Sport Calgary partners with MRU, Jumpstart, to bring inclusive play opportunities to children with disabilities

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The project is funded by Jumpstart, who will be providing up to $200,000 per year for the next three to five years.

Legg said the ability for children with disabilities to have access to inclusive physical activity options will have positive impacts throughout the community.

“Evidence suggests children with disabilities are not as physically active as their able-bodied peers,” he said. “I would argue it’s even more important for those individuals physical and mental health and for their families.”

Legg said the group is currently looking to hire a project manager and “knowledge translation expert” and, as COVID-19 continues to prevent the group from launching face-to-face programming, they’ll be moving online.

“We are really trying to capitalize on Jumpstart’s online platform where they’ve created a number of physical activity programs… We’re going to work with them in partnership and really try to accentuate those and further enhance and develop them.”

Marco Di Buono, Jumpstart’s VP of programs and operations, said Calgary’s program was created by building off “some of the best practise we have in other parts of the country” such as at the Abilities Centre in Whitby, Ont.

“It’s a fully integrated facility that leverages research and partnerships to create opportunities for kids with disabilities across the spectrum,” Di Buono said. “We’ve been working with partners in Calgary for many years who were interested in replicating that model but adding unique characteristics based on their capabilities in Calgary.”

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