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If you're driving on the Dempster Highway, watch out for a cyclist and his support crew.

Don Patterson is riding from Inuvik, N.W.T., to Point Pelee, Ont., the southernmost point of the country — a distance of 7,000 kilometres — in order to raise money for aboriginal fitness programs across Canada.

"I came up with this idea because I wanted to increase awareness for the importance of physical activity for our aboriginal youth," Patterson told our CBC reporter in Inuvik. "This way I can pass through many aboriginal communities starting in Inuvik where you have both first nations and Inuvialuit population."

Patterson, 61, has raised $5,000 so far.

Spirit Ride 2016 map
The route goes from the northernmost to the southernmost point in Canada. (spiritride.ca)

Some of that money will be used for a youth fitness position in the N.W.T.'s Beaufort Delta region, based in Inuvik.

He's also working with Olympic skier Sharon Firth to get ski equipment donated to Fort McPherson and Inuvik schools.

Donations are being accepted on his website.

Read more here

The Sport for Life Society is seeking leaders from across the sport, recreation, education and health sectors to share their innovative work, research and/or findings at the 2016 Canadian Sport for Life National Summit. The Summit takes place in Gatineau, Quebec from January 26 through 28.

The Summit brings together leaders who work to enhance the quality of sport and physical activity in Canada and abroad. The Sport for Life Society recognizes that quality sport and physical activity offer rich benefits to Canadian society through improved health, stronger communities, higher sporting achievement, and stronger national identity. By improving sport, Sport for Life Society aims to improve the lives of all Canadians.

The theme for this year's Summit is "Resiliency by Design" – the concept of durability, including anticipating and planning for challenges in order to bounce-back even stronger than before, in both sport and life. Summit delegates will hear about durability and resiliency from across the sectors, and how they can use these findings to influence their own work. As in previous years, the presentation types featured will include individual sessions ranging from 20 to 45 minutes, panel sessions of three to four people discussing a common theme for 75 to 90 minutes, and “Citius Vocems” (Latin for "faster talk") where presenters have four minutes to deliver their message in a modified version of the rapid-fire style Pecha Kutcha presentations.

To submit an abstract, visit: http://canadiansportforlife.ca/call-abstracts-presentation-outlines-2016-cs4l-national-summit. Abstracts will be accepted until July 5. Early bird registration for the Summit will open September 1.

About Sport for Life Society:

The Sport for Life Society is recognized as the national experts on CS4L, Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD), and Physical Literacy Development. CS4L is a movement to improve the quality of sport and physical activity in Canada by linking sport, education, recreation and health, and aligning community, provincial, and national programming. LTAD is a seven-stage training, competition and recovery pathway guiding an individual’s experience in sport and physical activity from infancy through all phases of adulthood.

Read more here

Sudbury and Timmins are both bidding to host the first official Ontario Aboriginal Summer Games in 2016.

The event has been developed to help Ontario field a strong team for the North American Indigenous Games. Held every three years, that event aims to improve the quality of life for Indigenous Peoples through sport and culture.

The selection process to send young people to North American games has not had much structure in the past, said Clay Melnike with the Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario.

The Ontario Aborginal Summer Games will provide a system to ensure all aboriginal athletes in the province get a shot at the larger competition, he added.

"It's one that is fair and one that has regional build-up — and that is so important because it gives everyone an equal chance across the province. We are quite excited about that," he said.

Ontario is also bidding to host the North American Indigenous Games in 2017 using the athletic facilities built for next month's Pan Am Games in Toronto, Melnike said.

A decision will be made in July on which city wins the right to host the games, but Melnike said Sudbury may have the edge because of the new watersports centre on Ramsey Lake that is set to open this summer.

"The canoe and kayak venue is really crucial for the summer games. You have the best [venue] now in Canada maybe," he said.

The 2016 event will bring about a thousand athletes to the host city, along with parents and coaches, Melnike said.

Read more here

Application Deadline: Jul. 2, 2015
Start Date: Jul. 6, 2015

If you are passionate about building healthy communities through sport and physical activity, we want to meet you!

SPORT4ONTARIO is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the promotion of sport and physical activity in Ontario. We provide the collaborative environment, knowledge and resources to build capacity and leadership in the Ontario sport sector.

PURPOSE OF POSITION: The Assistant Project Coordinator will assist with all aspects of stakeholder engagement. They will facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing both inside and outside of the sport sector by organizing networking opportunities and outreach efforts.

