Bolland named KidSport ambassador

ERIC BENDER -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

Growing up in Mimico, David Bolland did not miss out on hockey because of lack of equipment.

The London Knights' leading scorer admits he did scrounge better equipment from a cousin and improved his stock at used equipment sports stores.

"I was always looking for better equipment."

Yesterday, Bolland was announced as ambassador from the London Knights to the KidSport program that helps needy children (ages six to 18) continue in the sports of their choice.

Bolland took over from goalie Gerald Coleman, who moved this year to the American Hockey League. Bolland said he readily agreed to the job when asked.

"There's a great need," said Cheryl Finn, executive director of the London Sports Council, which administers KidSport through a committee.

KidSport is a national program with provincial arms under which local organizations are run. The London KidSport program was the sixth in Ontario and 105th in Canada when it was established two years ago.

Finn said the Knights have been "great" contributors the last two years, particularly with a used equipment collection.

As an ambassador, Bolland will work with Finn on fundraising ventures. KidSport gathers new and used equipment and supplies registration assistance for families unable to foot the cost of sports. KidSport also offers support for travel and tournament costs.

While hockey, with expensive gear, is a main focus, KidSport aids figure skaters, ringette players, soccer and basketball athletes.

And Finn said KidSport also is finding a funding need for students because of the fees charged just to participate in school sports.

"We see sport as another method of keeping kids out of trouble and focused," she said.

Finn didn't have a specific number of individuals helped to date but said it's "in the hundreds." The George Bray Special Hockey Association for hockey players with a disability and the Greater London Minor Hockey Association are a couple of the main organizations which are aware of KidSport and are beneficiaries.

"Locally, we know the families (in need)," Finn said.


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