Community Foundations bringing True Sport to communitiesMonday, February 20th, 2012 | Melody MacLean
(OTTAWA) Feb. 20, 2012 – Nine community foundations across Canada are gearing up to find new ways to use sport to build better communities, thanks to a national initiative supported by Community Foundations of Canada and the True Sport Foundation.
“Physical activity, engagement and participation are all cornerstones of healthy communities, and this program weaves together all three in a very effective way,” Ian Bird, President and CEO of Community Foundations of Canada (CFC), said today.
The initiative – a partnership between CFC, the True Sport Foundation and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation – sees community foundations consulting and collaborating with local sport and non-sport organizations to determine ways in which sport can positively impact the community. The programs and activities that are funded come about as a result of community consultation and identification of areas of opportunity.
“CFC’s patron, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, has called on Canadians to build smart and caring communities, a challenge we are putting much thought and effort into,” says Bird. “The True Sport program is one example of how community foundations are doing just that. And we will be making more announcements soon about how CFC plans to become a driving force for smart and caring communities.”
The CFC-True Sport initiative began as a successful pilot project 18 months ago and has been gaining momentum. Community foundations selected to participate in 2012 are: Toronto Community Foundation, Hamilton Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Mississauga, Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation, Cambridge and North Dumfries Community Foundation, Community Foundation Grey Bruce, Abbotsford Community Foundation, Prince George Community Foundation, and Fondation communautaire du Grand Quebec.
Viable projects are tailor-made to respond to residents’ needs and desires, and during the previous pilot phase included funding for soccer tournaments in Winnipeg, a volleyball club in Waterloo Region, and a youth geocaching program in Abbotsford.
“Mississauga is a very sport-minded city, and we are thrilled to be selected as a participant in CFC’s True Sport initiative,” said Eileen MacKenzie, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Mississauga. “We look forward to hearing innovative ideas about potential sports offerings from members of our community during a series of meetings in the coming weeks.”
CFC funds the True Sport initiative through a J.W. McConnell Family Foundation grant, and participants must secure matching funds from community agencies, businesses and other sources.
“This has been a remarkable journey,” says Christina Parsons, National Projects Manager with True Sport Foundation. “Each of the previously funded projects identified a wealth of volunteers and services, and left a small but important legacy of bringing people together through sport.”