Youth Sport and Physical Activity Options Expand in the Columbia Basin
The Trust provides nearly $500,000 for 80 new projects.
More reasons to get active are coming to the Basin this spring with Columbia Basin Trust providing $500,000 for 80 projects to keep youth moving.
The Trust is supporting sport organizations, schools and active recreation programs to create safe, inclusive and quality programs for youth to build the motivation, physical competence and confidence to participate in sport and active living for life.
“We heard how important it was to parents, educators and communities to get children and youth moving to improve their physical and mental well-being,” said Michelle d’Entremont, Manager, Delivery of Benefits, Columbia Basin Trust. “We’re thrilled that so many groups, schools and individuals have committed to increasing and improving opportunities for young people, which will have so many benefits—including fun—for countless young participants.”
Following are examples of projects being supported. See backgrounder for all project details.
Adding Hoops in ʔaq̓am
Right now, ʔaq̓am’s community gym, which is attached to its elementary school, has one basketball court better suited to youth and adults than to younger players. It will now add two half-sized courts that will appeal to children, plus enable the school to host tournaments with others. It will also allow for two games to be played at once, increasing community participation.
“This project aligns with the community’s strategic objectives under ʔaqaⱡxuniyam (health) and kⱡinq̓uyam (recreation),” said Nasuʔkin Joe Pierre. “We have a beautiful recreational facility and always strive to ensure that we have the right equipment and programming so that all our community members, including the youngest, can access recreation and sport.”
Space to Learn in Slocan
Since opening in 2008, the Tenacity Skatepark in Slocan has become very popular, with users coming from near and far to skate, blade, bike and scoot on features like a bank, a hubba and rails. Now, two issues are about to be addressed: sometimes the park is too popular, and beginners can find it challenging and intimidating. With additional funding from the Regional District of Central Kootenay, the WE Graham Community Service Society, Slocan Valley Youth Network and Village of Slocan will work together to add a large “easy” section to the park.
“Each year the Tenacity Skatepark’s popularity continues to grow,” said Chantal Smith, Coordinator, Slocan Valley Youth Network. “The skatepark is one of Slocan’s greatest successes and by adding this section, the park will become accessible to beginners and experts alike. Also, by increasing the useable space, more people will be able to skate or roll at once.”
Tailor-made for LGBTQ+2S Youth in Kimberley
As health regulations allow, youth aged 12 to 17 in Kimberley and area who identify as LGBTQ+2S will have new opportunities to have fun and get fit. The City of Kimberley is collaborating with the Kimberley Youth Action Network to offer a variety of programs, including workshops on sports like rugby, indoor climbing and curling.
“Inclusivity is vital to youth who already feel they are not a part of the ‘norm’ in society,” said Lori Joe, Youth Coordinator, Kimberley Youth Action Network. “Through programs like Play Proud, these youth will show a greater willingness to show up and participate. This unique model will allow them to get the most out of their physical fitness experience rather than dread it.”
Girl Power in Sparwood
Pulling on boxing gloves, stretching out on a yoga mat or navigating rapids in a raft are some of the ways girls in Sparwood will be increasing their physical fitness and focusing on personal wellness. The District of Sparwood will partner with local groups to offer girls aged 9 to 11 a free 10-week program that will introduce them to a range of sports and wellness topics like spirituality and emotional health.
“Go Girl will educate female youth on the benefits of lifelong physical activity and expose them to a variety of the physical activities available for them in Sparwood,” said Jacquie Hill, Community Services Assistant. “It will connect them to community organizations and female role models and provide opportunities to build new skills, learn new hobbies and participate in play.”
Visit BasinPLAYS.org, a free, one-stop resource for people and organizations to find and share sport and physical activities for children and youth in Columbia Basin communities.
Photo: District of Sparwood