How Canadians Can Get Involved with Local Sports Teams and Organizations

Learn how Canadians can get involved with local sports teams & organizations through grants & creative initiatives. Discover how hockey & soccer reign supreme & how other sports have their own unique heroes.

How Canadians Can Get Involved with Local Sports Teams and Organizations

Youth sports leagues in Canada have the opportunity to apply for Canadian Tire community development grants. Through these grants, organizations can receive funding to sustain themselves. To get involved, it is important to choose a team ambassador who can introduce the team or organization to the program director of a local retreat center. Together, they can come up with ways to interact with residents.

Be creative and think outside the box: organize a visit or a program of continuous visits, a pen pal system through which you share photos and stories of the team, or invite residents to attend a game. The National Hockey League (NHL) is comprised of 31 teams in Canada and the United States, although players born in Canada are still the largest demographic group in the league. Since 1893, the NHL's most coveted prize has been the Stanley Cup, a trophy awarded once a year after a long tournament throughout the league, and named after Lord Stanley (1841-190), a former governor general of Canada. Along with hockey, soccer reigns in the Canadian sports world. Just as competitive, fast and aggressive, and with playoff seasons that often fit together conveniently, the two sports have considerable overlap in terms of attractiveness. It should be noted that when Canadians talk about “soccer”, they are referring to the game inspired by rugby, sometimes known as “American football”, and not to the game based on kicks that North Americans call soccer. However, outside of the professional league, baseball remains a popular amateur sport in many parts of Canada, particularly among young Canadians who often learn it in school.

Whether it's to compete, work as a team or stay in shape, sports have long been one of Canadians' favorite pastimes, whether watching or playing. While hockey and soccer are still the country's most popular and clichés, virtually every organized sport has its share of Canadian supporters, and the country is home to a wide variety of professional teams, leagues and players waiting to be applauded or booed. The only team in the country in the NBA is the Toronto Raptors, an unsuccessful expanding team, perhaps best known for starting the career of future NBA All-Star Vince Carter (n. It's hard to find a sport that isn't played (at least somewhere in Canada), and almost everyone has their own uniquely Canadian heroes. This type of community participation is a unique and selfless way for a team to show respect and appreciation for previous members of the community. In 1980 it became an award-winning animated short film (simply called The Sweater), and an excerpt from the story once appeared on the Canadian five-dollar bill. It's also one of the few Canadian sports in which men and women routinely play together in mixed teams. The Canadians took home 14 gold medals in nine sports at the 2010 Winter Olympics more than any other country that year, including a gold medal in women's and men's hockey.

This is a fairly predictable outcome for a nation that specializes so much in winter sports and, as a result, the Winter Olympics are generally a much more patriotic and exciting time for the country as a whole. In eastern Canada, lacrosse is also very popular at the university level, and most of the region's major universities compete in their own league, the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association (CUFLA).

Supporting the sports system involves many stakeholders

, including the Government of Canada, the private sector, provincial and territorial governments, multi-sport service organizations, and national sports organizations. Once a year two teams will compete for the most important prize in Canadian football -the Grey Cup- a gift from former Governor General Earl Grey (1851-191) that has been awarded annually since 1909.