Type of Position: Full Time

Employment Type: Summer / Student

Salary Range: $12.00 per hour

More information here

Application Deadline: Jul. 2, 2015
Start Date: Jul. 6, 2015

Passionate about building healthy communities through sport and physical activity? Then we want to meet you!

SPORT4ONTARIO is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the promotion of sport and physical activity in Ontario. We provide the collaborative environment, knowledge and resources to build capacity and leadership in the Ontario sport sector.

PURPOSE OF POSITION: The Community Engagement Assistant will assist in building capacity for service providers that offer sport and physical activity opportunities to under- serviced communities across the GTA. The focus will be on outreach and relationship building as well as enhancement of SPORT4ONTARIO’s online presence.

TYPE OF POSITION: Summer Student

Type of Position: Full Time

Employment Type: Summer / Student

Salary Range: $12.00 per hour

More information here

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price paid homage to his aboriginal roots in B.C. as he accepted one of his four trophies at the NHL Awards on Wednesday night.

"I would like to take a moment to encourage First Nations youth," said Price, who grew up in the mostly aboriginal community of Anahim Lake in central B.C.

His mother is a former chief of the Ulkatcho First Nation, and his father — a former professional goalie — used to drive Price to hockey games 300 kilometres away in Williams Lake.

On Wednesday night, Price took home the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player, the Vezina Trophy as top goalie, and the Ted Lindsay Award as the most outstanding player in the NHL. He also shared the William M. Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals in the regular season.

Price, 27, also won an Olympic gold medal with Team Canada in Sochi, Russia last year.

"A lot of people would say it's very improbable that I would make it to this point in my life. I made it here because ... I wasn't discouraged. I've worked hard to get here, took advantage of every opportunity I had," he said in his Vezina acceptance speech. (Watch above.)

"And I'd really like to encourage First Nations youth to be leaders in their communities, be proud of your heritage and don't be discouraged from the improbable. Sunachailya."

"Sunachailya" means thank you in the Dakelh language, spoken by the Ulkatcho people who are part of the Carrier First Nation.

Price said returning regularly to the Cariboo-Chilcotin region where he grew up is important for him to connect with the land, his family, and a responsibility to be a role model for young aboriginal kids, according to a 2008 profile by the Vancouver Sun.

Price's devotion to his hometown showed through earlier this year when a shy boy from Anahim Lake won a chance to visit his hero in Montreal. The goaltender was brought to tears when he received a gift made by school kids back home.

Watch the video or read more here

The City of Saskatoon’s Summer Youth Centres open for the season on Friday, July 3, 2015. The last day of programs will be August 19, 2015. Youth ages 12 to 16 are invited to drop in for sports and games, listen to music, participate in special events, or hang out with friends in a friendly environment supervised by fun, qualified leaders.

Hours of operation, unless otherwise stated, are Monday to Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Monday, August 3, 2015).

Youth Centre Locations:

  • Brownell School (274 Russell Road)
  • Confederation Park Community School (3555 John A. Macdonald Road)
  • St. Peter Elementary School (202 Sumner Crescent)
  • St. Volodymyr School (302 Kellough Road)

Arts Only Location:

  • Albert Community Centre (610 Clarence Avenue South) Monday to Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Mè Ta Wè Tàn Youth Centre Locations:

  • St. John School (1205 Avenue N South)
  • St. Mary’s Wellness and Education Centre (327 Avenue N South)
  • Westmount Community School (411 Avenue J North)

Sports Only Youth Centre Locations:

Basketball

  • Briarwood Park Outdoor Court (beside Briarwood Park spray pad) Tuesday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Cosmo Civic Centre (3130 Laurier Drive) Monday and Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Monday to Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Forest Grove Outdoor Court (beside Forest Grove School spray pad) Wednesday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Lakewood Civic Centre (1635 McKercher Drive) Monday to Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Optimist Park Outdoor Court (beside Riversdale paddling pool) Thursday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Bike (Bring your bike and safety gear)

  • Meet beside Lakewood Civic Centre (1635 McKercher Drive) Monday to Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Youth are also invited to practise their boarding with our skilled skateboard leaders who travel to different sites each day. Equipment is provided or you can bring your own deck. Program runs from July 3 to August 19, 2015.

