July 30th 2015
Since the inception of the Facility Access Program, more than 25 organizations and facilities such as Cumberland County YMCA, Yarmouth Shelburne Municipal Recreation Association, and the Acadia Athletics complex have leveraged funds and provided opportunities for more Nova Scotia families and youth to access sport and recreation facilities across the province.
They’ve done this by eliminating or minimizing barriers such as cost, transportation, accessibility, scheduling, and awareness, and by providing leadership so Nova Scotians can become physically active, engaged with their local communities, and exposed to existing opportunities.
This program, it is estimated that almost 30,000 opportunities for individuals have been created through dynamic partnerships between municipalities, facilities, schools and community groups. Some examples include:
- Regional collaborations of municipalities working to identify their target groups and barriers, and developing programming to overcome these hurdles. Victoria County used findings from a community research project to identify their target groups and barriers and developed a comprehensive regional program, Naturally Active, to offer to its citizens.
- Facility collaborations in Halifax Regional Municipality are offering diverse, complimentary programs for children, women and immigrant populations who would not normally use these facilities.
- Schools and facilities in Richmond County are offering facility access for students as well as families and seniors in the afternoon and evening, allowing them all to pursue recreational activities at these times.
- Community partners are teaming up with national and provincial parks to offer discovery programs to families that are not familiar with the outdoor opportunities in Nova Scotia. Cape Breton Family Place Resource Centre has teamed up with Parks Canada to offer outdoor wilderness tours of the Highlands and the Fortress of Louisbourg for new families to Canada. The Yarmouth Shelburne Municipal Recreation Association provided transportation to parks, beaches, and the Swim to Survive program.