RBC supports community recreation in RecPlex

(left) Jamil Mahmood, Executive Director, Spence Neighbourhood Association, Michelle Aitkenhead, RBC Regional Vice President, Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg, Laura Kathler Community Sports and Recreation Program Coordinator,  Dr. David Fitzpatrick, Dean, Gupta Faculty of Kinesiology and Applied Health

(left) Jamil Mahmood, Executive Director, Spence Neighbourhood Association; Michelle Aitkenhead, RBC Regional Vice President; Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg; Laura Kathler, Community Sports and Recreation Program Coordinator, UWinnipeg; Dr. David Fitzpatrick, Dean, Gupta Faculty of Kinesiology and Applied Health

WINNIPEG, MB – The University of Winnipeg, in partnership with Spence Neighbourhood Association, proudly received a $25,000 RBC Learn to Play Project grant today which allows hundreds of inner city youth and families to access high-quality programming for free inside the Axworthy Health and RecPlex at 350 Spence Street.

When the RecPlex opened in September 2014, the goal was to create a welcoming, safe place where inner city youth, new immigrants, seniors and other community members could play, dance and meet for free. Over the past year the community response has been resoundingly successful with approximately 1,000 people from the community now using the multi-purpose fields and gyms every week.

Activities include a weekly community powwow club, men’s soccer for newcomers, gym drop-in hours to shoot baskets, seniors exercise class, lunch-time yoga, a flag football league and wrestling team for inner city youth, as well as martial arts programs and hoop dancing, among others.

“The only way we can offer such a variety of high-quality programming is through our partnerships with Spence Neighbourhood and the Youth Agency Alliance. Everything is free to participants for one reason – and that is because of generous donors like RBC,” said Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg.  “Today’s $25,000 grant means many more balls will get kicked and many more cherished memories will be created.”

UWinnipeg is one of 199 organizations from across the country to receive a 2015 RBC Learn to Play Project grant.

“We are proud to support the work of UWinnipeg and its neighborhood partners,” said Kim Ulmer, RBC Regional President Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northwest Ontario. “Sport and physical activity can transform lives and have a powerful, positive impact on our communities. The free activities  within the Axworthy Health and RecPlex are having a direct impact on the lives of Canadian youth by encouraging them to participate in sport and physical activity, learn basic skills and help build their confidence.”

“What is happening at the Rec Plex is truly amazing.  Kids from our community are getting access and support to participate in a world class facility, breaking down all barriers they face to be able to participate in positive sport and recreation,” said Jamil Mahmood, Executive Director, Spence Neighbourhood Association. “Our partnership with U Winnnipeg means that our youth now see university not just as a dream, but as reality as they are already playing in the same fields and getting instruction from university athletes.”

RBC and the Public Health Agency of Canada, in partnership with ParticipACTION, have committed $2 million in RBC Learn to Play Project grants to help community-based organizations build and deliver quality sport and recreation programs that address the widespread lack of physical activity among Canadian youth as well as declining rates in sport participation. The RBC Learn to Play Project is committed to supporting programs and organizations which help children develop the confidence and skills they need to enable them to play, and become happy, healthy and active for life.

The RBC Learn to Play Project grants were announced in conjunction with RBC Sports Day in Canada, a national celebration of the power of sport to build community and get Canadians moving. RBC Sports Day in Canada takes place on November 21, 2015 in communities across Canada.

UWinnipeg’s RecPlex is guided by a unique Community Charter, which guarantees access to neighbourhood residents and is based on the belief that everyone, regardless of background and socio-economic status, should have access to safe places to play, grow and belong.

Find out more about community programs available in UWinnipeg’s Axworthy Health and  RecPlex

MEDIA CONTACTS

Diane Poulin, Senior Communications Specialist, The University of Winnipeg

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

 

Robb Ritchie, Manager Public Affairs and Communications, RBC

P: 204.988.3516, E: robb.ritchie@rbc.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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