We believe in the power of sport.

Here are just a few of the many highlights where sport was used as a vehicle to create a positive impact on communities across Nova Scotia over the past year.

reSPORT went through some exciting changes with the goal of bringing simplicity and clarity to the program. The group is made up of staff from Sport NS, The Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic, and the Department of Communities, Culture & Heritage. There are currently five prototypes in various stages, including the Northern Zone Inclusion and Access Consultant, Antigonish Sport Hub, the North Preston Swim Program, the Kentville Signage Project and the Hoops Strong Female Basketball Program in Truro.

There are 11 multisport programs running across the province. These programs provide young Nova Scotians with the opportunity to build fundamental movement skills in a safe and supportive environment while trying a variety of sports.

An Eskasoni First Nation parasport partnership kicked-off with a plan to start a sledge hockey program, inclusive swimming lessons are in the works with the Nova Scotia Lifesaving Society, and para kayaking has begun on Lake Banook. Sledge try-it clinics are also taking place with the assistance of the Sport NS parasport coordinator.

The safe sport lead, and the safe sport working group continued to work on policy development and education about the prevention of maltreatment in sport. They focused on creating welcoming and inclusive sport and recreation environments, and hosted Sport Nova Scotia’s first annual Safe Sport Month.

We partnered with businesses for worthy initiatives that included supporting thousands of athletes across the province through the Support4Sport program.

Nova Scotian sport stakeholders were celebrated for their commitment to sport despite the challenges of the pandemic. More than 30 provincial sport organizations recognized Sport Makes a Difference winners at the virtual Support4Sport Awards.

We invested in 53 provincial sport organizations in the form of financial assistance and supports across four main categories: participation, high performance, coaching, and organizational effectiveness.

From the CEO.

The 2020-2021 year was one unlike any other for all of us, and the sport sector was no exception. The pandemic had a very significant impact on sport delivery, presenting challenges that continue to exist. The positive news was the manner in which the sport sector responded.

Throughout the year all of our provincial and community sport organizations proved to be extremely adaptable and inventive, creating new opportunities and ways of delivering programming so that Nova Scotians were able to take part in sport in a fun and safe way. More than ever before, we saw the value of the partnerships and relationships that have been built across the sector, and all of our partners were involved in making sport happen.

Many of our programs continued to operate in modified ways and were still able to be successful. Work has continued to increase our information technology capacity, which has proven to be a key element during the pandemic. We have also continued our efforts in the area of safe sport and organizational effectiveness, and we are pleased with the positive progress that is being made. Although the pandemic impacted the numbers of participants taking part in sport, our KidSport program was still able to provide $323,844 to 1,144 children across the province. We also launched our Black and Indigenous Coach Mentorship Program.

This year we were very fortunate to receive an additional $5 million dollars from the provincial government in order to increase inclusion and diversity through sport. We are grateful and pleased that the province recognizes the ability sport has to play a role in this area, and look forward to the opportunities that the funding and programs will present.

We would of course like to say thank you to the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation for our Support4Sport program, which continues as the largest funding program in Nova Scotia and reaches every part of our system. We are also very thankful for the continued support of our sponsors, including the Province of Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Saltwire, Bell Media, IG Wealth Management, D’Costa Marketing, and Scotiabank. The continued support, especially during this past year, was vital to our program delivery.

Our relationship with the provincial government, and especially the Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage continues to be extremely strong and beneficial. Over the past year, more than ever before, we saw the value of our work together. Our sector received significant support, from both a funding and organizational standpoint and we are all better for the cooperative way that we work together.

For our provincial and community sport organizations, it is hard to properly express our thanks. These pandemic challenges, and your responses, illustrated your incredible passion, innovation, perseverance and your tireless work ethic. What you were able to accomplish over the past year is truly amazing and I know we’re all proud to be part of such a great sector.

I also want to thank our own incredible team. Our staff has shown that same passion and dedication, and have proven that we can adjust and thrive in any situation. Additionally, we would like to thank our volunteer board of directors. Like all other sport groups, we faced programming and operational issues and their guidance and support was vital in helping us do that.

We recognize that we are not finished with the pandemic yet, but we also know we are making progress. There will be much more to do, and indeed there is much to do beyond the pandemic as well. If this past year has shown us anything, it is how much Nova Scotians value sport, and how well we can work together to make sure that no matter the challenge, we can continue to provide Nova Scotians with the opportunities they deserve to take part in sport and gain the important physical, mental and social benefits that sport provides.

Respectfully submitted,

Jamie Ferguson
Sport Nova Scotia