50/50 Draw
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6/28/2017 5:00:00 PM

MLSE Foundation and the Regent Park Granting Consortium announced Charlie’s FreeWheels, Chill Foundation, Dixon Hall, Peoples Basketball and Toronto Inner City Rugby Foundation (TIRF) as this year’s recipients of the Regent Park Athletic Grounds (RPAG) Grants at a community celebration Wednesday. Launched November 2015, the RPAG Grants is a $1 million grant program focused on sport development and capacity building in the Regent Park community. Supported by Sentry Investments, 3TO6TEAM and Kelly Silverstein Memorial Fund, the Regent Park Granting Consortium awards grants to up to five organizations per year with an annual investment totalling $250,000.

“MLSE Foundation and the Regent Park Granting Consortium are proud to award another incredible group of charitable organizations with funding for their youth sport programs,” said Michael Bartlett, Executive Director, MLSE Foundation. “This granting program enables us to provide families surrounding the Regent Park Athletic Grounds with access to sport and recreation while investing in organizations already doing great work in the community.”

Registered charities that provide sports and recreational-based programming for youth in Regent Park, Moss Park, St. James Town and Rivertowne were invited to apply for a grant via online application from November 2016 to March 2017. The recipients were then determined by a selection committee based on specific grant criteria in April 2017. The funding model is designed to be responsive to the needs of the community and depending on the caliber and quantity of applications, funding can be administered in a number of different ways. A maximum number of five grants are administered each granting cycle for a total of $250,000 each year for four years

The following is a summary of the organizations receiving funding and their identified sports and recreational-based program:

Organization Name Program Amount Granted
Charlie’s FreeWheels Charlie’s Rides & Cycling Safety Workshops $50,000
Chill Foundation RPAG Skate Park Series $50,000
Dixon Hall Neighbourhood Services Mentoring for Violence Prevention $75,000
Peoples Basketball Girls’ Basketball Program $50,000
Toronto Inner City Rugby Foundation (TIRF) Regent Park Rugby League $25,000
Charlie’s FreeWheels – Charlie’s FreeWheels aims to inspire a spirit of exploration and to mobilize, empower and engage youth using bicycles as a driver for personal growth and positive social change. Inspired by Charles Prinsep, a cycling enthusiast struck by a car on a cross-continental cycling journey in 2007, the organization fosters urban access and a spirit of exploration in Toronto’s youth. 
The grant will directly support Charlie’s Rides and CAN-BIKE 4 Safety Workshops. Charlie’s Rides are designed to help new cyclists develop skills and confidence as they explore the city by bicycle, supporting the development of a new active lifestyle. CAN-BIKE 4 is a nationally accredited safe cycling workshop that teaches defensive cycling for commuters and recreational cyclists, improving youth confidence and skill in traffic situations.
Chill Foundation – Founded in 2003, Chill Toronto provides snowboarding, skateboarding and stand-up paddleboarding development programs for youth ages 7-18 living in the Greater Toronto Area. Chill Toronto works with youth facing barriers and use their programs to teach important life lessons to help them overcome the challenges they face in their everyday lives.

The grant will directly support their RPAG Skate Park Series, the first of a new series of programs that brings a modular skate park into priority neighbourhoods and delivers Chill’s Skateboard program directly where the target demographic resides. Chill will offer specialized sessions that meet the individual needs of specific groups, such as “girls-only sessions” for participants identifying as female and “grom sessions” for youth aged 7-9 years old.
Dixon Hall Neighbourhood Services – Dixon Hall offers a diverse range of integrated services for residents of Regent Park, Moss Park and surrounding neighbourhoods. Serving more than 10,000 people annually, Dixon Hall works with at-risk youth, seniors, adults with physical and health disabilities, homeless men and women, individuals searching for employment, youth and adults with mental health issues and newly immigrated individuals and their families.

The grant will directly support the growth of Mentoring for Violence Prevention, a well-established program in Regent Park that uses sport as a platform to provide mentorship to young people and address issues around youth violence in an effort to develop strong, healthy personal values. Coaches and mentors take advantage of situations presented through team sport interactions to address issues such as conflict resolution, positive decision-making, fostering healthy relationships and teamwork.
Peoples Basketball – Peoples Basketball is a registered Canadian charity that provides inner-city Toronto youth (ages 12-18) access to highly subsidized elite basketball, life skills programming and personal development opportunities that they would otherwise be unable to afford.

The grant will directly support the growth of Peoples Basketball, which added a third team to the program in 2016 and plans to start a team to serve girls in the neighbourhood. Gaining the financial and operational stability to plan a full year in advance will allow Peoples Basketball the opportunity to improve and expand the program, positively influencing the lives of more youth.
Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation (TIRF) - TIRF is a rugby-centred community development organization that uses rugby as a tool for social good. Founded in 2011, TIRF builds communities through rugby in 31 of Toronto’s underserved, low-income and priority neighbourhoods. Working in partnership, TIRF reduces the financial, geographical and cultural barriers that prevent children and youth from participating in the sport.

The grant will directly support the Regent Park Rugby Program, which will provide 725 children and youth in Regent Park, Moss Park. St James Town and Cabbagetown with access to rugby. The initiative will include school and community group clinics across the neighbourhoods, house league and drop-in programs and opportunities to access rugby events, festivals and club play. Youth living in Regent Park will be hired to help facilitate Regent Park Rugby Program’s free high-quality programs.
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 MLSE’s teams, the Foundation funds the refurbishment of local athletic facilities and programs that support kids through sports and recreation. Since launching in 2010, MLSE Foundation has invested more than $30 million into our community. For more information visit mlsefoundation.org, or follow @MLSEFoundation.
About Sentry Investments
Sentry Investments was founded in 1997 and is one of Canada's fastest-growing independent asset management companies. Sentry manages over $18 billion in assets on behalf of more than 500,000 Canadian investors. Sentry offers a diverse range of award-winning investment products available through financial advisors, including domestic and global mutual funds, and separately managed accounts. For more information, visit sentry.ca. Sentry, Sentry Investments and the Sentry Investments logo are trademarks of Sentry Select Capital Corp.
About 3TO6TEAM
The 3TO6TEAM is built on the understanding that youth involved in structured sport programming outside of regular school hours (3 – 6 p.m.) increases team building and leadership skills and are less likely to be involved in activities that put them at risk. By teaming up with MLSE Foundation, 3TO6Team works to fund sport programing for the community. Through commitment and fundraising efforts, 3TO6Team assists MLSE Foundation in giving the youth of Regent Park the opportunity to be inspired to achieve their dreams.  
About Kelly Silverstein Memorial Fund
Kelly Silverstein Memorial Fund was created to honour Kelly, a family man, coach, mentor and friend, who passed away from Leukemia in 2007. The Silverstein Family wanted to ensure that he was remembered by giving back to the community and so they started the annual golf tournament. From 2013-2015, proceeds from the tournament went to develop the Kelly Silverstein Memorial Basketball Court at the Regent Park Athletic Grounds made possible through a partnership with MLSE Foundation.
Media contact: Melissa Perri, MLSE, 416-815-5524, Melissa.Perri@MLSE.com