Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) is supporting youth sport and physical activity this coming spring by way of nearly $500,000 in funding for 80 new projects around the region from their 2020 Basin PLAYS Community Grants and Capital Grants.
“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 for CBT. “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.”
CBT aims to support sports organizations, schools and active recreation programs with the goal of creating safe, inclusive and quality programs for youth to foster motivation, physical competence and confidence, both in sport and in every-day life.
The community of ?aq’am, located just outside of Cranbrook, is set to recieve $21,000. Their community gym, which is attached to their elementary school, will get two new half-sized basketball courts added. Currently it has one court better suited to youth and adult players, and less so to the younger ones.
It will allow the school to host tournaments and increase community particpation as two games will now bea ble to be played at once.
“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.”
Cranbrook will benefit from three separate dispersments. The City of Cranbrook will get $18,213 to build a dressing room for female hockey players, Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association’s new Indoor Sports Facility will get $24,714 to install baseball equipment and East Kootenay Volleyball will receive $25,000 to improve the beach volleyball courts at the College of the Rockies.
The $7,637 allotted for Kimberley is tailored towards to youth who identify as LGBTQ+2S, creating new opportunities for them to have fun and stay active. The City of Kimberley will partner with the Kimberley Youth Action Network to offer multiple new programs, including workshops on rugby, climbing, curling and more.
“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.”
The Fernie Public Library will receive $5,410 to provide new opportunities for girls and LGBTQ+2S youth to engage in physical literacy and build community. Fernie’s Elk Valley Gymnastics Club will also receive funds to buy large gymnastics vault equipment and a beam expander.
Sparwood will utilize $5,592 to help their 9 to 11-year-old girls increase their physical fitness and focus on personal wellness with a new, free program introducing them to a range of activities like boxing, yoga and rafting, while integrating wellness topics such as spirituality and emotional health.
The Tenacity Skatepark in Slocan, first built in 2008, has become a hotspot for skaters, bikers et al. will get funding to add a large “easy section” to the popular park, addressing concerns that the park is at times too busy, and for some, too challenging or intimidating.
“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.”
The City of Nelson is set to receive $15,000 to install a new scoreboard at Queen Elizabeth Park, and their Glacier Gymnastics Club is getting $12,608 to buy new gymnastics equipment.
Revelstoke and Salmo will each receive $25,000 with the former building a nature playscape at Begbie View Elementary and the latter upgrading their tennis court, basketball court and skatepark.
Numerous other communities will benefit from CBT grants this spring. To find and share sport and physical activities for youth in Columbia Basin Communities, visit basinPLAYS.org and to learn more about CBT’s programs and initiatives, go to ourtrust.org