Society For Kids At Tennis
Our Impact Why We Exist
The ParticipACTION Canada "Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth" assigned our kids a grade of D minus. For the third year in a row! They indicate that only 9% of kids get the daily physical activity they require.
The reduced emphasis on physical education in schools, along with fewer trained P.E. teachers, leads many children to withdraw from physical activity and turn to more inactive choices during their leisure time. A recent study shows that kids are spending an average of 7.4 hours per day on their cell phones, computers, game consoles and televisions.
The impact on their health is substantial. It has been predicted that kids today, for the first time ever, may have a shorter life span than their parents. Childhood obesity is becoming epidemic. The resulting rise in diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease is dramatic.
The consequences for our already over-burdened healthcare system are alarming.
KATS is committed to improving this situation by addressing two important impediments to change: the financial barriers faced by many families and the developmental disabilities that limit physical activity faced by others.
Our Story What We Do
For the past three years KATS has provided lessons to children ranging in age from five to 19. The gender mix is almost exactly 50/50.
Since our first class in May 2014, we have conducted 2,618 hours of classes for 3,795 children.
We have expanded the area we serve from Central Victoria to include most of the Capital Regional District.
Participants are selected by the 36 organizations we partner with: The City of Victoria Department of Parks and Recreation, three municipal recreation centres, seven community centres, 15 low-income neighbourhood schools and 10 community social services organizations including: four Aboriginal, two newcomer and two disability groups.
Our team of eight Tennis Canada certified instructors has grown to 17 and the number of volunteer assistants from the tennis-playing community has risen to 49.
The remarkable growth of KATS in such a short period is a testament to the need for such a program. It is the only one in Western Canada and is one of just three such programs in all of Canada.
Our Programs How We Do It
KATS conducts classes 12 months per year.
Weekly classes for the City of Victoria Department of Parks & Recreation and several community centres run from April to September. These are held at public tennis courts close to the organizations involved in order to minimize travel difficulties for families.
From November to March classes are held indoors in the gym at CDI College which is centrally located across the street from Quadra Village Community Centre.
Classes for the 15 schools we work with are conducted during their scheduled physical education classes.
All classes are run by one or more Tennis Canada certified instructor with the assistance of volunteers who have received training in tennis coaching and first-aid.
Employing the Tennis Canada "progressive tennis" program, we use racquets, nets, balls and courts that are age and size appropriate. This allows children to achieve success very quickly which leads to the rapid development of confidence in their physical abilities and encourages continued participation. The program teaches children the fundamentals of physical literacy, inspiring a life-long interest and involvement in healthy physical activity.
What You Can Do
Thanks to the generosity of a number of community funders such as The Victoria Foundation we have been able to expand our program to include all of the Capital Regional District. We have not, however, reached all of the kids we would like to help.
A donation, no matter how small, will help us to purchase more equipment and fund more hours of classes at additional locations.
If you are a tennis player (and you don't have to be good), we would love to have you join one of our training sessions and then help out with the kids. You will love it!