital role in supporting Sport Calgary’s mission to ensure sport and play in the city is an inclusive and welcoming place for all abilities. physical and cognitive while reducing financial barriers to increase participation in an effort to once again make Calgary the healthiest and most active community in Canada.

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The Perry Cavanagh Sport Leadership Award recognizes the outstanding contribution of a sports club or organization that has made a significant positive contribution to the betterment of sport in Calgary.

Established in 1994, the South Calgary Wado Kai Karate Club has trained over 3,000 youth, teens and adults in South Calgary. Boasting 25 active black belts, who are also dedicated volunteers, the club hosts two tournaments a year and, in 2023, will host the 25th annual Spring Clinics and Tournaments, which bring together athletes and officials from across Canada.

With passionate and respectful people at the heart of the club, members are ambassadors for the Calgary community, hosting regular Stampede breakfasts, attending mall demos, the Calgary Zoo, corporate luncheons institutions and the Calgary Flames Foundation, among other events.

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It is also a club that prides itself on being a safe and inclusive place for everyone, regardless of ability or background. The inclusion of people with disabilities in the club has created a role model, movie star and international medalist in Natalie Olson, who is a club member with Down syndrome.

Olson started with the club when he was eight years old. Now 34, she is a two-time Pan American champion and four-time World Karate Championship medalist. Last year, Olson and his trainer Heather Fidyk – seventh-degree black belt, mother and grandmother – were featured in the award-winning documentary Sensei, which was filmed in Calgary. Olson became a community role model and played an important role in creating a safe and welcoming environment for other Calgarians with disabilities.

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The South Calgary Wado Kai Karate Club joins a long list of past winners, including the Calgary Booster Club; Canadian Sport Institute Calgary; KidSport Society of Calgary; Calgary High Schools Athletic Association; Calgary Women’s Hockey; Greater Calgary & Area Football Association; Calgary Special Olympics; WinSport Canada; Calgary Athletic Board; Dino Women’s Volleyball Club and YMCA.

The Ron Southern Business and Sport Award recognizes a company that provides innovative support for sport in Calgary.

Founded in 2005, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities enriches the lives of children in need through sport and physical activity while helping families remove financial and accessibility barriers to sport and recreation with the goal of providing an inclusive game for children of all abilities.

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Jumpstart has created connectivity in Calgary’s sport, physical activity and recreation ecosystem to improve and create meaningful, disability-friendly and inclusive pathways of participation, using data-driven best practices evidence-based and research-backed. Since its inception in 2020, more than 350 children and young people have participated in 16 programs designed for children and young people with disabilities. More than 75 families with disabilities have been connected to programs through personalized program navigation services, and more than 500 sport and recreation leaders have attended a series of monthly research and community engagement seminars, supporting the application of evidence-based knowledge.

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Jumpstart joins a list of past winners, including ARC Resources; Cardel Houses; Encana; Tim Hortons; Intact Insurance ING; TimberTown Building Center Ltd.; Source of tuxedo for sport; Shane Homes; Talisman Energy Inc. and Canadian Tire Corporation (Forzani Group Limited).

The awards were presented when Sport Calgary’s Celebration of Sport gala returns after a two-year hiatus during the pandemic. All proceeds from the event go to support amateur sports in the city and programs that encourage sports participation.

Sport Calgary is a voluntary non-profit society that represents over 300 organizations in Calgary as a civic partner. As an advocate for sport, the organization strives to assist, support and influence the growth of sport in Calgary.

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