As an independent, national, charitable organization, the True Sport Foundation has evolved over time from running a campaign that promotes drug-free sport to a foundation committed to ensuring that good sport has the opportunity to make a great difference in the lives of Canadians.
- In 1993, the Spirit of Sport Foundation was established as a charitable organization affiliated with the Canadian Centre for Drug-free Sport (now known as the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES).
- The Foundation’s charitable incorporation focused on public education, promotion, training and research to address performance enhancing drugs, health, ethics and values with strategies targeted to educational institutions, sport organizations, community organizations and the general public.
- In 1996, the Foundation formed partnerships with Canada Games, Commonwealth Games Canada and Athletes CAN to assume responsibility for programs previously run by the Canadian Sport Council such as the Canadian Sport Awards and the Tariff Relief Program.
- The Spirit of Sport Foundation changed its name to the True Sport Foundation in 2004.
- In 2014, the NFPA reconfirmed the True Sport Foundation’s objective to intentionally use values-based and principle-driven sport as a contributor to Canadian society.
True Sport was set in motion by Canadians to advance the call for values-based and principle-driven sport in Canada. True Sport has thousands of members across Canada with growing numbers of schools, clubs, leagues, teams and communities joining each day.
In 2001, Canada’s Federal-Provincial/Territorial Ministers responsible for sport gathered to address the need to restore ethical and respectful conduct in sport. The leaders outlined that damaging practices – cheating, bullying, violence, aggressive behaviour, and even doping – were beginning to undermine the positive impact of community sport in Canada. Consequently, in August 2001 the London Declaration outlining the vision to incorporate ethics and ethical behaviour in sport was signed.
The following year the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport conducted a nationwide survey, which outlined the importance of sport in the lives of Canadians. The survey indicated that Canadians wanted sport that reflected positive values like fairness, inclusion, excellence and fun.
In September 2003, leading sport officials, sport champions, parents and youth from across Canada came together through a forum entitled, “The Sport We Want,” and several strong messages emerged from this gathering:
- Canadians believe sport has the power to foster community engagement and teach young people important skills and principles;
- Canadians feel sport can do more to fulfill its potential; and
- Canadians at many levels of sport – from parents and community coaches to Olympians and other elite competitors – were eager for a national movement that engage
communities and sport organizations across the country.
As a result, nine months later, True Sport was born. The seven True Sport principles are supported by those who declare – go for it, play fair, respect others, keep it fun, stay healthy, include everyone and give back.