Funding kicks off for Saskatchewan Soccer Association

Soccer is a powerful tool for promoting healthy lifestyles, developing important life skills and building character.

In Saskatchewan, those benefits are enjoyed by approximately 40,000 participants every year — and work is ongoing to bring the sport to even more people. 

Every year, the Saskatchewan Soccer Association provides services and grants to its membership, which consists of 70 local soccer associations. These grants, including the Membership Assistance Program (MAP) and Female Development Grant, are supported by funding from Sask Lotteries and help to expand and enhance opportunities available across the province.

“Sask Lotteries funding allows not only Saskatchewan Soccer to be innovative, but it also allows our organizations, especially the smaller ones in rural Saskatchewan, to do something innovative outside of their regular operations that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to do,” said Nicole Drozda, Coordinator of Member Services with the SSA.

Sask Lotteries helping SSA get creative

The MAP initiative supports efforts to increase the number of participants and grow the game. It’s accessed by local groups in two ways.

“There’s a general funding allocated based on the number of participants our member organizations have, and we also provide Special Project Funding that we use to incentivize areas of growth aligned to our strategic priorities” explained Rahim Mohamed, Director of Soccer (SSA).

The grant promotes dynamic thinking and innovative programming and provides critical support to initiatives, particularly in smaller centres.

“Much of what occurs would not be possible without the support from Sask Lotteries”, Mohamed stated.

Soccer for all

The SSA also supports programming to ensure soccer is accessible to everyone.

The Female Development Grant offers girls and women the opportunity to take part in referee and coaching workshops and clinics. The SSA has also recently created the Female Coach Mentorship program that will help match participants to female leaders both in and out of soccer from across Canada.

Mohamed said that in 2019 the SSA helped launch the first all-abilities program in Weyburn, Sask. This initiative provides an opportunity for able-bodied people and people with a disability to play a game that they all love together.

“It’s so incredible to see our smaller organization being innovative and feeling like they have the ability to because there is the opportunity for Special Project Funding or there is funding through MAP that allows them to execute projects that would not otherwise be possible without lottery support” he said.

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