WinSport welcomes newcomers for a day of outdoor activities to connect them with community
September 5, 2021
By Calgary Herald |
WinSport welcomed participants from the Centre for Newcomers for a day of excitement at Canada Olympic Park on Monday, connecting the group of new Canadians to recreation opportunities in their community.
Linda Iyawe’s three kids were thrilled to go downhill karting that afternoon at Canada Olympic Park’s Skyline Luge, as her family explored the recreation centre alongside a few dozen other families who have recently arrived in Calgary.
Iyawe, her husband and their children moved to the city from Nigeria in May, and they didn’t know about many of the activities available for families in Calgary.
“The Centre for Newcomers has really helped us out and when they mentioned this recreation centre, I felt it was an opportunity to give the kids something to remember and create good memories,” she said.
“We went by where they’re playing ice hockey and where they do figure skating, and the kids enjoyed seeing the teams practice. . . There are so many leisure activities available that we never knew about.”
The event was organized by WinSport and funded by Capital Power, a wholesale power producer, through WinSport’s Newcomers Program. Founded in 2017, the Newcomers Program links new Canadians to sport and recreation opportunities in their community.
Judy Black, spokesperson for WinSport, said there were about 85 newcomers who explored Canada Olympic Park and participated in downhill karting, mini-golfing and other activities on Monday.
“We all know the important role that sport plays in family life and a child’s life, and what better way to experience this than coming to WinSport and spending a day learning some of these activities for the first time,” said Black.
“We also invite a lot of the families back in the winter to do all the winter sport activities, like skating, snowboarding and skiing.”
The Newcomers Program is in partnership with the Centre for Newcomers, which is a local organization that connects newcomers to necessary resources and supports them through a number of services. Before Monday, the program had already hosted more than 300 newcomers at Canada Olympic Park since it was launched.
Ayotunde Kayode, Centre for Newcomers’ director of community relations and outreach, explained the program is a great way to integrate newcomers into their communities and introduce them to Canadian sports.
“This is for immigrant families with different cultural backgrounds, where things like skating or skiing are very new to them because most are coming from countries where there aren’t cold-weather activities. Families look forward to this opportunity; it’s a milestone in their lives,” said Kayode.