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The Canada Winter Games Legacy Fund will direct $5.5 million to amateur sports across Prince Edward Island

The Canada Winter Games Legacy Fund will direct $5.5 million to amateur sports across Prince Edward Island

The 2023 Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island left another legacy, in the form of a $5.5 million fund open to applications from amateur sports groups and communities in the province.

The money will go toward making sure athletes, coaches and officials on the island have what they need to succeed, which may include better equipment and facilities.

The president of the association hosting the event said the surplus is the largest legacy fund in Canadian Games history.

Wayne Caro describes the fund as “what I hope will be a lasting legacy for future athletes coming up on the island, which will give them a little bit of progression, an opportunity they might not normally have… so they can compete at the national level.

“It's a transformative change in amateur sports. We don't get that kind of money to pump into island sports.”

Wayne Caro, President of the Canada 2023 Winter Games Host Association.

Wayne Caro, President of the Canada 2023 Winter Games Host Association.

Wayne Caro, president of the 2023 Canada Winter Games Host Association, says the legacy fund is the largest in the history of the Games. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

Prince Edward Island welcomed more than 3,600 Canada Games athletes, coaches and managers from across the country over two weeks in February 2023.

About 5,000 volunteers were on hand to welcome them and pave the way for every element of their experience.

The infrastructure legacy includes a $63 million residence at UPEI, a $10 million Olympic-sized rink in North Rustico, and a $5 million multi-purpose dome.

The host community raised $9.3 million through sponsorships, ticket sales and the sale of branded apparel and other equipment, Caro said.

The Prince Edward Island Community Foundation will oversee the surplus funds and review applications.

Applicants can be municipalities or local, provincial or territorial non-profit sports organizations based in Prince Edward Island

Funding categories include capacity building, equipment, sports promotion, and facility development.

Executive Director Rhonda Boles says Baseball PEI already holds summer camps with both the Lennox and Abegweit First Nations, but is looking to build more participation from Indigenous youth. Executive Director Rhonda Boles says Baseball PEI already holds summer camps with both Lennox and Abegweit First Nations, but is looking to build more participation from Indigenous youth.

Executive Director Rhonda Boles says Baseball PEI already holds summer camps with both Lennox and Abegweit First Nations, but is looking to build more participation from Indigenous youth.

Rhonda Boles, executive director of Baseball PEI, says the organization will definitely apply for funding to improve existing stadiums and build new ones. (Shane Hennessy/CBC)

Rhonda Boles, executive director of Baseball PEI, plans to apply for legacy funding to help the organization build and improve fields for Island ballplayers.

“This is real money. Real money can make a big impact on one of the biggest challenges we face here [which] “Places too,” she said.

“We have a lot of kids that play baseball, we have a lot of young people that play baseball, and we’re trying to expand our leagues.”

Communities or organizations interested in applying for the Canadian Gaming Heritage Fund can do so through Community foundation of prince edward island location.

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