By TRT Staff with notes from osig.iswo.ca
International Experience Canada steps up to the plate, for the first major sport event hosted by Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario (ISWO), since the COVID-19 global pandemic.
MISSISSAUGA — On July 18, the 2022 Ontario Summer Indigenous Games (OSIG) organizing committee announced that International Experience Canada (IEC) will be supporting the OSIG as the Presenting Sponsor for the provincial sport event.
With IEC’s support, the 2022 OSIG will bring hundreds of Indigenous youths together from across Ontario to participate in sport, connect with their peers and celebrate community. This major sponsorship reflects IEC’s commitment to helping youth develop lifelong skills and explore new opportunities and life pathways.
“We are pleased to be part of the celebrations for the Ontario Summer Indigenous Games after all the challenges and delays posed by the pandemic,” said the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “IEC provides Canadian youth with an unparalleled opportunity to work and travel abroad in one of Canada’s partner countries, while being immersed in unique cultural experiences. Youth from our partner countries can do the same here in Canada. These experiences are valuable opportunities for personal growth and community development, which align well with the objectives of the Ontario Summer Indigenous Games.”
A program of the Government of Canada, International Experience Canada (IEC) manages youth mobility arrangements that allow Canadian citizens, aged 18-35, to obtain a work permit to work and travel in more than 30 partner countries and foreign territories for up to two years, depending on country-specific requirements. As a reciprocal program, youth citizens from partner countries can do the same in Canada.
“We are so pleased that IEC has chosen to support the Ontario Summer Indigenous Games in such a meaningful way.” said Marc Laliberte, President of Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario. “After an exceptionally difficult couple of years for everyone, especially youth, this essential funding means youth from across Ontario will be able to finally meet, compete and play the sports they love. The 2022 OSIG will be a celebration of sport, wellness, and culture, while creating opportunities for personal growth and community development.”
Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario (ISWO) is the official Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Body (P/TASB) for Ontario and has a history of successfully delivering significant sporting and cultural events. After a challenging two-and-a-half years of pandemic restrictions and limitations on in-person programming, ISWO is ready to host a Games that gets kids back out onto the fields and courts, playing sports and being physically active, all while making connections with the potential to open a multitude of doors for them in the future.
IEC has been a long-term partner of ISWO, having been a major supporter and partner for the 2018 Masters Indigenous Games. As part of their 2022 OSIG support, IEC will be present in the Athletes Village sharing information about work and travel opportunities for Canadian youth. Working and traveling abroad is a great adventure that allows youth the opportunity to experience different cultures, meet people, and see the world from a different perspective.
IEC and ISWO have a shared understanding of the importance of developing life-long connections and creating new experiences for youth, where they can discover their strengths, learn new skills, find inspiration and consider new pathways as they journey forward.
About the Ontario Summer Indigenous Games
Hosted and developed by ISWO, the Ontario Summer Indigenous Games provides Indigenous youth, ages 13 to 18 years of age, the opportunity to compete against their peers in a number of sport categories. The OSIG are an important step in the sport development pathway for Indigenous youth, giving Indigenous athletes the opportunity to compete at a provincial level, while mastering their sport specific skills.
The Games also serve as an identifier for athletes who aspire to compete at the North American Indigenous games, with the next edition scheduled to take place in 2023. ISWO will be hosting tryouts for all 14 NAIG sports throughout the year and into 2023, across the province of Ontario. A full schedule of tryouts, along with additional information, will be released in near future.