Guided by the slogan “Assisting The Kid in Sport,” an existing relationship between Maskwacis Community and Sport Central will be elevated to a new level in support of the children and families in the Maskwacis region who cannot access the sport equipment they need to play hockey and get involved in other sports.
On Friday, November 7th at 1:00 p.m., a shipment consisting of two United Cycle trailers will arrive at Ermineskin Cree Nation from Sport Central in Edmonton. Valued in excess of $150,000, the sporting goods contained in these vehicles will help outfit any kid in the community who wants to play hockey, golf, volleyball, or basketball, in addition to other assorted sports gear.
This initiative could not have happened without the support of Maskwacis Health Services and the Hockey Alberta Foundation’s “Every Kid Every Community” program.
“Maskwacis might be a new name for many people, but the community formerly known as Hobbema has been steeped in sports for decades,” says Sheldon Oleksyn, Executive Director of Sport Central. “While many kids in the community play hockey and golf already, we plan to increase this number by ensuring every kid here has access to the equipment they need to play the sports they want. We intend this program to expand and eventually serve kids across the region.”
Working with the Hockey Alberta Foundation and United Cycle, Sport Central aims to make participation in hockey accessible to all children across central and northern Alberta through its Outreach Program. Maskwacis Cree Nation has worked with Sport Central in the past, but this is the first time sporting gear will be delivered, organized, stored and managed right in the community at the Jim Rattlesnake Building.
“We are so pleased to receive this equipment to enable the children in this community to access existing rinks, gyms and nearby golf courses. We have the facilities, all that was missing was the gear. Sport Central and its partners are filling that need,” says Kyle Wolfe—a Youth Worker with the Maskwacis Health Services—speaking on behalf of the community in which he serves.
Sports are first about having fun, but they also teach valuable life lessons about health, commitment, work ethic, how to be part of a team, and making sacrifices for the benefit of others. All children need to have access to these opportunities and lessons. They also need after-school and weekend activities to keep them focussed on uplifting pursuits that involve parents and community leaders.
Organizations like Sport Central, the Hockey Alberta Foundation, United Cycle and Alberta’s Promise are teaming up to make projects like this happen that benefit everyone in the province.