Columbia Basin Trust is providing $500,000 to 80 projects aimed at providing opportunities to keep young residents active.

The Trust said the funding will support sport organizations, schools and recreation programs to create safe and inclusive programs for youth to build the motivation, physical competence and confidence to participate in sport.

“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, Columbia Basin Trust. “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.”

The funding comes as part of the Trust’s Basin PLAYS Capital Grants for 2020.

Among the projects is the addition of two half-sized basketball courts in the ʔaq̓am community gym, which is attached to the elementary school. CBT said the courts will appeal to children, enable the school to host tournaments with others and allow for two games to be played at once. The project will receive $21,000 from CBT to expand the court.

“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.”

Another project will be funded with $7,637, which will give youngsters between 12 and 17 who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community in Kimberley an opportunity to have fun while exercising. The Trust said the City of Kimberley is collaborating with the Kimberley Youth Action Network to offer a variety of programs, including workshops on sports like rugby, indoor climbing and curling.

“Inclusivity is vital to youth who already feel they are not a part of the ‘norm’ in society,” said Lori Joe, Kimberley Youth Action Network coordinator. “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.”

Another project in Sparwood will offer a free 10-week program that will introduce girls aged 9 to 11 to a range of sports and wellness topics like spirituality and emotional health. CBT said it will provide $5,592 to the project.

“Go Girl will educate female youth on the benefits of lifelong physical activity and expose them to a variety of the physical activities available for them in Sparwood,” said Jacquie Hill, Community Services Assistant. “It will connect them to community organizations and female role models and provide opportunities to build new skills, learn new hobbies and participate in play.”

A full list of projects and the amounts they will receive follows.

More: Columbia Basin Trust Basin PLAYS Capital Grants 2020 (CBT)