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Human Resources, Labour and Employment
July 23, 2008

Provincial Government Invests in Youth Sport and Recreation Program

The Provincial Government has announced an increase in funding for the Canadian Tire JumpStart program. As part of government�s commitment to alleviate and reduce the impact of poverty, an additional $100,000 is being invested in the community-based program to assist thousands of young people across the province. This investment brings the total annual government commitment to $350,000. The Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, made the funding announcement this afternoon in St. John�s.

Launched in 2005 by the Canadian Tire Foundation for Families, Canadian Tire JumpStart is a charitable program to help kids in financial need participate in organized sports and recreation such as dance, martial arts and swimming, as well as team sports such as basketball, hockey and soccer. The funding is applied to offset registration fees, equipment and transportation costs. It helps tighten the financial gap by providing funding of up to $300 per child per activity.

"Our government is working with our community partners to ensure children have the opportunity to participate in programs that promote long-term health and lifestyle benefits," said Minister Skinner. "The Canadian Tire JumpStart program is an excellent example of how we can work together and provide additional community support."

"Canadian Tire JumpStart believes that no child should be denied the life benefits of organized sport and recreation; however the reality is that one in three Canadian families cannot afford to enroll their children in these kinds of activities," said Dan Thompson, President, Canadian Tire Foundation for Families. "Thanks to this funding from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, together with Canadian Tire JumpStart, we will provide an opportunity for up to an additional 3,500 kids in the province to get involved in a sport or recreation activity of their choice this year � a chance they may not have otherwise had."

The program is administered through 11 chapters across the province in partnership with communities and sponsoring agencies. The community partners identify children and families who are not in a position to financially contribute without assistance from the program. Overall, the Canadian Tire JumpStart program has approximately $4.5 million annually available in combined government and Canadian Tire Corporation, customer and vendor support across Canada.

"I applaud the dedication of the volunteers and staff who operate this program," said Minister Skinner. "The success and smiles displayed by the children are the result of their hard work. I would like to extend my thanks the Canadian Tire Foundation for Families for continuing their commitment to our youth."

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Media contact:

Ronalda Walsh
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-0753, 699-7903
Leigh Jasmine
Communication Consultant
Canadian Tire Foundation for Families
416-480-3181, 577-6264

2008 07 23                                                      2:50 p.m.

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