The City of St. Catharines is making it easier for local youth to live a healthy, active lifestyle.
The new St. Catharines Fee Assistance Program, part of Healthy Kids Community Challenge Niagara, will provide up to 360 eligible families with one-time savings of 90 per cent on one City recreation program. Children will also receive three months of free swimming at the City’s outdoor pools and the St. Catharines Kiwanis Aquatics Centre and three months of free skating at City arenas. Since transportation can often be a barrier to recreation, children will receive a St. Catharines Transit summer student bus pass so they can get to parks, playgrounds, splash pads, and trails.
“With this new funding program we’re removing barriers to participation,” said Mayor Walter Sendzik. “One of the ways to combat obesity is to simply get children moving. By providing this funding we’ll get more children active, which will help reverse the trend on obesity.”
The aim of the Fee Assistance Program is to provide children from low-income households with the opportunity to participate in recreation programs. In St. Catharines, more than 20 per cent of children aged 18 and under live in low-income households.
Parents can learn more about the program and the application process by visiting www.stcatharines.ca/HealthyKids or by calling 905.688.5601 ext. 1800. Families must meet financial requirements to qualify. All applications will be kept confidential.
The Healthy Kids Community Challenge is funded by the Government of Ontario in 45 communities across the province. It is a key component in the Ontario Government’s Healthy Kids Strategy - a cross-government initiative that aims to improve children’s health and well-being by focusing on a healthy start in life, healthy food and healthy active communities. Niagara, along with its 12 local area municipalities, was selected as one of the 45 communities and will be implementing policies, programs, and initiatives over the next three years. More information is available at www.healthykidsniagara.ca .
Photo: freeimages.com Stacy Braswell