New investment in recreational sport to benefit underrepresented groups

Martin Sampson CPRA CEO

The Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) announced a new $8M investment that will increase participation and retention of equity-deserving groups in recreational sport in Canada.  Entitled “Reaching Each and Every One: A Community Sport Intervention”, this major investment is funded by the Government of Canada (Sport Canada) Community Sport for All Initiative.

This funding will allow CPRA to support community-led projects that remove barriers and increase participation rates in recreational sport for underrepresented groups, in particular, Black, Indigenous, racially diverse, 2SLGBTQQIA+, low-income and newcomer populations, and people living with disabilities.

According to Martin Sampson, CPRA CEO: “CPRA’s mandate is to provide accessible community sport and recreation opportunities to all Canadians.  This new investment will advance our mandate by promptly initiating new community level interventions on programs, events, and policy changes: efforts that will reduce barriers and increase participation in recreational sport for underrepresented groups across the country.”

Community recreational sport programs are key to physical, mental, intellectual, and social well-being. They have a major impact on the developmental aspects of our lives holistically and in multifaceted ways. They foster community participation, offer a sense of belonging to visible minorities, help recent immigrants integrate into Canadian communities, and provide an alternative to unhealthy behaviours.

The Bench

Mike Roma, President of the CPRA Board of Directors, added, “Community recreation sport programs are essential to physical, mental, intellectual and social well-being.  In alignment with our mandate to provide publicly accessible community sport and recreation opportunities to all Canadians.”

“One of our government’s top priorities is to help Canadians pursue healthier lifestyles for themselves and their families. However, in 2022, we know there are still major barriers to participation in sport,” said the Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec. “That is why we are contributing $8 million to the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association, which will solidify our commitment to building stronger and healthier communities across the country. Together, we will make sport more inclusive, equitable and accessible to everyone in Canada.”

Effective immediately, eligible organizations can apply for grants up to $50,000 that address barriers to sport via CPRA’s “Reaching Each and Every One: A Community Sport Intervention”.  For more information on eligibility, timelines, and how to apply, please visit:

CPRA: The Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) is a national organization dedicated to realizing the full potential of parks and recreation as a major contributor to community health and vibrancy. Membership includes the 13 provincial and territorial parks and recreation associations and their extensive networks of service providers in over 90% of Canadian communities. CPRA collaborates with a host of other national organizations operating in the recreation, physical activity, environmental, facilities, sport, public health, crime prevention and social services arenas.