Community use of RecPlex doubles

Neighbourhood youth and groups now total 2,000 visits weekly

Children at play in RecPlex 2016 staff photo

Children at play in RecPlex 2016 staff photo

WINNIPEG, MB –Community participation in The University of Winnipeg’s Axworthy Health and RecPlex has doubled in the past year with high-quality free programming attracting 2,000 unique weekly visits during the peak fall and winter months. Approximately 75% of participants are children and youth. The RecPlex, which opened in September 2014 at 350 Spence Street, offers three cross-fields, a community gym and a community meeting room, and is guided by a unique Community Charter. In partnership with the Spence Neighbourhood Association, one third of recreation time is available for community use.

“The increase in the number of children and teenagers this past year is likely due to word of mouth and the increase in new immigrants and refugees in our surrounding neighbourhood. Youth are talking about the great programming that has been developed by more than 60 community organizations,” said Dean Melvie, Director Recreation Facilities and Services at UWinnipeg. “The Newcomer Sport Program is one example of programming that has a positive impact on our community.”

Community programs offer variety and include activities such as Wiggle, Giggle and Munch, drop in hours for basketball and soccer,  a weekly Pow Wow club, Sacred Hoop dancing, inner city karate, futsal and capoeira (Brazilian martial arts), among others.

In addition to community use, the RecPlex is well utilized by UWinnipeg student intramural and athletes, and is available as a rental venue. It accommodates a multitude of sports such as soccer, flag football and track and field, as well as cultural and community events.

Summer use is slower as programming and children move outdoors for many activities with community visits expected to average 800 per week. Summer 2017 programming in the RecPlex includes a new partnership (2016) with The Drop Zone Initiative providing afternoon sports camps for teens. Drop Zone partners with the Winnipeg Police Service to forge meaningful relationships between police and the community and is fully funded by private enterprises.

UWinnipeg hosts the Canada Summer Games from August 9 to 11 in the RecPlex, and July 30 to August 4 in the Duckworth Centre.

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MEDIA CONTACT

Diane Poulin, Senior Communications Specialist, The University of Winnipeg

P: 204.988.7135, E: d.poulin@uwinnipeg.ca

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