Prepping your kids for the new events added to the 2020 Olympics


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Up-and-coming climber Indiana Chapman training at True North

© Matt Chapman

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are bringing a quintet of new or revisited sports to the competition, so why not get your kids participating in these fun and exciting sports? Maybe your child could represent Canada in a future Games!

Do the dojo
Karate is wildly popular, with schools and classes across the city. Start your budding karate master in a white belt class, and he can chop and kick his way through the rankings. The City of Toronto offers beginner, intermediate and advanced karate classes year round, or join programs at places like Summit Karate, Northern Karate or Ki Karate School.  

Getting your child interested in martial arts can provide a positive outlet for physical expression, as well as building a focused and disciplined personality. 

Freewheeling
Once your kid has chosen a skateboard and customized it, you can take her out to one of Toronto’s 14 public outdoor skate parks. There are also seasonal indoor skating spots at Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre and Malvern Recreation Centre, as well as privately owned indoor skate parks around town.

You can also check out various skateboarding camps or sign up for a session to build your own boards at Roarockit skateboard workshops.

Rock it out
If your little one is always climbing the furniture, then sport climbing might be just the thing. It differs from traditional rock climbing in that permanent anchors are fixed to the rock for protection. So it’s easier and less technical than traditional climbing.

Your kid can literally climb the walls at True North Climbing at Downsview Park or Basecamp Climbing in the west end. Many locations offer options for all ages and skill levels including day camps and birthday parties.

Hang ten
Yeah, dude, surfing in Toronto is possible, although not ideal due to inconsistent waves and the absence of buoyant salt water. But there are options. Toronto Island SUP offers surfing and stand up paddleboarding lessons for children. Surf Ontario also provides surfing and SUP camps on demand during the summer, and Toronto Windsurfing Club has a youth camp for kids. 

Swing time
All your kid needs is a bat, a baseball and a glove to get started. Toronto has over 200 baseball diamonds, so you won’t be able to hold back the feels when you play catch with your kid for the first time. Then, sign her up for a local T-ball, softball or baseball league. Plus you can always go to a Blue Jays game and watch how the professionals do it.

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Chris Suppa is a freelance writer and photographer based in Toronto. Follow him at @Suppa55 for somewhat-coherent ramblings about the Blue Jays and on Instagram at @chrissuppaphotography.

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