National Sports Day: Just do … something

Saturday, Nov. 30 is National Sports Day, and there will be plenty to do in Sooke. Begin by checking out SEAPARC.

Saturday Nov. 30 is National Sports Day. If you want the real, sponsor-ladened mouthful, it’s officially known as “RBC Sports Day in Canada, presented by ParticipACTION, CBC and True Sport.”

But really, bottom line here is that it is a day to get out and do some kind of sports thing. And if you’re more of a go-getter, it’s a day to get out and organize some kind of sports thing.

SEAPARC is making it somewhat easy to participate in a sports activity as they will be hosting a couple of low-cost events to coincide with national efforts.

First, there is the awareness component. As is advertised in the SEAPARC’s Fall Activity Guide, interested parties can “Enter our colouring contest and draw a jersey with what it means to be Canadian. Entries will be displayed in the centre. Pick up colouring sheet at the front desk. You could win a free set of swim lessons!” One assumes these interested parties are particularly interested in colouring. It is the parents’ of said interested parties who could advocate this activity.

The week leading up to the National Sports Day, starting on November 23, is officially known as Community Engagement week. During this week, SEAPARC is participating in National Jersey Day.

“On Nov. 29 we will also be supporting National Jersey Day where everyone is encouraged to wear their favourite jersey,” details SEAPARC’s aquatic programmer Elizabeth Olson. “If you wear your jersey you can play youth hockey, or parent and child hockey, for $2 dollars.”

But wait, there’s more.

On November 30, SEAPARC will be hosting events that includes a $2 swim that runs from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. on November 30. Showcased at this swim will be a number of aquatic sports for families to come and try out.

“We will have water polo  and under water hockey set up,” said Elizabeth Olsen..

SEAPARC received a $300 grant from the organizers of National Sports Day.

“The grant money received will go toward purchasing equipment in particular some water polo nets,” said Olsen.

But it’s not just organizations that can do something for this day. If you want to organize an event, like a basketball game, a backyard game of baseball, or neighbourhood game of tag, you can officially register that event at sportsday.cbc.ca — and have a chance of winning some prizes. And if you do opt to do this and want to open your event up to the community, get the recognition you deserve by registering your event with sportsday.cbc.ca.

Or, just go online to sportsday.cbc.ca and find other local events. Consider Sooke Minor Hockey, as an example, who are (so far) the only ones registered with an event. On Sunday, November 24, they are hosting a Lace-em-up Day where all participants will borrow gear from other active players and will get instruction on skating, and basic hockey skills. They will have pucks and nets on the ice and the coaches will be helping with instruction and drills, based on ability.

A component of this will be a “BC Try-it Day — Female Hockey,” where curious players can bring or borrow equipment and give it a try. All females between the ages of five and 18 are invited to try, at no cost. The ice-time is from 12:30 to 1:50 p.m., followed by an after-ice party from 2 – 3 p.m.

Mostly, though, Sports Day is about getting active and tapping into all the benefits a community has to offer. As their promotional material outlines, “It’s an opportunity for all Canadians to celebrate the power of sport to build community, fortify our national spirit and facilitate healthy, active living.” Based on the registration form, an event can be something like a league game, a school or workplace activity, an athletic open house, or a try-it-out day (like what Sooke Minor Hockey League’s event).

Sports can include anything from ping pong and frisbee to water polo and gymnastics. It can be open to the public, but does not need to be.

So if you have any events planned, such as community-wide festivals, try-it days, open houses, games, competitions, meet-and-greets, tournaments, fun runs, spectator events and pep rallies, put Sooke on the map by registering it sportsday.cbc.ca.