Pickering Football Club receives $120,000 Provincial grant to expand community sport options

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Published August 2, 2023 at 3:08 pm

Ontario Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Neil Lumsden

More community sport opportunities for pickleball, volleyball, futsal, badminton, basketball and powerchair sports are in the Pickering Football Club’s future after the organization was awarded nearly $120,000 over two years from the Province Wednesday morning.

Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Neil Lumsden – a former professional star himself in football (the pointy-shaped ball variety) – was at the club’s recently re-built indoor soccer facility on Clements Road to make the presentation.

“Our government knows non-profits deliver programming that help people live healthier, happier lives and can contribute to the success of communities across the province,” said Lumsden, who won three Grey Cups during a ten-year CFL career. “This funding will allow the Pickering Football club to develop and expand a variety of community sport opportunities, ensuring that the residents can experience the benefits that come from participating in group sport activities.”

Pickering FC was a founding member of the semi-professional League 1 Ontario in 2014, though both the men’s and women’s senior sides are on hiatus from the league this year. The women’s team is a two-time league champion.

The teams play their home games at Kinsmen Park.

The club just finished work on the new and improved Pickering Soccer Centre – the dome collapsed during the pandemic – and recently unveiled its new logo as part the “ongoing evolution” of the brand.

“Pickering Football Club has worked incredibly hard over the past three years to overcome challenges from the pandemic, a dome collapse and a subsequent flood to get where we are today,” said Executive Director Matt Greenwood. “Thanks to the incredible work of our volunteer board and committed staff, we have kept players, coaches, families, and supporters engaged and we are grateful for their support.”

The exact total of the two-year grant is $119,800 (from the Province’s Resilient Communities Fund) and Greenwood said the club will be putting the funds to good use.

“The Resilient Communities Fund grant will help us offer accommodate Pickering’s growing population in a manner that is safe, accessible, and inclusive to all.”

The Ontario government is providing nearly $30 million this year through the fund to 283 non-profit organizations across the province. This funding will enable these organizations to deliver the best service possible and ensure that Ontarians will have stable access to their programming.

“I am thrilled to see that the Pickering Football Club has been awarded a grant through the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Resilient Communities Fund. Sports have the power to bring people together and contribute to a vibrant and inclusive community,” said Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, who also happens to be the local MPP for the Pickering-Uxbridge Riding. “With this funding, the Pickering Football Club will be able to expand their reach, improve facilities, and deliver high-quality programming that will benefit players, families, and spectators alike.”

The Resilient Communities Fund is administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. The fund has supported 2,753 projects across Ontario since it was first announced in August 2020.

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