South Dundas Sports and Recreation Program director Ben Macpherson, with the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, has taken another step in bringing healthy living and recreation to residents of South Dundas.
Last Thursday, August 9, Macpherson, along with Catherine Maclaine, a member of the Trillium Foundation’s grant team for the local Champlain area announced a $27,500 Trillium grant for the purchase of sport and recreation equipment to establish a Sport Lending Library.
Joining Macpherson and Mac- laine for the announcement were Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell and members of South Dundas council including mayor Steven Byvelds, deputy-mayor Jim Locke and councillors Evonne Delegarde and Archie Mellan.
In addition to the announcement of the Trillium Funding, Macpherson announced that the Sport Lending Library will eventually find its home in some of the space currently occupied by the County Library beneath the Morrisburg Arena lobby.
“The Township of South Dundas is to be commended for their innovative approach to providing their residents with the use of sporting equipment, which will enhance their healthy and active lifestyle,” said McDonnell. “I am very pleased that the Ontario Trillium Foundation supports this initiative.”
“I think this is a great opportunity for South Dundas and for those people who don’t have equipment,” said mayor Byvelds. “I certainly want to thank the Trillium Foundation for this grant that has enabled Ben to buy the equipment.”
“There is a demand for recreation in South Dundas and this will enhance our recreation programming. It will certainly give everyone the opportunity to try something, and they can decide where to go from there.”
While the space at the arena is occupied by the library, equipment in the Sports Lending Library will be temporarily housed in a unit to be built in the south west corner of the arena as well as at the nearby former St. Lawrence Parks Commission building.
Macpherson said he has been busy purchasing the equipment which will support a wide range of sports and activities.
The equipment will include such items as life jackets, basketballs, volleyballs, skipping ropes, badminton nets and racquets and other sporting balls. Big ticket items are skates, helmets, snowshoes and cross country skis.
The Sport Lending Library will offer residents access to a variety of sporting and recreation equipment at no charge and as soon as Macpherson can get it arranged, he will open satellite lending cupboards in Iroquois and Williamsburg.
Although there will be no charge to use the equipment, users will be required to fill out loan forms and there will be charges applied in the event of damage or lost equipment.
Macpherson is hoping to line up some volunteers who will handle the loans in addition to having the staff at the arena help out.
“South Dundas Recreation is committed to helping residents improve or continue leading healthy, active lives,” says Macpherson.
The Trillium Foundation is a leading grant maker in Canada which strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives.