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‘We’re thrilled’: Richmond Hill lawn bowling club scores $14,000 grant

Federal funding will go toward purchasing equipment to assist senior indoor lawn-bowling players
April 24, 2019
Sheila Wang

The Richmond Green Indoor Lawn Bowls Club is getting a big boost.

Leona Alleslev, MP for Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill, announced $14,198 in federal funding for the local lawn bowling club in Richmond Hill, on April 18.

The grant comes from the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP), a federal grant and contribution program that supports projects that make a difference in the lives of seniors and their communities.

“I am proud to represent organizations like Richmond Hill Indoor Lawn Bowls Club who work tirelessly to ensure local seniors have opportunities to both improve their health and their social connection to our community,” Alleslev said at the announcement at the Richmond Green Sports Centre and Park.

The grant will go toward purchasing equipment to better assist senior indoor lawn-bowling players, says Rick Mitchell, president of the indoor lawn bowls club.

“We’re thrilled,” Mitchell said. “Hopefully, through the equipment we’ll be able to purchase now, through the money that is given to us, some of the things will evolve themselves.”

The indoor lawn bowling program at Richmond Green is an entry-level program for seniors and aimed at overcoming the social barriers that many elderly people might otherwise experience, Mitchell said.

“Seniors that we’re looking to help are throughout this region. There are people that are stuck inside and don’t have an opportunity to get out and do something. This is really social. And they can meet people on a regular basis.”

Mitchell said he tried his hand at indoor lawn bowling about a year ago and hasn't stopped. Now he plays three times a week at Richmond Green.

There are many areas in which the lawn bowls club could really use the help of this federal funding, Mitchell said.

He says the club is going to have lighter and colourful balls, bowl lifters and launchers so that it would be easier and more accessible for seniors to participate in the game, especially those who have arthritis and those with injuries such as bad knees or bad backs.

“Projects like this one allow seniors to lead and participate in local activities that promote an active lifestyle and ensure their well-being,” Alleslev said.

The funding for the indoor lawn bowls club was approved as part of a call for proposals that ran from May 7 to June 22, 2018.

The club was also among the 13 projects in the riding of Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill that have collectively received $278,000 in funding through the NHSP, for the 2018-2019 period.

The NHSP has provided a total of $428,010 in funding for 19 projects in the riding since 2015, Alleslev said.

Community-based projects are eligible to receive up to $25,000 in grant funding and, as of this year, up to $5,000 in new small-grants funding for organizations that have not received funding within the past five years.

A total of approximately $35 million has been approved across Canada for NHSP community-based projects in 2018-2019.

Community-based project funding supports activities that engage seniors and address one or more of the program's five objectives: volunteering, mentoring, expanding awareness of elder abuse, social participation and capital assistance.