Hockey Skills Program:
The Hockey Skills Program is a partnership with MASRC (Manitoba Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Council), WinnPro Hockey, and ROK, and was delivered at the BDO Centre for the Community (who generously allowed us to store all program equipment on site). About 40 kids from La Verendrye School and 20 from North Memorial School took part and had the opportunity to learn how to play hockey with this program—an increase of 20 kids compared to the previous year. Students of lower socio-economic status predominantly comprise both of these schools, which is why this program was able to be delivered as part of their Physical Education class credit. Some kids were skating for the first time, and most had never played hockey before—but by the end of the program all kids were able to participate in a scrimmage and none were still using skate aids at all. The improvement in skating and hockey skills from start to finish was phenomenal, and the teachers, volunteers, and kids themselves were so proud of their accomplishments. The program provided the kids with a full set of equipment to use for the duration of the program. This equipment was a combination of community donations, KidSport, and Canadian Tire Jumpstart funding. Some of the Portage Terriers (MJHL team) attended our Hockey Skills sessions to help out on the ice, and the program saw a number of other volunteers come out to help either on the ice or in the change rooms (with tying skates and helping to get suited up). The sessions were led by certified instructor Matt Jones, whom all of the kids admired and looked up to. This program saw 719 attendances by kids and 118 attendances by volunteers. As pointed out in another section of this report, we have obtained a grant from the Darryl K. Seaman Canadian Hockey Fund (of the Calgary Foundation) to be able to purchase an ozone sanitizing machine so that we can sanitize equipment in between school groups and seasons. The purchase of the machine has also allowed us to participate as a social enterprise, by allowing others to use the machine at a small fee, of which the proceeds will go toward ROK programming. It also allows us to sanitize and lend out our equipment to other organizations that need it for various youth programs.
ROK offered archery lessons as part of La Verendrye School’s Physical Education class and a special Spring Break session, for a total of 21 sessions. A trained instructor from the Archers & Bowhunters Association of Manitoba delivered all archery lessons. This program saw 708 attendances by kids and 19 attendances by volunteers. Four additional archery sessions were also delivered at Summer Camp.
A trained instructor from Lacrosse Manitoba delivered lessons to students at PCI High School as well as a special Spring Break session, for a total of 10 sessions. This program saw 404 attendances by kids and 6 attendances by volunteers. Three additional lacrosse sessions were also delivered at Summer Camp.
Pals On the Playground: This program allowed children and youth of various ages show up to play on the playground with “pals”, or trusted mentors (volunteers), present to prevent bullying and to give the kids a sense of security so they can just be free to have fun (and receive a healthy snack as well). This program encouraged free play on the playground, and a Canadian Tire Jumpstart bag of activities was brought to each session, as well as field hockey sticks and balls. This program saw 1029 attendances by kids and 112 attendances by volunteers.
Below is a list of programs and special events that ROK has delivered in the last year. Our programs have seen over 450 different kids, with a large proportion of them identifying as Aboriginal. Males and females were roughly equal in attendance (with exception to POW Aboriginal dance, which saw predominantly female participants). We are very happy to see the inclusion of some newcomers in our programs this year as well. The year also saw 424 volunteer attendances, with Pals On the Playground and our Hockey Skills Program seeing the largest numbers. Volunteers are very crucial to many of our programs and we are very pleased at the turnout we’ve had this year. Many of our programs have been discussed in local news and media. This program allowed children and youth of various ages show up to play on the playground with “pals”, or trusted mentors (volunteers), present to prevent bullying and to give the kids a sense of security so they can just be free to have fun (and receive a healthy snack as well). This program encouraged free play on the playground, and a Canadian Tire Jumpstart bag of activities was brought to each session, as well as field hockey sticks and balls.
North End Summer Camp:
Summer Camp runs over summer holidays (July and August) every Monday through Thursday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. All kids ages 5-13 from low-income families are welcome to register and attend summer camp for any week(s) they desire. This year Summer Camp involved some organized activities and sports like softball lessons (facilitated by Softball Manitoba); archery (delivered by the Archers & Bowhunters Association of Manitoba); lacrosse (run by Lacrosse Manitoba); computer coding (put on by #Code Mobile), and more. Summer Camp also involved free play with the various equipment on site, such as basketball, floor hockey, soccer, magic and circus equipment, etc. During quiet times (between activities or meals/snacks), there were a number of books available to kids to sit quietly and read. Kids brought their own lunches to Summer Camp, and healthy snacks were provided by ROK twice a day every day, through a grant from the Portage la Prairie Revitalization Corporation (PCRC). This grant also allowed for lunches to be provided to kids who forgot theirs or were not able to bring one from home. This program saw 892 attendances by kids and 43 attendances by volunteers.