Ontario announces $15M to get sports up and running again including $2M for OHL

lisa m

Ontario is investing in $15.3M to get sports running again in the province, including $2M for the OHL.

$2.35M will help 17 OHL teams meet their player scholarship commitments with about $138,000 going to each team.

Details were provided today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.

"While we work towards recovery, we want to ensure Ontario's sport and recreation sector is strong, vibrant and remains a source of pride for our province, with a positive impact on the lives of Ontarians," said Minister MacLeod. "We are committed to supporting the sector during the pandemic and ensuring that, through programs like these, sport and recreation remains at the heart of Ontario's communities."

MacLeod says 'the game stopped' on March 12th, 2020 and she wants to restore confidence for athletes and families across Ontario.

She says sports in Ontario is big business which sparks $12.6B in economic activity.

The $15.3-million investment will support four initiatives. They are listed below.

•$3 million in 2020-21 for SPORT4ONTARIO to deliver a pilot program that helps kids and families regain confidence in sport and recreation activities. The program will support grassroots physical activity and recreation programming. It will promote mental wellness and safety in sport that is free from harassment, abuse and discrimination. 

•$3.6 million for 63 recognized Provincial Sport Organizations to support their member community sport clubs who provide access to sports such as soccer, volleyball, skiing, etc. A portion of the funding will support their administration costs with the remainder being used to support member clubs. 

•$6.36 million in 2020-21 for Quest for Gold Canada to support approximately 550 Ontario athletes who have reached national competition level, as part of Quest for Gold's Canada Card program. This initiative provides direct financial assistance to high-performance athletes, enhancing their ability to train by reducing financial burden. This amount represents a one-time increase of up to $8,400 for national-level athletes. 

•$2.35 million for the Ontario Hockey League (OHL)'s post-secondary education scholarships for athletes on 17 Ontario-based teams. This investment provides approximately $138,000 to each of the 17 teams to help them meet their player scholarship commitments.