‘True Sport’ funds summer activities

Six activity projects will be funded this summer by the “True Sport Foundation.”

The Abbotsford Community Foundation was one of four such organizations across Canada chosen this year by the True Sport Foundation as a pilot project.

A special grants committee composed of community volunteers and board members, met earlier this month to review applications submitted by a number of local organizations and the committee distributed approximately $20,000 last week to fund the projects.

Local applicants were required to provide matching funds that could include “gifts in kind” and volunteer time. In total, over $43,000 in matching funds will be contributed to these projects.

“The matching requirement was an important element in the process as was the criteria that the projects include working with other partners because they ensure that there is something left once the events or programs have been completed. That’s what the True Sport Foundation was hoping for – a way for relatively small amounts of money to leverage more lasting outcomes,” said Susan McAlevy, executive director, Abbotsford Community Foundation.

The projects funded include:

Heat in the Street:  Abbotsford firefighters, police and ambulance personnel are working together to stage three impromptu “block parties” in local neighbourhoods this summer that will include street hockey, an obstacle course for the younger children, emergency vehicles open for residents to explore, and home safety tips.

Geocaching 101 for Youth: The Abbotsford Youth Commission is introducing the sport of geocaching to the youth of Abbotsford by holding an eight-week program this summer. Geocachers use GPS units to find treasure stashes all over the world and there are thousands of stashes located in Abbotsford.  Led by two youth leaders hired for the program, youth will participate in eight different treasure hunts, learning everything from teamwork to navigational skills.

Yarnbombing:  This is an active urban art experience involving youth and seniors.  The seniors teach the young people how to knit, with the goal of brightening up the city by attaching knitted objects to public sites.  This is also an eight-week program being offered by the Youth Commission involving volunteers and yarn donated by The Reach Gallery Museum.

Technique Wars: The Radically Free Youth Group is coordinating this international breakdancing competition that will be held in late Augest at the Ag Rec Centre.  Judging will be done by local experts and the music will be provided by local Abbotsford/Mission DJ Con.

Summer in the Skatepark:  The Youth Commission will bring a positive presence to the McMillan Youth Park one afternoon a week all summer by hosting a barbecue with volunteers, fun activities and music.

Youthful Lawn Bowling:  The Jubilee Lawn Bowling Association will hold an introductory instructional day for young people followed by a barbecue.  They will then participate on the seniors teams for two evening sessions.  The Radically Free Youth Society will help invite youth to participate.

For more information, contact: Susan McAlevy, executive director, Abbotsford Community Foundation at  smcalevy@abbotsfordcf.org or 604-820-3755 or Christina Parsons, project manager, True Sport Foundation at  cparsons@truesport.ca or 613-526-6043 ext. 3232.