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Spreading the wealth

Region looking at legacy funding from 2019 Parasport Games

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

The 2019 Ontario Parasport Games have left a legacy of funding in Durham Region.

Regional staff recently updated councillors on the legacy funds from the 2019 games, which took place in February, and where they believe it should be distributed.

The legacy fund contains $111,900 which will go to different organizations in Durham.

Staff recommend $30,000 to go to Their Opportunity, an Oshawa-based organization which provides children of low-income families with the opportunity to enrol in local sports and recreation programs.

Another $30,000 will go to the Parasport School Grow It Program, a two-year initiative organized by the newly formed Durham Adaptive Sport Collective and the Abilities Centre.

The region will also be allocating $15,000 from the legacy fund towards the development of a Parasport Festival.

According to a staff report given to the planning and economic development committee, the festival fosters “growth of existing programs [and] will also support the expansion of adaptive sport programming in the region.”

The funds would support the festival for two years.

Whitby’s Iroquois Park Sports Centre will also receive $30,000 in sledge hockey accessibility upgrades.

Whitby regional councillor Steven Yamada said he’s pleased to see funding going into Iroquois Park Sports Centre.

“This is great to see this kind of investment back in our community to help with folks with varying abilities,” said Yamada. “I’m happy to see the money that’s going to be invested in Iroquois Sports Park Centre Arena 3, and the money that’s going to be invested in Their Opportunity, I think that charity does phenomenal work in Durham Region.”

The final $6,900 will go to Durham Adaptive Sport Collective Initiatives. This means they will be kept in the economic development and tourism reserve fund for future initiatives, and can also be directed toward one or more of the four other initiatives also receiving funds from the legacy fund.

Yamada also hopes the report can be circulated to accessibility advisory committees across the region, noting he is a member of the committee in Whitby.

The report now heads to regional council for final approval on Wednesday, Nov. 27.