Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Obby Khan announced today that the Manitoba government is providing over $24,000 for the Anti-Racism in Sport Campaign to support a provincewide advertising campaign to combat racism and other forms of discrimination in sports locally and nationally.
"Sports foster a sense of belonging in communities and play an important role in the development of our children and youth," says Khan. "Our government is committed to enhancing a safe sport system that is fair and inclusive of all, and this investment will help to make sports more accessible for Manitobans."
The campaign is led by Immigration Partnership Winnipeg, with an advisory committee of 26 community organizations, including Sport Manitoba. The campaign aims to disrupt racism in sports through a multi-pronged approach that includes research, middle and junior high school presentations, training for sports stakeholders, and an anti-racism in sport accord.
"The Anti-Racism in Sport Campaign was built with support from community partners, and this additional funding will allow us to continue raising awareness of racism and discrimination faced by First Nations, Métis, Inuit, Black, racialized, and religious minority communities in Manitoba and highlight their contributions to the sports sector," says Reuben Garang, director, Immigration Partnership Winnipeg. "We are grateful to the Manitoba government for supporting anti-racism education and helping to make sport a safer space."
The funding is in addition to more than $15.8 million provided this year to support 84 projects that promote sports in the province through the Arts, Culture and Sport in Community (ACSC) fund.
The ACSC fund provides grants to support the arts, culture and amateur sports sectors, enhancing opportunities for Manitobans to access quality programming and facilities in their own communities. The minister noted the fund allows organizations to innovate and respond to emerging needs, including those led by Indigenous, francophone and ethnocultural communities.
Additionally, the minister announced appointments to the Sport Manitoba board of directors.
Susanne Dandenault will assume the role of board chair until her current term expires on Nov. 22, 2025, and D.J. Lalama has been appointed to the board for a three-year term.
Dandenault has competed internationally in both athletics (throwing events) and weightlifting and was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2019. She is the past chair of AthletesCAN and a founding member of the Manitoba Athletes Association. Dandenault was also a founding member of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada.
Lalama is a former Canadian Football League player who earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology at the University of Manitoba. While earning his degree, Lalama won the Presidents’ Trophy as the top defensive player in the country and was named a first-team all-Canadian during his U Sports football career with the Manitoba Bisons. He currently works in the strength and conditioning industry.
"We are excited to work closely with the Manitoba government and so pleased to see these investments to the Anti-Racism in Sport Campaign to help make sport a safe and inclusive experience for everyone," says Janet McMahon, CEO, Sport Manitoba. "The support through the ACSC fund is extremely significant and will allow the opportunity to enhance programs and services, breathe new life into existing facilities, and put on sporting events that bring Manitobans together. We are also grateful to have the leadership, passion, and esteemed perspectives of our newest board members, as we lead and support sport for life in our province."