Milton MP helps unveil funding to increase sports participation among underrepresented populations

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Published August 16, 2021 at 3:08 pm

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Milton MP Adam van Koeverden and the federal government announced $80 million in funding to help communities with the lowest sport participation rates recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

The new Community Sport for All initiative, which begins in 2021-2022, will support organized sports at the community level in an effort to remove barriers and increase sport participation rates for underrepresented populations.

Particularly those among Black, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQQIA+ and new Canadians. 

“All Canadians should have the opportunity to participate and excel in sport, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or ability,” said van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Sport). “I am so proud of Canada’s Active Recovery initiative, as it seeks to increase physical activity and recreation levels across Canada, particularly for youth.

“Sport is a powerful transformative tool, and I am confident that the projects funded will bring positive impacts and better health outcomes to communities hit hardest by the pandemic.”

The initiative will look to build stronger and healthier populations across the country. Sports do that by helping build self-esteem and leadership skills and allows children and youth to grow and thrive – physically, emotionally and mentally.

Over the coming months, national-level organizations or those able to implement programs in more than one province or territory will be invited to submit proposals that include working with community-based groups.

“The sport sector has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19,” said Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “The restricted access and temporary closure of many sport facilities, recreation centres and schools has made it challenging for families to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles and for youth to learn new skills and build friendships.

“The new Community Sport for All initiative will support those most affected, and provide thousands of Canadians with the opportunity to participate in affordable, organized sport activities and programs in communities across the country.”

Projects will adhere to the following principles:

  • Affordable: Projects will be delivered with minimal to no cost to participants.
  • Results oriented: Projects will be delivered in such a way as to increase sport participation and retention of equity-deserving communities and, ultimately, drive behavioural change.
  • Focused on organized sport: While other activities may be included (such as movement skills development), the primary activity must be organized sport, and must adhere to safe sport practices.
  • Green: Delivery of the projects should produce minimal or positive environmental impact.
  • Accessible: Projects must be tailored to equity-deserving groups but need not be exclusionary and can be open to all, and should allow for a wide range of athletic ability.
  • Available: Projects should seek to be delivered in underserved communities and to achieve regional diversity.

More information on how national level organizations can submit their proposals will be available over the coming months via the Sport Canada website.

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