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Elite Amateur Sports fundamentally contribute to the physical and cultural well being of Canada. Sports also contribute to the regional and national integration of communities into the societal fabric of the country, and also to the viability of cities and towns economically, in all regions of Canada. Amateur sport helps in defining the Canadian identity, and also acts as a bridge between ethnic, economic, social and regional solitudes. It also plays a major role in the well being and health of Canadians who participate in it. Elite amateur athletes act as essential role models for the Canadian youth as well as people of all ages participating in sports. While amateur sports do not present major status of the league on their respective communities, they usually instill pride and unity within the communities. The idea to partake in a variety of recreational activities and sports enhances the quality of life, even for those who choose not to adopt the option. Adolescents are kept within reach of adult supervision and off the streets with the existence of such organized sporting activities. This act produces positive externality and fosters potential qualities like teamwork, leadership, and sportsmanship.
The development of athletes for competitions which are international, such as the Olympics, is solely the responsibility of the federal government, which has the mandate to fund the national-level organizations overseeing specific sports. To the contrary, provincial governments play a greater role in giving a chance for non-elite athletes. Every recreational and sporting activity is usually represented by a PSO (Provincial Sports Organization) at the provincial level or a PRA (Provincial Recreation Association). These amateur clubs and their associations receive funding from participation in games (Johnson, et al 2006).
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The use of revenues from gaming to support and maintain recreation programs and amateur sport is a common phenomenon in Canada. Canadian law of gambling, with its roots in the 19th century statutory law, does not consider gambling to be illegal and similarly, it does not prohibit private bets among people or between individuals. As a result, gambling is widely accepted in Canada than in other countries. Prominent charities operate casinos which in return use their profits to sponsor amateur sports. Thus, the use of revenues from gaming has become an essential evil for recreational organizations and sporting groups. Gaming revenues are a major source of support for many non-profiting groups and charitable organizations, and the continued presence of such groups is usually considered as being vital to the sustainability and social cohesion of these communities. Provincial governments, therefore, have a great pressure in maintaining and augmenting gaming revenues to benefit these charities (Johnson, et al 2006).
The Canadian Amateur Sports Network, (CASN) should greatly expand the television coverage of amateur sport to bring the performers to the Canadians. This is because the coverage is significant for the financial well being and future success of amateur sport. Since television is a ground for developing financial support which is consistent, CASN should ensure that amateur sport is televised thus impressing advertisers and sponsors. CASN contributes around $100 million to elite amateur sports, and these funds help in supporting sport associations and federations, multi-sport organizations, and hosting committees for events and competitions. Financial support are input measures since those groups willing to invest more in elite sport are in a position to create a lot of chances for their athletes to train under good conditions. Even though it is very difficult to calculate and determine the relationship between expenditure and success, there are various examples of nations seen to have bettered their performance by increasing how much they invest in elite sport. The increment in investment usually happens after an inferior performance in an international event considered very important. The total amount of resources directed to the amateur elite sport is usually very important, but of more importance is the structure and organization of such sports in different nations and the way they relate to the society that allows for the use of such resources to promote the success of such sports (Bosscher, et al, 2008).
Sponsorship is defined as the money presented to amateur sportsmen and women to underwrite living and training expenses. The term sponsorship is used to refer to a large assortment of financial arrangements. Corporate sponsorship can also be defined as endorsement deals. In corporate sponsorship, an athlete receives money and the institution who sponsors the athlete receives publicity. Corporate sponsorship implies that the institution helps in covering training experiences, suggesting that the athlete and the organization are a team, at some level. Private sponsors on the other hand, participate in sponsorship because of the urge to help promising sportsmen and women, and not because of expectation of any tangible return. The payback they receive is the very sense of satisfaction got from the sportsperson's success. Even though there are many opportunities for earning money by athletes, there will always remain a role played by private sponsorship. Private sponsorship subsidizes athletes in sports not underwritten by private clubs, community recreation programs, or schools. A good example is that of figure skating which is so expensive many skaters have to depend on private sponsors. In other sports, like professional cycling, organizations take the sponsorship of the whole team rather than sponsoring individuals. Such teams compete under the logo of the corporation. In such type of sponsorship, likened to a relationship between an employer and an employee, the individuals forming the team are paid salaries (Lainson, 1998).
