May 2019

I became a figure skater because I grew up in a small town in Northern Alberta in the 1980s. It was my third choice, but in reality and practice, it was my only choice, for there wasn’t much else going on. Thankfully, I loved it and still enjoy the sport as an adult, although with a few more aches and pains. Now, I’m raising my own kids in Calgary and am continually amazed at the vast choice of activities kids have.

Several years ago we discovered a program called All Sport One Day. If you haven’t heard, it’s a free day of sport discovery for children ages 6 – 17 that happens every June. Children can register to attend up to two different sport discovery sessions, choosing from over 70 different sports activities, offered at 14 facilities in all four quadrants of Calgary. It’s brilliant! And did I mention it’s free? If your child has a hankering for a new sport or just wants to try something out for kicks, you might be a little hesitant to jump into a program without experiencing it. But set aside a few hours on a June Saturday, and they can check out some cool activities with no investment! Who knows – they might find something they never knew they were passionate about.

Since we discovered this program, we try to keep that Saturday free and register early so the kids can explore some amazing activities. Between my three kids, they’ve tried synchronized swimming, trampolining, rock climbing, biathlon, sledge hockey, a ninja warrior course, fencing, and luge. It’s been fun watching their excitement to participate and see their appreciation develop for those who actually DO those sports. (Sledge hockey? WAY harder than it looks. Most of the kids in my son’s group spent a lot of time tipped over on their side, like young turtles struggling to right themselves, before instructors helped them up.)

All Sport One Day Levi (Family Fun Calgary)

With over 70 sports to choose from, though, you might need a plan of attack, especially with more than one child! We tried to stay in our quadrant, for ease of driving, which meant my son hasn’t yet tried cricket, one of his goals. We also made a rule that everyone had to choose an activity from the same venue, unless my husband was home so we could divide and conquer. Each child can choose up to two activities. They can be at different facilities, but you need to make sure you have enough time to travel in between. We tried that one year, and then made a new rule: both activities had to be at the same facility. (When you have three kids, sometimes you just have to be practical!)

Be sure to register early and once you have the venues and activities chosen, the rest is a breeze. Show up with enough time before your activity to check in and find your way to where you need to meet. Your registration usually tells you when to arrive, where to park, and any other pertinent info. Bring a bottle of water, and sunscreen if you’re outside, and sit back to watch your child enjoy a new sport!

Now, admittedly, my kids did not decide to take up synchronized swimming or biathlon, although my son seriously considered luge. But the day ignited an interest to explore and experience activities they had never before considered and it was a wonderful, active day of free fun.

Ironically, my daughter ended up choosing figure skating as her number one sport. Imagine that.

All Sport One Day:

Cost: 100% FREE