Healthy Kimberley is applying to the Columbia Basin Trust Plays Capital Improvement Grant in hopes of constructing an outdoor, multi-sport court at Selkirk Secondary.
Dr. Ilona Hale of Healthy Kimberley asked City Council for a letter of support last week, which will help with the grant process. Council unanimously approved the letter.
“Selkirk Secondary is the only secondary school in the Kimberley zone. At present it has only one indoor gym and outdoor sports fields for soccer and baseball,” wrote Hale in a backgrounder report. “Basketball has emerged as an extremely popular sport among young people and the existing gym is heavily subscribed before and after school, and at lunch hour, by students playing basketball however there is room for only a limited number of students to play.”
She adds that once the warm weather arrives, students are encouraged to be outside instead of in the gym, but their options are limited when it comes to outdoor sports.
“The courts will be used by students during and after school and can also be used by students or other members of the community at other times,” Hale explained. “With the growing restriction on use of school gym facilities by members of the community, there may be a demand for more use of free, outdoor public facilities.”
Hale says they are also planning to include additional lines so that the court can be used by people of all ages for both pickle ball and floor hockey.
“Youth are one of the most difficult sectors to engage in physical activity, unless they are enrolled in competitive organized sport. Many of them are not,” Hale said. “Students at Selkirk have requested an outdoor court at the school and indicated that it is something that would allow many of them to be more active on a regular basis.”
Healthy Kimberley has the support of the students, the school administration, physical education instructors and the Kimberley Zone Operations Department, Hale says.
They have also received funding from Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, Selkirk, the Parental Advisory Committee and the Kimberley and District Community Foundation. Healthy Kimberley will apply for the Columbia Basin Trust Grant, along with others.
The proposed timeline to construct the court is during summer of next year.