The Ontario Trillium Foundation announces largest grant the Foundation has awarded

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Today, the Ontario Parasport Collective celebrated their $2.4-million grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for the Ontario Parasport Strategy.

This strategy is a first of its kind for parasport in Canada, and the largest grant the Ontario Trillium Foundation has ever awarded.

Led by the Canadian Paralympic Committee, the Ontario Parasport Collective brings together 24 partner organizations, and more than 20 supporting organizations, including government and the private sector, who will deliver the Ontario Parasport Strategy. The strategy is designed around four pillars that consider the critical physical, psychological, and social wellbeing of children, youth and adults, particularly so for the 1.85 million Ontarians living with a physical disability.

“This grant is the result of years of commitment and cooperation between many partners working together to develop an aligned vision and strategy for parasport across the province of Ontario,” said Karen O’Neill, CEO, Canadian Paralympic Committee. “Ontario has strong leadership in parasport focused on the development of a sustainable sport system, providing people of all abilities the opportunity and access to participate in sport and reap its physical and social benefits. This can range from participation in a specific sport at the grassroots level to the development of the next generation of Paralympians in Canada. Thank you to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for recognizing the immense value in physical activity and sport participation for people with disabilities in Ontario, and we look forward to seeing even more positive effects of the great work of all our partners in the Collective.”

For four years, the Ontario Parasport Collective worked together and achieved the development of a common vision for parasport. The Ontario Parasport Strategy will build an aligned system so that all individuals with a disability can enjoy full participation in sport and recreation in Ontario.

“As a member of the Ontario Parasport Collective, Abilities Centre applauds the Ontario Trillium Foundation in their investment to support the Ontario Parasport Strategy. We are proud to work with the Ontario Parasport Collective to ensure that Ontarians of all abilities have access to equitable, quality participation opportunities. We congratulate the partner organizations of the Collective, and are delighted to continue our work with them in the implementation of the provincial parasport strategy,” said Stuart McReynolds, Director, Programs & Services, Abilities Centre.

The collective recognized the significant gap in participation rates in sport for children with disabilities, which are as low as 26%, compared to more than 80% for able-bodied children.

The strategy will look at education, leadership, competition and hosting, and pathways and system development with the goal of reducing systemic barriers and gaps that limit participation.

“The Ontario Trillium Foundation is honoured to assist with the formation of this collective and the development of such a comprehensive strategy for parasport in Ontario and in Canada. It is inspiring to see so many organizations sharing the common goal of closing the gaps and increasing physical activity for children and adults with disabilities. Parasport in Ontario will forever be improved following the work of this collective. I look forward to hearing about the impact on people’s lives as a result of this grant,” said Katharine Bambrick, CEO, the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

At the end of the project, there will be increased facility access, better transportation options, cost-effective programming, greater access to equipment, increased organizational capacity, more program availability, and more qualified leaders to develop and run quality sport programs.

“Our government is supporting the Ontario Parasport Collective and helping an amazing group of organizations respond to a community need. This is an important grant that will break down barriers for people across Ontario living with a disability and provide more opportunities for people to participate in sport," said Daiene Vernile, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport about the importance of this strategy.

 

QUICK FACTS:

  • 60% of students with disabilities noted that either a lack of awareness of opportunities or a lack of available opportunities prevents them for taking part in sport and physical activity
  • 54% of persons with disabilities are more likely to be active if a healthcare provider prescribes physical activity
  • The Ontario Parasport Collective received a $2.4 million grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to fund the Ontario Parasport Strategy
  • The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario that award grants to thousands of projects every year
  • Since 2013, the Ontario Trillium Foundation has invested over $453 million in projects to help build healthy and vibrant communities
Media Contact Name: 
Cynthia McQueen
Media Contact Organization: 
Ontario Trillium Foundation
Media Contact Phone Number: 
416-963-4561
Media Contact Email: 
cmcqueen@otf.ca
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