By Sam Cortes, Communications Coordinator
You may wonder what it takes for a local non-profit organization to function as the lead planning, programming and funding agency for the development of amateur sport in our province. Of course, there is no simple answer.
Sport Manitoba partners with more than 100 organizations to deliver sport in the province, and is responsible for all kinds of programs, services, and events that happen year-round for people of all ages who love sport and seek to lead active, healthy lives.
The Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, Fit Kids Healthy Kids, and the Manitoba Games powered by Manitoba Hydro, are just a few examples and that small list barely skims the surface. From an outside perspective, it sounds like there’s a lot of moving parts beneath the umbrella of Sport Manitoba – and there is, but there’s a system behind how the organization can continually provide us with opportunities to play and get active.
How it Works
Sport Manitoba receives support from the Province of Manitoba to carry out its mission and achieve its goals and vision. But as a non-profit organization that provides funding and services to more than 100 sport partner organizations, such as Hockey Manitoba and Volleyball Manitoba, and support to sport-related activities of more than 300,000 Manitobans, there are other key components that make that feat possible.
The Sport Manitoba facility in Winnipeg’s East Exchange District was built in 2017 when Manitoba hosted the Canada Summer Games. Today, the Sport Manitoba facility is home to four services that generate revenue:
- Sport Manitoba Clinic
- Sport Manitoba Fitness Centre
- Sport Manitoba Performance
- Sport Manitoba Facility Bookings
When someone chooses the clinic for their physiotherapy, purchases a membership at the Fitness Centre, uses Performance training services or rents court space for their sport, that revenue is reinvested back into the amateur sport system.
Where Revenue Goes
If you’ve lived in Manitoba for a while, you’ve likely seen or even participated in some of Sport Manitoba’s programs or events. Sport Manitoba provides numerous grants and scholarships to accomplished students every year, prepares young athletes for Olympic-like experiences at provincial and interprovincial Games, develops and trains our province’s coaches, and manages the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.
But there’s certainly lots you may not be familiar with.
For example, Fit Kids Healthy Kids (FKHK) is a Physical Literacy program founded by Sport Manitoba and Doctors Manitoba that teaches kids and their adult leaders the
fundamentals of movement that make children confident and competent in sport, recreation and life.
Their free Motion Zones are found all around the province at festivals, picnics and large community events like Festival du Voyageur and Oak Lake Agricultural Fair. Through FKHK programs, training sessions and event presence, their goal is fit, healthy kids that are active for life.
When the Sport Manitoba facility was built, part of the vision for the downtown organization was to give back to the community, particularly in ways that reflect its mission that every Manitoban should have the opportunity to play and be active. As a large facility with a variety of resources, providing the space for community programs to run was a no-brainer.
Community programs take place at Sport Manitoba each week, welcoming several schools and groups to use the space, such as the Salvation Army, River East Transcona School Division, and Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, which are made up of individuals who do not have access to gyms or health-related resources on their own.
Participants of these programs come to the facility for an hour, warm up with one of the Sport Manitoba Fitness Centre instructors, do laps on the track, use the equipment, and enjoy free time on the courts while socializing in a safe and encouraging environment.
By welcoming these groups to use the Sport Manitoba facility for their activities, programs like these have been able to meaningfully impact and develop our community.
This all falls under one umbrella: Sport Manitoba. The organization is an all-encompassing entity in the sport community, and the revenue-generating services are a large part of how it operates.
Providing affordable services allows the organization to continue developing community programming and increase support to its partners, ultimately creating more opportunities for Manitobans to get in the game and lead healthy lives.