Ontario Investing $7.2 Million in Active and Healthy Communities
Sport and Recreation Communities Fund Helping Ontarians to Get Active
Ontario is helping people in communities across the province lead healthier lives. Premier Kathleen Wynne was with Special Olympics Ontario in Newmarket today to announce that the Ontario government is investing $7.2 million to promote active lifestyles through the Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund.
As part of this investment, the province is providing more than $224,000 to Special Olympics Ontario for the Partners in Play program. This project will introduce young special needs athletes to sports such as track and field, basketball, soccer and swimming. Partners in Play will be delivered through 24 partners, engaging 1,300 participants in 39 communities across the province over two years.
The Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund will support 123 provincial, regional and local projects in 2015-16. These projects will increase opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to get active. Grant recipients will:
- Develop new sport and recreation programs and increase access to existing ones
- Educate people about the importance of physical activity as a foundation for healthy living
- Strengthen the community sport and recreation sector by providing training in areas such as coaching, youth development and volunteer development.
The fund supports the government's Healthy Kids strategy, which is aimed at reducing childhood obesity, and its Stepping Up framework, which encourages a shared approach to improving the well-being of young people and builds on the positive legacy of the TORONTO 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games. Sport, recreation and physical activity contribute to positive economic and social outcomes, such as increased productivity, improved student achievement and reduced health care costs.
Enabling people in communities across Ontario to lead healthy, active lives is part of the government's plan for Ontario. The plan builds Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- The Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund supported 117 projects across the province in 2014–15, providing programs and services to over 280,000 participants.
- $21.6 million has been invested through the fund since it launched in January 2013.
- Supporting community-based activities to promote healthier living is a key recommendation of the Healthy Kids strategy.
“Our government is committed to investing in programs that promote the health and well-being of people of all ages across the province. Through the Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund, we are providing the support that families need to live a more active lifestyle while creating new opportunities for young people to engage with their communities.”
“The Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund supports sport and recreation organizations in communities all across the province that work hard to provide opportunities for Ontario families to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. It helps us achieve our vision of a province where children and adults are active and engaged throughout their lives.”
“The Partners in Play Program will foster the creation of program partnerships with local community sport organizations and open the door for meaningful participation for people with intellectual disabilities in new joint sport initiatives across the province. Special Olympics Ontario is grateful for the contribution of the Ontario Government through the Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund in supporting this vital project and investing in the promotion of the integration and inclusion of athletes with disabilities in the creation of a vital and active Ontario.”