Play It Forward

Free Sporting Equipment During COVID-19 Pandemic

Inquire here to inquire regarding eligibility for free sporting equipment. 

Play it Forward is a recreation fee subsidy program intended to assist families whose financial situation limits their child’s ability to participate in soccer, basketball and hockey. With COVID-19, many sporting associations have unfortunately had to cancel their seasons. A lot of the families that the Play It Forward program supports are unable to afford equipment for their children to play at home. Through this program, we are distributing sporting equipment, namely soccer balls, basketballs and hockey sticks/balls, so children are able to work on skills and play at home. 

Media Release - June 2020

The County of Middlesex and local Municipalities, in partnership with Middlesex Dairy Producers, have found a way to support local children in being active during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the Play it Forward program, eligible Middlesex County families with children between the ages of 3 to 17 years of age can receive a free soccer ball, basketball or hockey stick and ball.

“Play it Forward is a fee subsidy program intended to assist families whose financial situation limits their child’s ability to participate in soccer, basketball and hockey” explains Nadine Devin, Project Manager with the County of Middlesex.  “But with COVID-19, many sporting associations have unfortunately had to cancel their seasons”.

Recreation leaders from the local municipalities and County Administration agreed to utilize funding remaining in the 2019-2020 budget to acquire sporting equipment for distribution to families in need. Cathy Burghardt-Jesson, County of Middlesex Warden comments that “We are limited in subsidizing recreation fees at this time, but our hope is we can support children to continue to play their sport of hockey, soccer or basketball at home over the summer months”.   

Eligible families will be directed to complete an online form where they can select their sporting equipment of choice. Equipment will then be disseminated through a distribution plan, specific to their municipality, that considers COVID-19 safety guidelines.     

In 2019, Middlesex Dairy Producers donated $15,000 to the County of Middlesex.  The intention of the funds is to assist families who are facing financial hardship and whose financial situation limits their child’s ability to participate in community recreation programs. Under the direction of Middlesex Dairy Producers, local municipalities were able to subsidize registration costs for hockey, soccer and basketball.

County Council at the May 26, 2020 meeting, agreed to provide $5,000 from the Middlesex Supports Program budget to support the Play it Forward initiative.

The following Municipalities have partnered with the County of Middlesex to offer this program:  

  • Township of Adelaide Metcalfe
  • Township of Lucan Biddulph
  • Municipality of North Middlesex
  • Municipality of Middlesex Centre
  • Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc
  • Municipality of Southwest Middlesex
  • Municipality of Thames Centre
  • Village of Newbury

 

RECREATION FEE SUBSIDY PROGRAM DETAILS

In 2019, the County of Middlesex in partnership with Middlesex Dairy Producers and local Municipalities launched a recreation fee subsidy program called ‘Play it Forward’.

This fee subsidy program is intended to assist Middlesex County families whose financial situation limits their child’s ability to participate in community recreation programs, namely hockey, soccer and basketball. 

Participating Municipalities 

 

What Costs Are Covered?

  • Subsidzes the cost of the recreational program registration fee. 
  • This program supports only hockey, soccer and basketball registration costs. 

 

What Costs Are Not Covered?

  • Uniforms
  • Equipment
  • Volunteer Fees
  • Fundraising Items, etcetera

 

How Does It Work?

  • Application is submitted by the individual/family to the Municipality.  Please note that the Low Income Threshold Table will be used to determine financial need.
  • Application is reviewed in strict confidence.  All information collected will be used solely for the purpose of determining eligibility for the subsidy and will be kept confidential as per the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
  • Application will be either accepted or denied based on eligibility and available funds.
  • If the application is denied, the applicant will be notified by the Municipality.
  • If application is accepted, the cheque is issued directly from the Municipality to the chosen sporting organization or community club.
  • If a child does not participate in the approved program or drops out of the program, the Municipality will expect a full or pro-rated refund of the share of the program paid on behalf of the participant so that other children can benefit from the funds available.

Please note: Participating Municipalities have limited funds available for this subsidy program. Applications will be accepted by families on a first-come first serve basis.

 

How Do I Apply?

  • Application forms are available through participating Municipalities.
  • Application forms are to be given directly to the Municipality for review.

 

More Information

For more information on the Play it Forward Program:

Nadine Devin

Project Manager

ndevin@middlesex.ca

T 519.245.8237 ext. 4023 |  C: 519.520.3520

 

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