Ontario Investing in Sport Organizations and Community Recreation
OSHAWA – The Ontario government is investing $30 million to stabilize Ontario’s sport and recreation sector, help offset increased costs as a result of COVID-19 and support the sector’s future recovery in communities across the province.
“Ontario’s sport and recreation sector was among the first and hardest hit by the pandemic,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “Our government recognizes how important sport and recreation is to our physical and mental well-being, and to the economic well-being of Ontario communities. As we emerge from the pandemic, this investment will help ensure families and athletes are able to return to the sports and activities they love.”
This funding includes:
$20 million to ministry-recognized Provincial Sport Organizations (PSOs) and Multi-Sport Organizations (MSOs) to distribute to their local member clubs such as soccer, karate and volleyball
$7 million to the Ontario Sport Network to distribute to local community-based sport and recreation organizations such as dance and cheerleading, through an application process
$3 million to help the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and its 17 teams meet their academic scholarship commitments for current and former players.
“This funding will help community-based sports organizations get back on their feet, so they can continue to support the social, physical, emotional and economic well-being of communities across the province,” said Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy. “Ontario is getting stronger, and today’s investment is part of our plan to support our recovery, prosperity and growth.”
Supporting Ontario’s local sport and recreation clubs and organizations is vital to their long-term sustainability and will ensure they are well positioned to provide services and opportunities for youth and adults across Ontario as they return to physical activity and competition.
Ontario’s PSOs and MSOs consist of approximately 7,400 clubs servicing almost 3.1 million members, playing a pivotal role in the development of athletes, coaches and officials.
Established in 1998, the Ontario Sport Network, formerly Sport4Ontario, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promotion of sport and physical activity at the community level in Ontario.
The OHL directly supports jobs and businesses across Ontario, including: 327 full-time jobs in its teams and league office, 831 part-time jobs, 176 students working for teams on internships or co-op terms, and 1,100 volunteers, and 327 player alumni on OHL-financed scholarships at post-secondary institutions in Ontario and abroad.
Quotes "This is great news for our alumni and current players who play and study in the Ontario Hockey League. We are grateful to the Premier and Minister MacLeod for their support of the League throughout the pandemic. The OHL scholarship and academic programs are a key part of our player experience, and this funding helps to ensure this program continues to thrive."
- David Branch Commissioner, Ontario Hockey League
"We are excited to be working with Minister MacLeod and the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries in providing an emergency relief fund targeting community level sport and recreation organizations, and associations to deal with financial hardships due to COVID-19. We recognize the critical importance of providing support to enhance the sustainability of our provincial sport sector."
- Patsy Coyle Managing Director, Ontario Sport Network