Despite the national trend and a Statistics Canada survey that
indicates participation in sport has declined in all provinces except
Prince Edward Island, Sport Manitoba President & CEO Jeff Hnatiuk
says Manitoba is holding its own.

“The national numbers are a concern but we are not about to start sounding alarm bells in Manitoba”, said Hnatiuk,” Our own tracking is consistent with the Stats Can survey that indicates Manitoba is third in the country in participation and along with Nova Scotia showed virtually no change between survey cycles.”

Hnatiuk notes that there have been fluctuations in individual sport choices but generally Manitoba’s participation rate remained at about 29 per cent. Manitoba’s participation rate dropped less than one percentage point in 2005 from 1998. He says Sport Manitoba is aware of the challenges and has implemented a number of programs to address the issues.

“Changing demographics, household income, gender and lack of time have all been identified as barriers to one’s participation in sport,” said Hnatiuk. “ While there may be some societal choices beyond our control, our programs have had an impact in opening the doors to participation.”

Some of Sport Manitoba’s initiatives include KidSport, a charity that provides funds to offset registration fees and equipment for lower level income families; the Canada-Manitoba Sport Development Program aimed at inner city, northern and remote communities and increased aboriginal and immigrant populations; Directed Funding initiatives aimed specifically at increasing levels of participation for Provincial Sport Organizations; Women to Watch awareness and funding; and Canadian Sport for Life Long Term Athlete Development initiatives that focus on life-long participation in sport through an appropriate level of activity for an individual’s personal development as opposed to being categorized by age.

Similar to the national survey, the most popular sports in Manitoba are curling, hockey, soccer, softball, golf and basketball.


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