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Friday, August 23, 2013
$2 million for Manitoba's Children Recreation Programs
Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief announces a provincial review of the Manitoba Policy for Recreation Opportunities. Minister Chief also noted the province has invested more than $2 million in children’s recreation programs in 2013.
August 23, 2013
GOVERNMENT OF MANITOBA WORKING WITH COMMUNITIES TO INCREASE RECREATION CHOICES
– – – Province's Recreation Policy to be Updated to Improve Accessibility, Better Reflect Changing Face of Manitobans: Chief
Starting this fall, the province will begin a review of Manitoba’s Policy for Recreation Opportunities to help the government establish effective priorities that reflect the changing face of recreation across the province, Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief announced today.
“We see an increasing role for recreation in building relationships and healthy communities,” said Chief. “And as the face of our communities is changing, so too is the way Manitobans like to spend their leisure time. We need to stay current and responsive to emerging trends, whether that’s traditional play programs, or a game of cricket or ultimate frisbee.”
The minister noted that recreation is widely recognized as an effective tool to address community issues such as crime prevention, physical activity rates and community development. Recreation professionals are increasingly partnering with local governments and community organizations to provide recreation programming that meets identified community needs, Chief added.
“As well as alleviating the negative pressures of poverty, recreation builds a sense of belonging across all segments of society, and we know improving accessibility to those recreation opportunities is key,” said Dennis Lewycky, executive director of the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg. “Recreation programs offer a positive alternative, especially for kids, and we need to ensure there are opportunities available for everyone.”
The minister noted the government continues to make significant investments in recreation programming, with more than $2 million invested in children’s recreation programs this year.
This summer, provincially supported summer recreation programs include:
The Manitoba Camping Association Sunshine Fund – underprivileged children from all parts of the province were provided the opportunity to attend an accredited Manitoba Summer Camp;
Skateboard Ambassador and Instructional Camps in Brandon – eight youth ambassadors provided one-on-one coaching, education on skate-park etiquette, advice on proper safety equipment and also provided seven instructional skate camps in July and August to approximately 140 youth;
Youth Leadership Base Camp in Flin Flon – a project for youth ages five to 13, which included educational activities, outdoor recreation and skill development activities, crafts, games, community volunteering and music/drama activities; and
Youth programming at the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre in Winnipeg – activities included cooking for kids, trips to Assiniboine Park and beaches, and the Wrench Program, where participants learned to fix bicycles.
Chief said key partners will be consulted in the redevelopment of the policy, including local governments, school divisions, and sport and recreation organizations.