Generous donors support recreation for Indigenous and refugee youth

Brian Daly, Dr. Annette Trimbee, Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, Joe Bova,©UWinnipeg

Brian Daly, Dr. Annette Trimbee, Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, Joe Bova,©UWinnipeg

WINNIPEG, MB –The University of Winnipeg today celebrated a generous gift of $70,000, the result of fundraising efforts spearheaded by Dr. Lloyd Axworthy and Winnipeg entrepreneur Joe Bova, which will allow Indigenous youth and refugee children to enjoy a range of free recreation and wellness programming inside the Axworthy Health and RecPlex. The donation goes to the Axworthy Health & RecPlex Community Charter Fund, which has already sponsored an all-day soccer workshop in October for refugee youth, with another being organized for November 12th which will include soccer and basketball.

“When the doors swung open here in September 2014, the goal was to create a welcoming, safe place where inner city youth, new immigrants and other community members could play, dance and meet for free,” said Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg.  “The response has been resoundingly successful with approximately 1,000 people from the community now using the multi-purpose fields and community gyms every week. Community participation in the RecPlex is a success because local agencies and organizations work together to create new and worthwhile programs. We deeply appreciate Dr. Axworthy’s personal commitment to supporting the diversity of community programming in the RecPlex and the many people who donate to this Community Charter Fund.”

Children at play in RecPlex 2016 staff photo

Children at play in RecPlex 2016 staff photo

The Community Charter at the Axworthy Health and RecPlex entrenches UWinnipeg’s partnership with the community. Programming is developed by the Community Access Advisory Committee and guided by the Charter which guarantees the neighbourhood free time inside the RecPlex. Weekly activities at the RecPlex are numerous and varied and include a community powwow club, soccer for newcomers, gym drop-in hours to shoot baskets, a flag football league and wrestling team for inner city youth, martial arts programs, Sacred Seven hoop dancing, a Fit Kids program, zumba and yoga.

“The Health and RecPlex, along with the numerous community learning programs running on campus, are projects near to my heart. I am touched by the renaming of the RecPlex and am pleased to continue my involvement through fundraising on behalf of the Community Charter,” said Dr. Lloyd Axworthy. “Thank you to Joe Bova and Boom Done Next who helped organize a luncheon and dinner on behalf of this cause and to all who attended and supported us in raising $70,000. Our goal is to hold these events on an annual basis to continue to grow the Community Charter Fund.”

Dr. Lloyd Axworthy served as President and Vice-Chancellor at UWinnipeg from 2004 to 2014.


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Diane Poulin, Senior Communications Specialist, The University of Winnipeg

P: 204.988.7135, E:

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