Killarney Figure Skating Club receives $10K Jumpstart grant

Cash injection will help support and grow skate programs locally

In February, Canadian Tire Corp-oration announced an additional $12 million commitment to Jumpstart’s Sport Relief Fund to help sport and recreation organizations build back sport and play in Canada.  

Jumpstart conducted a State of Sport study via Ipsos, which revealed the pandemic has not only impacted current access to sport and play, but has real long-term effects as well. 

The Killarney Figure Skating Club (KFSC), and the communities it serves, have experienced the impact of the pandemic first-hand, they said.  

“We recently received confirmation that we are amongst nearly 300 sport and recreation organizations nationally to be provided with grant support through Jumpstart’s Sport Relief Fund,” said April Archambault, secretary/communications person with the Killarney Figure Skating Club. 

“We are beyond grateful to receive this news, and know the positive impact it will have on sport and recreation organizations, and, ultimately, on kids across the country.” 

Archambault said that the grant support will help the club to grow their skating programs locally, even during this time of COVID-19.

“With Jumpstart’s support, we’ll be able to improve upon and continue to offer skating programs in Killarney,” she said. “Our vision is to be able to improve and grow our current programming in order to be accessible to more kids in this community, even amidst the challenges of the pandemic and into the future.”

Archambault added that the club was already struggling before the pandemic hit.

“It’s been increasingly difficult to keep the skating club afloat in Killarney – even before COVID hit – with rising ice fees, and difficulty securing enough coaches and volunteers,” she said. “Many small towns in Manitoba have lost their skating clubs over the past decade for these reasons. This year, our volunteer board was tasked with the huge challenge of getting our skating programs safely up and running amidst the pandemic restrictions and protocol set on multiple levels:  the province, the municipality, and Skate Canada. Unfortunately, the season was cut very short when our region went into Code Red in November. We are proud to say that the KFSC board worked very hard to ensure that families received a full refund for any sessions not fulfilled.” 

The funds will also help with enlisting coaches, she said.

“The program builds on itself each year, and not running it for a season can have a dramatic effect on future enrolment,” she said. “With some basic projections we knew we would be in trouble if we didn’t pursue ways to shift the momentum. When we received word that we had been selected as a Canadian Tire JumpStart Sport Relief Fund recipient, we were beyond thrilled! We now have an opportunity to pour (this) into our club, and give it the boost it needs to stay alive and operating in Killarney. 

“Our vision is to be able to provide access to quality programming to more kids in this community who want to learn to skate,” she continued. “The grant will go a long way to helping us rebuild and strengthen our program even through the challenges of the pandemic. Funds will be invested in coach development, training and hiring of future coaches, subsidizing program costs for our skating families, and adapting the programs to function both now and post-COVID-19.

“We know now, more than ever, how important keeping active and involved in sport and activity is for our kids. We want to continue to be available to Killarney and its surrounding communities, to make use of our beautiful Shamrock Centre, and to continue to improve and grow our programs to reach all kids who desire to learn to skate,” said Archambault. 

CANADIAN TIRE SUPPORTS SKATING – Above (left), Stuart Cruise, general manager of Canadian Tire, Brandon, poses along with Logan, Kyla, and Teagan Guenther, representing the Killarney Figure Skating Club. The local club was selected as a Canadian Tire JumpStart Sport Relief Fund recipient, and granted $10K in support money.