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Breaking the habit: Prince George Cougars launch challenge to get kids in organized sports

KidSport hopes to raise $30,000 to help over 200 kids stay active

What day-to-day habit would you give up for the benefit of children who can’t afford organized sports?

That’s the question a new year-long initiative is asking the public as the Prince George Cougars continue to encourage a healthy lifestyle for kids whether it's on or off an ice surface.

The Habit Hack Challenge is a partnership with KidSport B.C. in setting a community fundraising goal of $30,000 through the 2019-20 season of Cougar hockey, enough to get over 200 kids into organized sports.

KidSport Prince George Board Member Christine Nichols stresses that every little bit counts when it comes to getting kids the funding they need.

“We’re asking you to give up one $5 habit per month and donate that $5 to KidSport instead,” said Nichols this morning (Sept. 5) at the CN Centre. “Accept a challenge or initiate a challenge on social media [...] be as creative and have as much fun as you can. Declare the habit that you are going to hack and then challenge your friends, families, or co-workers to do exactly the same thing.”

Since 2004, on average, the not-for-profit has helped 180 Prince George kids receive money to get into a season of sport.

Andy Beesley, Cougars Vice-President of Business, explains the Western Hockey League (WHL) franchise has taken notice of the challenges the city faces when it comes to keeping kids as active as they can.

“We value the healthy lifestyle it brings and we also value the enriching of peoples’ lives it brings. Every single one of our Prince George Cougar players has been involved with team sports and it's, without a doubt, made them better people. Not just hockey, but any kind of sports, and not just competitive sports, just sports to be on a team and to be involved with other people and in the community and being healthy, we want to be a part of supporting that.”

Habit Hack P.G. begins on Sunday (Sept. 8) and KidSport is hoping to work with over 500 local community advocates and figures to help with the challenge in getting to the $30,000 mark.

This includes buddying up with the Brink Group of Companies, and anyone who shares a picture with its infamous ‘Focus on the Awesome’ sign each day for the next 25 days, ending on Sept. 30, the Cougars will donate an additional $20 to KidSport.

Northland Dodge and Rivers Edge Services will also match another $20 each when people pose with the same sign.

More information is available on the KidSport Prince George Facebook page.

The Cougars begin their pre-season this week with three games in three days during the WHL B.C. Division exhibition series in Langley.

The Cats take on Kamloops (Sept. 6), Vancouver (Sept. 7), and Kelowna (Sept. 8) before driving the all way back north for a pair of friendlies against the Edmonton Oil Kings in Dawson Creek.

Those games are slated for Sept. 12 and 14 at the Encana Events Centre.

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