An active community is a healthy community. Being involved in organized sports benefits the participants, our community and society on a whole. Our children build character learning how to win and lose with grace, be committed, be a team member. Organized sport provides volunteer opportunities for many wanting to give back and sporting events build community.
This is, in my opinion, one of the key functions of local government. People think of pipes, roads, garbage, police and fire etc. but healthy and active lifestyles – particularly for children and youth – have a huge and positive effect on the quality of life in our communities. Sport provides vital life lessons, encourages achievement and teamwork, commitment to goals, personal discipline and hard work, leadership, sportsmanship, etc. The leadership opportunities and contributions made by volunteer coaches and others to improving the lives of our youth are invaluable.
Community sports organizations also do just that – build community. Sport brings people together, provides social opportunities, a common point of contact and new relationships that within the realm of organized community sport helps form a backbone of the city.
There are also economic benefits to organized sport. Tournaments and large-scale events inject dollars into our local economy. Amongst other large sporting events, I have participated in the BC Summer Games twice and know how, in addition to everything outlined above, these games bring economic benefits to the host city and region. I was thrilled to volunteer my own personal time to help measure discus and shot put throws during the Track & Field events at the 2016 BC 55+ Games hosted by Coquitlam.
Of course, I also have to address that being active in sport provides health and fitness for those involved. ESPECIALLY in this day and age where far too many children and youth are overweight and sedentary – and spend too much time on their screens – which doesn’t provide any of the desired outcomes outlined above.
I have been very active in community sports my entire life – as an athlete, coach, volunteer, team manager, tournament volunteer and parent of athletes. The experiences I have had – as well as the ones of my own active kids – had added to our lives immensely. Because I know first-hand the vast benefits of being involved in community sport, I have always supported initiatives to increase participation and involvement. I have personally been involved in supporting/spearheading participation of low income residents, refugee newcomers etc. When citizens are active and connected to something, our community is richer for it and we all win.
As a City Councillor I will continue to advance the increase in sporting amenities that are needed based on the Parks Rec & Culture Master Plan and demand in the community.
As vice-chair of the Sports Advisory Committee I have engaged with and listened to the various sports user groups and will continue to do so. I am currently advocating for the Coquitlam Curling Club to get to yes towards building a regional curling centre in our city.
During my term on Council the city has opened and/or upgraded numerous parks – including the revitalization of 12 parks in southwest Coquitlam. The projects bring immeasurable benefit to our neighbourhoods and after I’m re-elected I will continue to ensure our existing facilities, parks and community spaces are maintained and new facilities are sought after where current demand is not being met.