Cochrane has been shortlisted as a potential recipient for one of Canadian Tire Jumpstart's inclusive multi-sport courts.
Lindsay Joseph, manager of inclusive play programs for Jumpstart, provided an overview of the potential $500,000 in-kind donation during town council's Nov. 7 committee-of-the-whole meeting. If it proceeds, it is proposed to be developed in 2024.
Discussions are now underway between town officials and Jumpstart on the finer points of the project and what the town would be required to provide. Indications are it would include a location, site preparation, and some ongoing maintenance.
The design would provide up 13,000 sq. ft. of universal accessibility play space for children of all abilities.
"Courts in our play spaces are designed with every child in mind," Joseph told council. "These aren't play spaces intentionally just for kids with disabilities. These are places where children of all abilities can come together, play together, and experience the magic of play and all that it brings."
She told council that local Canadian Tire deal Rob Hatch is a strong advocate of the project.
"He is the one who has spearheaded the interest in Cochrane and building in Cochrane because he cares so passionately about the community and has really advocated it as a wonderful site for us to start conversations with," she said.
Founded in 2005, Jumpstart helps kids overcome financial and accessibility barriers to sport and recreation in an effort to provide inclusive play for kids of all abilities. Cochrane has benefitted from Jumpstart in many ways over the years.