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Arviat arena being expanded
$500,000 will be used to improve sports facilities

Cody Punter
Northern News Services
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Arviatmiut will have more space to exercise and have fun thanks to new federal funding slated for the expansion of the community's sports park.

NNSL photo/graphic

The federal government recently announced $500,000 worth of funding to expand the Arviat Sports Park. A work crew is ready to work on the grounds during the first phase of work, which got underway last summer. - NNSL file photo

On June 7 Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains announced the government would be putting $500,000 toward renovating the Arviat Sports Park.

"The Government of Canada is pleased to announce its support for improvement to the Arviat Sports Park," Bains stated.

The money, which is being made available through CanNor, will go toward expanding the existing facility by 25 per cent. The expansion will provide for a ball hockey rink, basketball court, additional seating, playground equipment, a site office and change rooms.

Arivat Mayor Bob Leonard said the additional facilities will be extremely welcome to the community. He said the population is overwhelmingly young and the more things to keep them active the better.

"Improved sports facilities are greatly appreciated by the community," he said. "We have seen the positive results that... recreation activities can have among our youth and our expanded sports park will greatly increase the range and amount of activities that are available for our community."

The expansion will add on to the first phase of construction which saw a new soccer pitch and softball field installed last year.

That work was done with mostly hamlet funds and some additional contributions from Sport Nunavut, said senior administrative officer Steve England.

"By the time it's all said and done it will be a $1.5-million project," he said, adding that the current upgrades should be completed by September.

Clive Alarek, recreation coordinator, said having more venues for sports would hopefully allow the community to start up a ball hockey and basketball league among other activities.

"We need more sports leagues because there's not enough in town," he said.

He added that in order to run the leagues, more people in the community would need to come forward to volunteer as coaches and organizers.

"Anybody who is interested in starting up can contact me. I can help if they need help," he said.

England said some volunteers were in the process of starting up a youth softball league to play on the new artificial turf that was installed last year.

"We're already seeing people stepping up to the plate."

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