Established in 2013 by Dr. Sy Silverberg, a retired physician, the Society For Kids At Tennis (KATS) is a charity approved by the Canada Revenue Agency. It is located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Our mission is to improve the physical, emotional and social well-being of children whose families’ financial circumstances limit their access to healthy sport. We provide free tennis equipment and instruction to youth who would otherwise not have the means to learn and play. We do so in a manner that promotes engagement in learning and connectedness with peers and mentoring adults.
We have assembled a team of 17 tennis professionals and have trained 54 volunteers to assist the certified instructors. This allows us to maintain the Tennis Canada recommended instructor/student ratio of 1 to 4.
…a local initiative that targets youth at risk, providing young people with opportunities to learn fundamental movement skills and physical literacy… fully complements Tennis BC’s mandate …benefits to both the young kids and the community at large.
Sue Griffin, Executive Director, Tennis BC.
Benefits of Physical Activity
The benefits to these children and to the community as a whole go far beyond creating an appreciation of the value of regular physical activity.
The interest in exercise alone, provides significant benefits. With kids spending up to six hours per day on their cell phones, game consoles and computers, the incidence of childhood obesity is climbing at an alarming rate. The consequences to these children and to our over-burdened health-care system are staggering. It has been predicted that for the first time EVER, the current generation of children may have a shorter life-span than their parents.
The “2014 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on Physical Activity”, shows how Canada measures up against 14 other countries. Sadly, we rank 12 out of 14. Only 7% of our children aged 5 to 11 meet Canada’s Overall Physical Activity Guidelines. Even more startling is the fact that between the ages of 12 to 17, this figure falls to 4%.
We are committed to improving these statistics by removing one of the primary impediments to change – the financial barriers faced by many families today.
Non-physical benefits include the development of self-worth and self-esteem generated through the building of relationships with coaches and with peers. In addition, the discipline and dedication required to learn the sport will lead to the development of self-confidence and will model the learning of future life skills.
The growing tendency to “techno-play” on cell phones and computers with the social isolation that usualy accompanies it is leading to an increase in emotional distress and depression. Providing an attractive alternative is one of our primary goals.
There are many parents in the community who wish to provide opportunities for their children to participate in sports activities, but due to financial barriers, are unable to. …KATS program will give these children the opportunity.
Suzette Delmage, Community Recreation Coordinator, Burnside Gorge Community Centre.
In the past, kids learning to play were put on a court with full size racquets and regular balls.
For many the frustration they experienced with racquets too big and too heavy, nets too high, courts too big and balls too bouncy sent them off the court in tears and discouraged them from pursuing the sport. We, however, employ the proper equipment and exercises to teach the fundamentals of the game in a way that allows the rapid development of self-confidence.
Their ability to keep the ball in play, almost immediately, builds their self-confidence, particularly for the many children who are not “natural athletes”. We believe this growing confidence will extend to other areas of their lives.
The Arthur Ashe Children’s Tennis Program has been operating in the U.S. for 22 years and independent reports have proven that “children in the AACP have significantly higher school promotion rates and significantly lower absence rates than students in the general school population”.
We are delighted to report that Sy is the recipient of the 2014 Tennis BC “Excellence Award” for “Contribution to Community Tennis”. Kelly Murumets, CEO of Tennis Canada and Sarah Dunbar, President of the Board of Tennis BC presented the award at the Annual General Meeting in Vancouver.
KATS has also been selected as the 2015 Tennis Canada “Community Champion” for Victoria BC.
… all the youth enjoyed the experience and requested that KATS return … we do honor and acknowledge the absolute importance in engaging youth in sport … our partnership with KATS is invaluable to the community.
Kim-Marie Rumley, Director of Youth Services, Victoria Native Friendship Centre.
HELP KATS HELP KIDS
CRA Registration no. 836792432RR0001.