Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Community fund grant fuels basketball program

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THANKS to a $25,000 grant, 150 inner-city and at-risk youths will be able to play in the Winnipeg Minor Basketball Association this year.

The community fund grant, which has been presented to the Spence Neighbourhood Association at 430 Langside St. by the True Sport Foundation, assures that the SNA will be able to continue its program which began two years ago with only two teams.

"We started with only two teams," said SNA sports co-ordinator Nick Tanchuk, "and moved to six last year. Now we are moving into the 10- to12-team range."

Tanchuk said that they are focusing on fielding boys' and girls' teams in the nine, 10, 11, 12 and 13 age groups. "We may run more than one team in some of the divisions."

Tanchuk, who was not with SNA when it began running basketball teams, said that at the time the closest location for youth in the inner city to play basketball was as far away as Clifton Community Centre in Winnipeg's West End. "For kids living around the University of Winnipeg, Clifton is quite a trek.

"True Sport funding allows us to grow our capacity, providing positive alternatives to kids who otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to play on teams," said Tanchuk, adding that the grant will help fund registration fees, a healthy snack program for participants and a portion of equipment and transportation costs. "The University of Winnipeg Wesmen have purchased game jerseys for everyone on our teams," added Tanchuk.

True Sport Community Fund grants are available to community-based sport and recreation organizations throughout Canada to help address issues of access and inclusion that prevent low-income, new Canadian and aboriginal children and youths aged 4-17 from participating in sports.

For more information on the TSCF go to www.truesport.ca/tsfund or for the SNA go to www.spenceneighbourhood.org

allan.besson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 24, 2008 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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