Thousands of Aboriginal Children and Youth Across Manitoba Will Grow-Up Healthier with New Support for Sport, Recreation and Leadership Programs
Together We’re Training Young People with Skills that Help Them Give Back to Their Hometowns and Neighbourhoods: Lemieux
Thousands of Aboriginal youth in Manitoba will have more opportunities for sport, recreation and leadership training in their communities over the summer and after school thanks to the promise of 15% of e-gaming revenues to support these programs, Minister Ron Lemieux announced today. The new initiative will focus on building leadership and mentorship skills for Aboriginal youth by training them to run sport and recreational programs for younger children, and will be funded from a dedicated portion of Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries annual online gaming revenue which amounts to a commitment of $125,000, annually for three years.
“I am thrilled to see this kind of investment go towards programming that will really make a difference,” said Minister Lemieux. “By working to create a new generation of leaders and mentors, we build stronger and healthier communities from the grass roots level.”
The Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre (WASAC) and the Manitoba Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Council (MASRC) will provide the programming starting this summer.
“The hundreds of young people we work with every day at WASAC are proud of where they are from, proud of who they are, and want to give back,” said Trevor LaForte, executive director at WASAC. “This new support means more role models and leaders in our neighbourhoods and more activities where kids can find belonging, be healthy and have fun.”
Under the new initiative programs and day camps will include transportation, sports equipment and snacks for children from more than 100 schools in Manitoba including in aboriginal communities. In addition to sport and recreation programming, participants will be given the chance to learn more about aboriginal culture.
“The Manitoba Aboriginal Sports & Recreation Council (MASRC) is honoured to partner with Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corporation to provide new sport and recreation opportunities for Aboriginal children, youth, and leaders across the Province as athletes and coaches.” said Mel Whitesell, Executive Director of the Manitoba Aboriginal Sports & Recreation Council. “This is the best kind of partnership, one where everybody wins. It is a win for the Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corporation who are committed to supporting positive Sport and Recreation programs for Aboriginal children and youth through e-gaming funds. It is a win for the MASRC as we will have the privilege of being able to provide more sport and recreation activities to help create healthy and active lifestyles for all, but most importantly, this partnership is a win for all of the children, youth and families that will be touched by this generous contribution.”
Since its inception in 1999 as a small non-profit organization with two coaches, four leaders and 40 children, WASAC has grown to help remove barriers for thousands of children annually and is Canada’s largest employer for Aboriginal children and youth.
The Manitoba Aboriginal Sport & Recreation Council is a non-profit organization that has been operational for over twenty years, serving as a bridge between existing partners in the sport/recreational delivery system and Manitoba's Aboriginal community.
For more info contact:
Trevor LaForte,Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Association (WASAC) – (204) 797-3052
Melvin Magpantay, Manitoba Aboriginal Sports & Recreation Council (MASRC) – (204) 925-5737
Susan Olynik, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries - (204) 957-2500 ext. 2630