M’Chigeeng youths benefit from RBC Learn to Play funding

Elaine Migwans, department manager of M’Chigeeng Family Resources, and Andrew Corbiere, president of minor hockey, accept a RBC banner and grant cheque from Espanola Branch Manger Kim Cooper. The banner will hang in the arena. Also pictured are mascot Irwin Debassige, also known as sober bear, and several Tykes. photo by Betty Bardswich

M’CHIGEENG—Residents of M’Chigeeng were elated recently when Kim Cooper, RBC Espanola’s Branch Manager, arrived in the community bearing a cheque for $5,000 for the youth skating program.

As Ms. Cooper explained, M’Chigeeng was awarded a grant under RBC’s Learn to Play Project. The program was created by RBC with the understanding that children need to learn the basic skills of being active in order to develop the confidence as well as the competence to participate in sport and physical activity and to then be able to play with their friends and be healthy, happy and active for life. The project is a multi-year funding commitment dedicated to teaching kids the basic skills they need to participate in youth sport and recreation programs and the goal is to get more kids to get out and play. Learn to Play grants are given to support organizations that are working to deliver quality sport and recreation programming to children and this funding enables organizations to incorporate basic movement skills into existing programs.

“We at RBC are so proud to be able to support M’Chigeeng and their commitment to helping kids and youth feel healthy inside and out,” Ms. Cooper shared as she presented the grant cheque. “Learn to Play grants and programs like M’Chigeeng’s will benefit all young Canadians in developing the habits for a lifetime filled with health, happiness and active living.”

Elaine Migwans, the department manager for M’Chigeeng Family Resources, was on hand to accept the cheque along with Andrew Corbiere, president of minor hockey, as well as several Tykes who were also showing their skill on the ice. As Ms. Migwans explained, M’Chigeeng’s skate program begins as soon as kids are able to skate and promotes physical education and fitness, but to also have fun, and parents are invited to come out on skate days.

“We are elated to receive this grant from RBC,” Ms. Migwans said as she watched person after person enter the arena with articles for a food drive being held in lieu of an entry fee. “Chief and council are very supportive of our initiatives and of our hockey also,” she added, “and the Health Centre helps out with initiatives for children and youth. They promote a lot of activities in the community. There is a concerted effort from everyone. For example, for transportation to and from the arenas, the parents will get the kids to the different arenas.”

Mr. Corbiere was also excited that M’Chigeeng was receiving the RBC grant and noted that being president for minor hockey keeps him busy. “But I like hockey,” he said, “and it’s for the kids. That’s our main focus, the kids.”

by Betty Bardswich