Manitoba Government, City of Winnipeg Invest in Recreation for Youth
May 19, 2015
Supporting Recreation for Inner-city Youth Helps Build Community: Minister Wight
Children and youth in inner-city neighbourhoods will benefit from recreation opportunities comparable to those who live in suburban Winnipeg neighbourhoods with a provincial investment of $1.5 million to fund enhanced youth recreation programs, Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Melanie Wight announced today.
“This funding means healthier, more engaged children across our city, regardless of their postal code,” said Minister Wight. “Investing in these programs means investing in the future of all Manitobans, by giving children and youth the chance to learn life skills and enjoy the right to play.”
Part of the funding will support local innovative recreation programming which offers recreation programs, leadership development and co-operative training in 84 sites in the downtown and north end, with a focus on the William Whyte and Dufferin neighbourhoods. Thousands of youth benefit from these programs every year, which will help them build confidence, gain leadership skills and lead healthier lifestyles the minister said.
“Our community centres are a meeting place at the heart of our neighbourhoods, and they provide a structured space for our youth to get together with friends in a safe, positive environment,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “On behalf of the City of Winnipeg, I would like to thank the Manitoba government for their continued collaboration and commitment to Winnipeg’s inner city and youth.”
This investment also provides seed money for agencies and organizations to purchase equipment or program supplies, invest in site preparation or provide leadership training. It also supports the Sports Program in Inner City Neighbourhoods (SPIN), which serves youth aged six to 14 years old, and the Community Art Initiative, which supports creative arts and dance programs.
“This funding will help expand opportunities for youth to come to the Graffiti Gallery and our numerous sites throughout the north end, toexpress themselves creatively in a safe, nurturing environment,” said Stephen Wilson, executive director, Graffiti Art Programming. “It will also help us hire a recreation leader to help plan and co-ordinate community art programs specifically designed to support a young person’s education. This investment will help us change young lives.”
Minister Wight noted the Youth Mentorship and Leadership Development Program, which partners university students with Indigenous high school students, will also receive funding under this investment. This program brings together students to plan and deliver after-school drop-in programs at inner city schools and recreation centres for early years students.
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