Andrew Blakey-Lopez knows first-hand what it can be like to be a kid and not be able to afford to enrol in sports.
So on Nov. 6, the personal trainer will be doing a 65-kilometre ultra-marathon from Kleinburg to Barrie, hoping to raise $5,000 to support Kidsport Canada.
“Growing up, my sister and I were raised by a mother on her own and in doing so, funds were sometimes a little tight,” Blakey-Lopez told Village Media. “Our mother always ensured we were able to play sports and in doing so we both learned so much from sports including leadership, determination and how to handle both success and failure.”
The Toronto resident grew up mostly in Collingwood, attending Connaught Public School and Collingwood Collegiate Institute before moving to the GTA to complete a degree in kinesiology. He currently works as a personal trainer there, but still spends his weekends in Collingwood with family and friends.
“I think sports are extremely important,” said Blakey-Lopez. “One in three kids are unable to play sports because of the financial constraints. I think that’s something that needs to change.”
This will be Blakey-Lopez’s first foray into running for a charitable cause. He says the most he’s ever run is a 25K, so he’s currently embarking on a training regimen to prepare.
Kidsport Canada is a national non-profit that provides grants of between $250 and $500 to help cover sport registration and equipment costs so that all kids aged 18 and under can play a season of sport. The $5,000 Blakey-Lopez is hoping to raise will translate to helping more than 15 young athletes.
“If we can get that, I’d like to raise the goal again,” he said.
If you’d like to donate to Blakey-Lopez’s fundraiser, it can be found here.