PacificSport Vancouver Island Partners
Team Up on Aboriginal Sport Initiative
July 7, 2015 (Nanaimo): PacificSport Vancouver Island, Young Professionals of Nanaimo, and the BC Aboriginal Sport Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council, together with the Nanaimo Foundation have teamed up, collectively raising $40,000 for an Aboriginal Sport Program in Nanaimo.
Aboriginal participants are noticeably underrepresented in sport and physical activity in Canada and Nanaimo is no different. Registration fees and transportation are identified as the two key barriers to participation for Nanaimo’s Aboriginal children according to community consultations with seven Nanaimo area Aboriginal stakeholders including; Tillicum Lelum Friendship Centre, Snuneymuxw First Nation, Stz’uminus First Nation, Sna-naw-as First Nation, Nanaimo Youth Services, Mid-Island Metis Nation, and Kwumut Lelum Family Services. All of whom will be included in the project roll-out.
The program is focused on the introduction of grass roots programs that will address access issues within the Aboriginal community of Nanaimo. Programs and activities will be based on ‘Physical Literacy’ principles to address deficiencies common to all children in Canada. Children need to learn how to read and write; just as important is learning how their bodies move through fundamental movement skills. This is physical literacy and it is a critical building block for staying active for Life!
“The Aboriginal Community makes up 5% of the region's population, however they are disproportionately underrepresented in mainstream community sport,” says Drew Cooper, General Manager of PacificSport Vancouver Island. “PacificSport saw this as a fantastic way to collaborate in order to increase capacity within the Aboriginal sport community while building physical literacy opportunity for kids”.
“The Nanaimo Foundation is extremely pleased to provide this matching grant to help bring sport and philanthropy together, creating a stronger, healthier and more resilient community”, says Ted Carson, Chair of the Nanaimo Foundation. “We will work together on creating success in enhancing the quality and quantity of physical activity opportunities within the Aboriginal community, removing barriers to physical engagement and improving the health and well-being of our youth”.
Delivered in four phases the project will include; Training for Aboriginal Sport Leaders, Family Drop -in Activities, Summer Camps for Kids, and House League System for Soccer and Lacrosse with a focus on skill development.
“The Young Professionals of Nanaimo (YPN) have been very engaged in this project right from the very beginning stage,” said Daniel Martinez, YPN President. “We participated in the community consultation process and the results were eye opening! YPN is thrilled to have participated in securing funds for this initiative”.
About Pacific Sport
Established in 1995, PacificSport Vancouver Island is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing sport participation for all ages and abilities through the Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L) program. From grassroots, community sport day camps to high performance athlete development, PacificSport Vancouver Island inspires and engages our community to excel and be active for life.
About the Nanaimo Foundation
Since 1982, the Nanaimo Foundation has been connecting visionary donors with causes that truly matter. Every year, with our donors, we help fund capital projects and pilot projects—large and small—in support of areas such as arts and culture, education, children and youth, environment, animal welfare, community health and social development. We collaborate with other charities and non-profits to provide funding for innovative projects to solve larger community issues.
The Young Professionals of Nanaimo is a not-for-profit organization working toward creating a vibrant and connected network of Nanaimo's top young professionals, entrepreneurs and employees. YPN members represent more than 50 of Nanaimo's top companies in a variety of industries.
Caption: Aboriginal Sport Partners Gathered at PacificSport’s recent AGM
Left to Right: Steve Arnett, Nanaimo Youth Services Association; Ted Carson, Chair Nanaimo Foundation, Susan Schellinick Chair, PacificSport; Drew Cooper, General Manager PacificSport; Shirley Louie, Stz’uminus First Nation; Daniel Martinez, President YPN
Jenn Houtby-Ferguson Drew Cooper
Marketing & Communications, PacificSport General Manager, PacificSport Vancouver Island
Cell: 250-713-9849 Phone: 250-740-6572
Email: JHoutby@PacificSport.ca Email: DCooper@PacificSport.ca