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Tourism, Culture and Recreation
June 18, 2012

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Derrick Dalley, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation:

Let Them Be Kids Program Helps Build Playgrounds Throughout the Country

Mr. Speaker, today I’d like to acknowledge the work of Let Them Be Kids, a volunteer, non-profit organization that helps build playgrounds, skate parks, and fitness parks in communities throughout Canada. This initiative provides safe opportunities for children to play, and increases community participation, volunteerism, and community projects.

Since 2006, the Let Them Be Kids program has helped many communities in Newfoundland and Labrador. In fact, seven of the 30 projects awarded so far this year are in this province. Ian Hill, Chief Executive Officer of Let Them Be Kids, has told us that this is a direct result of the commitment our residents have to children and communities.

Mr. Hill is well known for his dedication to positive change nationally and internationally, winning numerous awards including Humanitarian of the Year and Child Advocate of the Year. Mr. Hill and his wife Gina Lopez Hill started the Let Them Be Kids program over a decade ago after helping homeless children in their own community.

This Saturday, the Hill family will be in Twillingate to launch a documentary that celebrates the building of playgrounds in five Canadian communities, including Twillingate. Ms. Lopez Hill was director and editor of the film that features local musicians and residents.

Many players from both the public and private sectors are needed to sustain the recreation and sport system in Newfoundland and Labrador. I appreciate the work of organizations such as Let Them Be Kids that are helping create a healthy, active population starting with our younger generation. Their work complements the goals of the provincial recreation and sport strategy, Active, Healthy Newfoundland and Labrador, which includes increasing involvement and participation in recreation, sport, and physical activity. Since the launch of this strategy, the Provincial Government has committed more than $70 million to recreational and sport infrastructure, programming, and athlete development throughout the province.

Thank you.

2012 06 18             1:45 p.m.

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