Thirty-three communities throughout the Northwest Territories have been sent nearly a million dollars in funding for sports and recreation programs.
The funding, provided by the federal government and distributed by the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs, aims to support sports and recreation programs organizations who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.
In total, more $1.5 million was distributed by MACA as part of the program. This includes $721,289 to 33 community governments, $551,000 to 29 territorial sport organizations and $228,351 to territorial and regional sport and recreation non-government organizations.
The money is going towards facility repairs, expanding the times program are offered to allow more people to participate amid physical distancing restrictions and funds for Indigenous winter cultural day camps and traditional games.
“We recognize the importance of sports, physical activity and recreation and its impact for our residents during these challenging times,” Paulie Chinna, Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs said in a statement. “Through innovative planning and careful health and safety measures, this funding will be supporting important programs that directly impact the physical and mental health of all NWT residents.”
Sports organizations and facilities throughout the territory have slowly been reopening, through exemptions granted by the Chief Public Health Officer.
Hay River is still waiting for the reopening of its pool after the town was granted an exemption to reopen by the CPHO. Yellowknife’s pool reopened on October 9. Gyms and similar recreation facilities have also been facing tough times, especially in light of the previous COVID-19 exposure at Anytime Fitness. Some gyms were forced to stop accepting new members.