CAMPS Project & recLINK partner to connect youth from Ottawa Community Housing to free sports opportunities
April 1, 2016
OTTAWA – Youth from Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) neighbourhoods are now a step closer to their sports dreams thanks to a new partnership announced last evening at the RA Centre.
Through their recLINK program, the OCH Foundation will work with the organization behind the Connecting Athletes of All Means to Paths in Sport Project to offer free sports opportunities and transport to youth living in OCH communities.
“We’re very excited to expand the reach of our programs and increase the positive impact we can make in many youths’ lives,” says Tara Howlett, Director of Community Engagement for the OCH Foundation/recLINK. “Although our initiatives have blossomed independently, this new partnership will strengthen our resolve to help children and youth in low-income communities participate in barrier-free recreation and sport.”
With the support of the Community Houses at Britannia Woods, Carson’s Grove and Rochester Heights – the three communities the program will serve initially, with an eye on reaching others in the future – the CAMPS/recLINK partnership brings together a pair of like-minded organizations with similar objectives and complementary strengths.
recLINK is a leader in helping families to overcome participation barriers in all forms of social recreation, while the CAMPS Project connects youth to optimal sports developmental avenues thanks to its partnerships with community sports clubs.
In exchange for offering positions in their programs at no cost to OCH youth, CAMPS Project partners are able to promote their activities on OttawaSportsCAMPS.ca as well as in the Ottawa Sportspage newspaper.
Caitlyne Brewer, recLINK’s Family Coordinator, will identify participants who could benefit most from the program while ensuring barriers are reduced and that the proper support structures are in place so youth can fully enjoy their recreational experiences.
The partnership will allow the CAMPS Project to access the organizational resources required to advance beyond its current summer camps-focused format to a year-round program that will put participants on the path to excellence in sport.
As illustrated in the CAMPS Project program pyramid, the goal is to give young athletes the chance to access university sports scholarships and potentially make a career in sport. It aims to inspire a new generation of sports leaders who can be positive influences in the community.
“We’re very pleased to have laid the groundwork for this initiative, but we still need support from the sports community to help us take the CAMPS Project to the next level,” says Dan Plouffe, the Executive Director for the not-for-profit group that operates the Sportspage and the CAMPS Project. “In the coming months, we will be reaching out to sports groups, businesses and individuals who are interested in contributing to the CAMPS Project and helping us offer opportunities in sport to the youth in our city who, otherwise, would not have the chance to participate.”
The CAMPS Project has also launched an online fundraising campaign. An array of rewards are available for contributions at various levels. Those giving $20 or more prior to May 31 will be entered into a draw for the Ottawa Super Fan Prize Pack, which includes pairs of tickets to many of Ottawa’s major sports teams.
Contributions are also possible through the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation, which can provide a charitable tax receipt, via ochfoundation.ca.
About the CAMPS Project:
The Connecting Athletes of All Means to Paths in Sport Project is an initiative that provides free sports opportunities and transportation to youth living in Ottawa Community Housing neighbourhoods.
The summer camps or seasonal programs positions are provided by partner sports organizations, which receive advertising in the Ottawa Sportspage newspaper and on OttawaSportsCAMPS.ca in exchange for offering the opportunities at no cost to participants.
The CAMPS Project functions under the guidance of the not-for-profit Ottawa Community Sport Media Team, which also operates the Ottawa Sportspage.
Find out more at: OttawaSportsCAMPS.ca/about-us
recLINK is the combination of best practices of recreation-based, and children and youth serving organizations, including the former Social Rec Connect program.
There exist many barriers for Ottawa’s most vulnerable families that make participation in social recreation activities difficult.
Many barriers are rooted in various factors including accessibility, transportation, information, parental engagement, and affordability.
As such, recLINK aims to reduce barriers and create links to existing social recreation for children and youth residing in Ottawa Community Housing.
Find out more at: recLINK.ca