With the expenses teams face, amateur teams not left out, they tend to look for new fundraising ideas. Fundraising can be done for equipment, travel expenses, uniforms or even tournaments. Selling products, during games, in the stands implies higher sales since so many people attend such tournaments. Scratch cards are an idea in sports fundraising. These cards give a profit of between 80-90%, which has been proved to be more profitable than candy bars. These cards can be used by the amateurs to collect money for different activities since they are simple and quick, and there is neither delivery required or order-taking. Others try selling sports lollipops; football and basketball, baseball and soccer ball, and softball shaped lollipops. These can be gotten in the team's colors and since they are always easy to sell, one can manage raising thousands by selling such pops to fans and friends in the stands each time there is a game (Bosscher, et al, 2008).
One-day fundraiser can also be done by the amateurs, supervised by the CASN, by simply charging members of the team a fundraising fee, then allowing them to regain their money by selling scratch cards to fans. Many a times, organizations usually have jobs set aside for non-profit groups to undertake. Some of the types of jobs an amateur team can partake are; handing out programs, directing traffic in a parking lot, setting up before a game, selling food, or even doing the necessary cleanliness after an event or game. Such types of jobs could be available just once or for a whole season, but doing such jobs even once is enough to earn a club a good portion of money which can be used for various activities. These types of jobs are sometimes placed as ads in papers before they eventually take place, and at other times, they are passed by word of mouth. Regardless of the medium, before a group commits itself to such type of fundraiser, it needs to find out everything about the job. These fundraiser types are often hard work and before an amateur team opts to take one, there is a need to be aware of the total number of people who are willing and are able to finish the job. With the help of CASN, amateur sporting clubs can manage to generate funds through such types of jobs (Bosscher et al, 2008).
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Amateur sport has got high economic importance in Canada. Households and even private investors spend a lot on this type of sport as will be seen below, and this improves the nation's economy. The table below represents part of the statistics of household expenditure on amateur sport in Calgary Canada in the year 2002 (Berrett, T. & Reimer, R. 2002).
Category of Spending
Expenditures ($ million)
Primary amateur sport spending
Secondary amateur sport spending
Other Sport-Related Spending
Total (primary + secondary - income)
Amount Spent in Calgary (85% of Total)
All the figures in the results columns are rounded to the nearest $0.1 million
(Berrett, T. & Reimer, R. 2002)
As a case study, one can always wonder why organizations sponsor sports. Since firms tend to reach their markets via other associations, most firms go for amateur sport sponsorship. As much as the use of sporting properties to reach an audience is beneficial to these companies, the teams being sponsored too get worldwide recognition. This is because sport means a lot to so many people the world over. When the Royal Bank of Canada started sponsoring the Canadian Olympic team back in 1947, they had the intention of publicity and today, as it sponsors even amateur sports, it can be said that it has laid down a foundation to a lasting legacy in Canada (Royal Bank of Canada Website, 1995-2010).
With the availability of co-curricular activities limited to the youth due to lack of finances, or reduced sponsorship, we are left with the big question of where the youths will head to. Who would mentor them? If it has been proved that amateur sport gives to the society an immediate impact through teaching the young ones about respect, discipline and the community as a whole, what alternative would be provided if such programs are available no more? What would be the outcome? With no respect to amateur sport, let the community be prepared to see weapons and increased violence in schools, more substance abuse and suicides, a large number of kids turning to gangs and more violence which is race-related. Following almost a decade of reduced funds to sporting activities, what remains to be the health of the once sporting nation Canada was? What are the people of Canada doing to improve it? Should there be the restoration of athlete funding by the government? Is this funding an investment or an expense? It can be concluded that having a broad base of participation in sport, influences the success of these sportsmen to some extent thus funding should be availed for the amateur sportsmen and women (Elicksen, 2003).