Posted on 03/25/2013, 2:27 pm, by mySteinbach

The province is delivering on its commitment to making communities safer by providing Manitoba’s young people with more sports and recreation opportunities through the Sport Opportunities Program. This announcement was made by Premier Greg Selinger.

“We know that investing in sport and recreation opportunities for kids outside of school is crucial to the well-being of our young people and the health of our neighbourhoods,” said Selinger. “We are happy to provide these grants to support community organizations that offer a variety of youth sports programs including soccer, basketball and hockey. The grants will enhance the excellent afterschool programming that is already taking place across the province and will help to get even more young people out on fields and rinks this year.”

The Sport Opportunities Program is providing community-based sport and recreation organizations with two levels of grants:

  • up to $10,000 for permanent equipment such as volleyball standards, goal frames and athletic field line painters; and
  • up to $2,500 for equipment with a shorter life span such as volleyballs, pucks and uniforms.

“During our crime prevention consultations, held throughout the province last spring, Manitobans told us that we need give our youth healthy, positive options for the critical after-school period. The Sport Opportunities grants are an investment in sports and recreation programs that will contribute to positive development and will also help make our communities safer and healthier,” said Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief.

The Barbara Mitchell Family Resource Centre’s youth drop-in program received $1,980 through the Sport Opportunities Program to purchase equipment for basketball, volleyball, soccer and badminton.

“While this money might not seem like much, it will go a long way in helping organizations give kids in our community the opportunity to develop teamwork and become physically active,” said Major Wayne Bungay, divisional commander, Prairie Division, Salvation Army.

The Winnipeg Youth Soccer Association will use its $3,500 Sport Opportunities grant to buy equipment for its Mobile Mini Soccer Program, which brings soccer programs to the inner city and allows at-risk youth to participate in soccer programs.

“We are excited to use our Sport Opportunities grant to give kids that might not otherwise have the opportunity to play soccer the chance to do so at their local community centre. These funds will help us bring these kids together and build community through sport,” said Shawna Nagler-Neufeld, president, St. Charles Soccer Association.

Other approved projects include a variety of sport programs including baseball, basketball, fencing, football, hockey, soccer and wrestling. More than $500,000 in grants will be awarded.