Skateboard Leaders are at the following locations at these hours:

  • Charlottetown Park (behind Cosmo Civic Centre) Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Lions Skate Park (Victoria Park – beside Riversdale Pool) Monday and Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Morris T. Chernesky Park (beside Shaw Civic Centre) Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Umea Park (behind Lawson Civic Centre off Pinehouse Drive) Thursday from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • W.W. Ashley Park (beside Lathey Pool) Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Skateboard sites are open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. For more information, please call 306-975-3378 or visit www.saskatoon.ca/skateboard

Read more here

MLSE Foundation announced Malvern Family Resource Centre (MFRC) as the first recipient of the $50,000 Toronto FC Community Action Grant presented by the Just Energy Foundation at BMO Field on Wednesday evening. MLSE Foundation Executive Director Michael Bartlett was joined by Toronto FC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko, Toronto FC Community Ambassador Dwayne De Rosario, Just Energy Executive Chair Rebecca MacDonald and Just Energy Vice President of Marketing Alan Shulman for the announcement. As part of the celebration, Malvern Family Resource Centre Program Director Alex Dow and MFRC Soccer Drillz program youth were invited to the Toronto FC versus Montreal Impact game as guests of MLSE Foundation and to participate in the cheque presentation. The $50,000 grant will directly support MFRC Soccer Drillz, which focuses on developing youth soccer skills through various activities.

"We are excited and proud to announce Malvern Family Resource Centre as the first recipient of the Toronto FC Community Action Grant presented by the Just Energy Foundation," said Michael Bartlett, Executive Director of MLSE Foundation. "Their Soccer Drillz program gives youth the opportunity to develop their soccer skills in a fun environment and we look forward to seeing the positive impact this program has on the Scarborough community."

The program is designed specifically for boys and girls ages 11-14 years old in the Malvern and Rouge River riding with little or no experience playing soccer as well as those who have limited exposure to recreation or team sports. Youth will be given access to a National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) qualified coach once per week to support the development of their technical and tactical skills through fun games, competitions and other activities including listening to guest speakers, participating in leadership activities to support developing self-esteem and future leaders.

"Malvern Family Resource Centre is excited by this opportunity to work with MLSE and Just Energy to deliver a new soccer skill building program to over 550 children and youth and their families in the north-east Scarborough community," said Alex Dow, Program Director of Malvern Family Resource Centre.

The Toronto FC Community Action Grant along with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors Community Action Grants are three $50,000 sport-specific prizes presented by the Just Energy Foundation that MLSE Foundation will award to non-profit organizations supporting youth sports programming in the city each year. Eligible non-profits can apply for all grants at mlsefoundation.org, where submissions are reviewed by a selection committee before a winner is chosen and announced at a special event in their community.

"This award marks our third $50,000 Community Action Grant this year and reinforces our commitment, through the Just Energy Foundation, to assist local organizations who work so hard to build stronger, more supportive and inclusive communities," said Deb Merril, Just Energy's co-Chief Executive Officer. "Malvern Family Resource Centre is a brilliant example of this. We couldn't be more pleased to contribute to their mission to provide youth with opportunities, through sport, to build life-enriching skills, confidence and leadership qualities to better position them for future success."

About Malvern Family Resource Centre
Malvern Family Resource Centre (MFRC) has been serving the community for over 30 years and continues to deliver programs and services to meet the changing needs of Malvern's diverse community. MFRC consists of seven centres which include: the Early Years Centre, Middle Years Centre, Youth Centre, Seniors Centre, Women's Place, Family Centre and Action for Neighbourhood Change. In addition, MFRC also offers a range of other services such as income tax clinics, health & recreation, parent relief, legal, housing help, and settlement supports. For more information visit mfrc.org, or visit Facebook at facebook.com/malvernfamilyresourcecentre.

About MLSE Foundation
MLSE Foundation believes all kids should have access to sport and the opportunity to develop lasting dreams on the playing field. With the support of all four MLSE teams - the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC and Toronto Marlies - the Foundation funds the refurbishment of local athletic facilities and programs that support kids through sports and recreation. Since launching in December 2009, the MLSE Foundation has invested more than $15 million into our community. For more information visit mlsefoundation.org, or follow @MLSEFoundation.

About Just Energy Foundation
The Just Energy Foundation was established in 2013 by Just Energy Group Inc. to help registered Canadian and U.S. charitable organizations secure the resources required to promote the health and well-being of communities in need. Funded entirely by Just Energy, the Foundation invests in local programs that work to enhance the quality of life in Just Energy's operating markets towards building stronger and supportive communities. Visit justenergyfoundation.com to learn more.

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