The Town of Hay River has been selected by Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart program to receive a grant from its Sport Relief Fund.

The fund helps community sport organizations continue to provide access to sport and play for young people.

The grant to Hay River will help with this summer’s sports camps, a new addition to the long-running Summer Heat program.

“This is a new fund they came out with to help support getting communities and kids active as we start to emerge out of Covid,” said Nicole Mitchell, the town’s recreation programming supervisor.

Mitchell declined to say how much money the town would be getting for the Summer Heat Sports Camps.

“We did get a significant portion that will go a long way to supporting the program,” she said.

The funding will help train staff, provide T-shirts for participants, and provide appropriate footwear for youth in need.

The Summer Heat Sports Camps are not totally dependent on the Canadian Tire funding.

“We would have been having it with or without,” said Mitchell. “We have a few funding sources that go towards programming, and because we were able to receive this grant from this program that means other funding can be used towards other programming.”

However, the purchase of footwear is happening because of the Canadian Tire support.

“The shoes for sure we would not have been able to purchase,” said Mitchell.

This is not the first time that the Town of Hay River has received support from the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program.

“We’ve gotten funding from Canadian Tire before for our kick-boxing and boxing program for youth,” said Mitchell, although she noted this is the first support from the Sport Relief Fund.

The sports camps, like the regular Summer Heat, are expected to run for seven weeks from July 12 to Aug. 27.

Each week of the sports camps will focus on a particular sport, including basketball, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, traditional games, ball hockey, flag football and more.

Registration opened on June 1.

Across Canada, the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Sport Relief Fund will be distributing $12 million.

Mitchell explained that the Town of Hay River qualified for some of the funding as a not-for-profit organization.

“We’re not in it to make money,” she said. “We’re in it to provide affordable and accessible recreational programming, and that’s in line with Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart goals, as well to be able to make active programming as accessible to youth as possible.”

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