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Wednesday, 12 December 2012 15:23

Partnerships bring new opportunity for children

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The community of Brooks has been inspired by 12-year-old Emerith Meza, daughter of Carlos Meza, who wanted to learn to skate.
Carlos knew other families with children who have not been as active since moving to Canada and met with LINKS staff to see what programs were available and to find out how these children could enjoy a favourite on-ice tradition.

After some phone calls, a plan was set in place to give 87 Latino skaters from Columbia, El Salvador and Mexico an opportunity to learn to skate this season.
Tracey Harahus, information co-ordinator at LINKS, has helped Carlos Meza connect with JumpStart and other community resources to launch this program.
With co-operation between the Jumpstart Learn to Skate program, the City of Brooks, Brooks Bandits, Brooks Ringette Club, and the SPEC Association for Children and Families a program was set it place to remove the barriers associated with skating. Participants will receive a new pair of skates, helmet, lessons and all other related services free of charge. The program is set to begin Dec. 16 at the Centennial Regional Arena at 8 a.m.
Partner organizations include:
• Canadian Tire JumpStart — Community Development Grant to pay for skates and helmets;
• City of Brooks— sponsor of ice for lessons;
• The Brooks Bandits Alberta Junior Hockey League Team — volunteer instructors and complimentary game ticket;
• Brooks Ringette Club, U12 Storm team — junior helpers;
• The SPEC Association for Children and Families — LINKS program is co-ordinating the program.
Canadian Tire Jumpstart is a national charitable program that helps financially disadvantaged children participate in organized sport and recreation. Since 2005, Canadian Tire Jumpstart has given more than 500,000 youths across Canada the chance to play.
LINKS provides information, referral and support services to all members of the community. The Newcomer Services of LINKS, through Citizenship and Immigration Canada funded staff, helps newcomers to Canada transition into their new community.
For more information or interest in volunteering, contact: Harahus, information co-ordinator, LINKS Program at 403-501-5556.

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