Jumpstart State of Sport Report

June 2nd, 2021 Research

Highlights: Jumpstart State of Sport Report


In March 2021, Jumpstart released the Jumpstart State of Sport Report, highlighting important findings from research conducted in partnership with Ipsos that focused on the impacts of COVID-19 on Canadian youth sport and recreation (Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, 2021). 


Two surveys were conducted to explore these impacts: the first among parents of children ages 4-17, to understand the mental and physical impact of loss of access to sport and play on children and youth; and the second among sport organizations, to explore the pandemic’s impact on programming and ability to continue operating (Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, 2021). 


Three key takeaways from this research include:


  • Canadian recreational sport infrastructure is suffering: The financial impacts of the pandemic have severely impacted sport organizations, with one-third bankrupt or facing bankruptcy, and 3 in 10 organizations closing temporarily or indefinitely (Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, 2021).


  • Impacts on Canadian youth are severe: Youth, particularly those whose recreational and sport activities have been impacted, are facing significant mental and physical health impacts. 64% of parents report that their children are finding it hard to reduce stress and anxiety, and 69% say that their kids are showing signs of being less physically fit (Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, 2021).


  • Returning to ‘normal’ will be a long-term challenge in sport: More than 75% of all sport organizations believe it will take longer than 6 months for the recreational sport-sector to return to a version of ‘normal’ (Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, 2021).


Importantly, along with these key takeaways, 87% of parents say that their kids are very much looking forward to returning to sports and recreational activities (Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, 2021). To support this return to play, Jumpstart has established the Sport Relief Fund, designed to balance recovery and renewal while focusing on dismantling the systemic barriers preventing sport participation for Canadian children and youth of all backgrounds and abilities (Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, 2021). In 2020, this fund supported nearly 700 organizations and benefitted over 70,000 Canadian youth, and stands to benefit many more following a $12 million investment from the Canadian Tire Corporation in February 2021. You can learn more about the Jumpstart Sport Relief Fund and the State of Sport Report here


Reference: Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, Jumpstart State of Sport Report, (March 2021).