A partnership of four organizations will allow scores of Maskwacis youth to have access to team and individual sports thanks to the donation of mostly pre-owned equipment, worth some $100,000, a project that was initiated and completed in less than a year.
Under the leadership of the Sports Central and with the contributions of Alberta’s Promise, Hockey Alberta Foundation and United Cycle, Edmonton’s biggest sports equipment outlet, used equipment were collected and delivered to the Ermineskin Jim Rattlesnake building to be managed and put to use by the Maskwacis Health Services authority.
At a small ceremony before the handover of the equipment to the Maskwacis officials, speakers stressed the importance of the availability of the equipment for the use of the youths of all four bands of Maskwacis Cree.
Randy Ermineskin, newly elected chief of the Ermineskin nation, told the participants at the ceremony that the donated sports equipment would, among other things, help reduce crime in Maskwacis communities by providing the youth the opportunity to get involved in healthy activities.
Kyle Wolfe, a youth worker with Maskwacis Counseling and Support Services in charge of making the inventory of and managing the donated equipment, said the donation would help reduce the widespread obesity and associated diseases like diabetes in the community. “We will help as many youth as we can within the four nations,” he said.
Kelly Hodgson, marketing manager for the United Cycle, said their contribution to the project was the natural result of their status as one of the founding members of the Sports Central organization.
A press release issued by Sports Central said the donated sporting goods would “help outfit any kid in the community who wants to play hockey, golf, volleyball, or basketball, in addition to other assorted sports gear.”