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Posted: June 3, 2006

Multisport: Ontario Amateur Athletes Recognized for Dedication and Commitment

Ontario Athletes Instill Pride And Serve As Valuable Role Models

Ottawa -- Health promotion Minister Jim Watson was joined by area MPPs to recognize the region's athletes for their dedication and commitment to excellence in sport at a reception held today at the RA Centre.

More than 100 amateur athletes were invited to the event along with their families, friends, coaches and managers

"This government is on the side of Ontario families who are inspired by amateur athletes to lead active, healthy lives," said Watson. "That's why we introduced the Quest for Gold program which gives our high performance athletes increased support to achieve excellence in sport."

Of the $2.9 million raised by the lottery fund, 892 eligible amateur athletes received $1,9955,702 for direct financial assistance to help them cover living, training and post-secondary tuition costs. The Canadian Sport Centre - Ontario received $558,772 to provide enhanced coaching and the Sports Alliance of Ontario received $279,368 to facilitate training and competitive opportunities.

This is just the latest example of how the McGuinty government is working to increase sport participation and physical activity throughout Ontario. Other initiatives include:

  • A third year investment of $5 million for the Communities in Action Fund which invests in community sport and physical activity and helps remove barriers to participation for children and youth, low-income families, aboriginal people, older adults, women and girls, visible/ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.
  • A $6.1 million equal partnership with Sport Canada to create the Sport for More fund to encourage sports participation among underrepresented groups that include youth from low-income families, ethnic minorities, women, the disabled, older adults as well as Aboriginal communities.
  • A $3.5 million Ontario Trails Strategy over five years to develop, promote and extend Ontario's trail system as part of our government's ACTIVE 2010 plan to increase Ontario's physical activity rate from 48 to 55 per cent by 2010.

"Ontario is proud of the recent success of our athletes." said Watson. "Through their dedication and outstanding performance, they encourage us to become more physically active."

The Ministry of Health Promotion was established in June 2005 to improve and deliver programs that contribute to healthy living and wellness in this province. Key priority areas include Ontario's smoke-free strategy, health eating, active living, injury prevention and mental health.

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