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True Sport – Changing the way Canadian parents speak to their kids about sport

(Ottawa, ON – November 29, 2016) – True Sport, a Canadian organization that promotes the intentional use of good sport to instill character in our children and to strengthen our communities, has released a new campaign that shines a light on the way parents talk with their kids about sport.

Launched today, “The Ride Home” campaign focuses on the ride home after a game – something that millions of Canadian kids and parents experience every day and many don’t think twice about. True Sport is challenging Canadian parents to think hard about “that moment.” The moment when a parent and child are alone together on the ride home after the game, everything a parent says can have a positive or negative impact on a child’s attitude towards sport.

“There is significant research that shows that kids who play sport have higher self-esteem, more confidence, do better in school, are less likely to use drugs, and the list goes on and on,” said Karri Dawson, Executive Director of the True Sport Foundation. “However, 70 per cent of kids are leaving sport before they get to high school and the number one reason is because it isn’t fun anymore. This campaign is about reminding parents to help keep sport fun.”

The online film called “The Ride Home” was created for this campaign. It offers parents and kids a first-hand look at an uncomfortable situation that some children find themselves in when their athletic performance doesn’t meet their parent’s expectations.  While many parents feel they are teaching their kids “life lessons,” in reality they are taking the joy and fun out of sport.

In addition, The Ride Home website provides practical advice for parents on how to handle the ride home (and other issues in your child’s sporting life) in a positive manner.

“One rule of thumb after a bad game or practice is to not say anything at all about the game unless your child brings it up,” said Dr. Penny Werthner, former Canadian Olympian, Sports Psychologist and Dean of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary. “The 24-hour rule, for example, lets everyone cool off a bit and allows you to discuss things when emotions aren’t so high.”

To further support the campaign, True Sport conducted interviews with parents of elite athletes who candidly shared stories of how they supported their kids through the ups and downs of sport and how others can do the same.

Parents featured include:

  • Ken and Arlene Olynyk – Parents of Kelly Olynyk, Boston Celtics Forward, and daughters Jesse and Maya Olynyk, both Canadian U Sports athletes
  • Keith Wilkinson – Parent of Rhian Wilkinson, Women’s National Soccer Team member and Olympic bronze medallist
  • Jan Scott – Parent of Beckie Scott, Canadian Olympic gold medallist cross-country skier
  • Rosemary Brydon – Parent of Emily Brydon, Canadian Olympic alpine skier
  • Nadine Galipeau & André Rivard – Parents of Aurélie Rivard, World Record Holder and three-time Paralympic gold medallist swimmer
  • Jean Calvé – Parent of Caroline Calvé, Olympic snowboarder and first Canadian female World Cup Snowboard Champion
  • Martine Valin – Parent of Karine Thomas, Olympic synchronized swimmer and PanAm Champion

About True Sport
True Sport promotes a series of programs and initiatives designed to give people, communities and organizations the means by which to leverage the many benefits of sport from a platform of shared values and principles. Through public consultation, Canadians have told us that they want their sport experience to be based on the values of fairness, excellence, inclusion and fun. You can join True Sport at


For more information, please contact:

James Lamont
Lamont Communications

Justin MacNeill
Communications Coordinator
True Sport
(613) 521-9533 x3314