Ontario Investing in the Sport and Recreation SectorPublished on March 17, 2021
New funding will encourage physical activity during the pandemic
TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing more than $15 million to support grassroots activities, sport and recreation organizations and high-performance athletes. This funding will encourage even more children, youth, families and athletes to get active and return to play safely, as the sector continues to follow COVID-19 restrictions and reopening regulations.
"While we work towards recovery, we want to ensure Ontario's sport and recreation sector is strong, vibrant and remains a source of pride for our province, with a positive impact on the lives of Ontarians," said Minister MacLeod. "We are committed to supporting the sector during the pandemic and ensuring that, through programs like these, sport and recreation remains at the heart of Ontario's communities."
This $15.3-million investment will support four initiatives:
- $3 million in 2020-21 for SPORT4ONTARIO to deliver a pilot program that helps kids and families regain confidence in sport and recreation activities. The program will support grassroots physical activity and recreation programming. It will promote mental wellness and safety in sport that is free from harassment, abuse and discrimination.
- $3.6 million for 63 recognized Provincial Sport Organizations to support their member community sport clubs who provide access to sports such as soccer, volleyball, skiing, etc. A portion of the funding will support their administration costs with the remainder being used to support member clubs.
- $6.36 million in 2020-21 for Quest for Gold Canada to support approximately 550 Ontario athletes who have reached national competition level, as part of Quest for Gold's Canada Card program. This initiative provides direct financial assistance to high-performance athletes, enhancing their ability to train by reducing financial burden. This amount represents a one-time increase of up to $8,400 for national-level athletes.
- $2.35 million for the Ontario Hockey League (OHL)'s post-secondary education scholarships for athletes on 17 Ontario-based teams. This investment provides approximately $138,000 to each of the 17 teams to help them meet their player scholarship commitments.
- In addition, the province has provided the sport and recreation sector $8.2 million from the Ontario Amateur Sport Fund to support 66 Provincial and Multi-Sport Organizations and their 2.1 million amateur athletes, coaches and officials across the province.
- The OHL is one of three major junior hockey leagues that make up the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), consisting of 460 amateur players, aged 16–20, who are eligible for a scholarship from their respective team upon graduating from the league.
- Quest for Gold athletes receive funding that helps offset costs of training and living expenses. This could include rent, costs to attend a training camp, equipment and tuition/education-related expenses.
"On behalf of SPORT4ONTARIO, we'd like to thank Minister MacLeod and the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries for this incredible funding investment. We believe in the power of sport as a tool to strengthen our community and together, we will build back better."
- Michele O'Keefe
Chair, SPORT4ONTARIO Board of Directors