Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Lethbridge Sport Council launching six part “Breaking Barriers” series

Lethbridge sports community members are invited to participate in a new six-part series the Lethbridge Sport Council is launching.

The Sport For All: Breaking Barriers series is launching on Thursday, November 23rd, with the first session, Playing Together: Unite Through Sport, being put on by The Get REAL Movement. This non-profit organization focuses on eliminating discrimination and racism. According to the Sport Council, the Get REAL Movement’s program promotes unity and fosters “compassion in our world.” The presentation that will kick off the six-part focuses on anti-racism and inclusivity in realistic scenarios.

Lethbridge Sport Council Executive Director Susan Eymann says Chad Chief Moon, Spirit North Community Program Leader, and Jennifer MacPherson, pirit North Regional Coordinator for Southern Alberta, will discuss their experiences working with Indigenous athletes. Eymann adds Chief Moon, a sports council board member, is known for his work in the Lethbridge community as a hockey and lacrosse coach, and youth mentor.

“He is really more of an advocate for developing great humans, and that is what sport is about. It is using sport as a vehicle to do that.”

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The remaining five sessions of the series will happen between November of this year and April of next year, including a newcomer session that will connect newcomers with sport. The Sport For All: Breaking Barriers series will wrap up in April with a presentation from Allison Forsyth about safe sports and the sexual abuse that can and has been occurring within the sports world.

“She is speaking from a lived experience as an Olympic Skier and is now working as an advocate for government as well as sports organizations,” Eymann says.

She adds that the series has two main objectives: the first is to work with the community and residents to connect them with sport, while the second is to work with sport and connect them with the resources they need.

“What we have done over the last half year is connecting with community organizations that have a network of populations that may not have all the information about what is offered within the community and how to access it.”

According to Eymann, one of the major barriers they have heard about from the community is the cost of sports nowadays. She credits organizations such as KidSport and Jump Start for providing subsidy programs, along with both the City of Lethbridge and the provincial government, for supporting the financial need being seen in the community. With that in mind, she says the Sports Council is working on keeping the price from being a barrier for residents to attend this series, with local sports organizations paying a one-time $100 registration fee that covers all their members being able to participate in as many of the presentations as they would like. Community members not linked to a community sports organization who would like to attend the presentations can contact the Lethbridge Sport Council and participate at no cost.

The first presentation will be held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Lethbridge Sport Council Community Room
on November 23rd. More information can be found on the Lethbridge Sport Council website. The series is funded Government of Canada and the Alberta Ministry of Tourism and Sport.

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