NOC ready for improvements
Ian Lucas can obviously be trusted with a secret.
The Niagara Olympic Club community board member found out in early March the club’s application for a capital grant of $71,000 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation had been approved, but had to keep the good news to himself until it was announced officially on the Foundation’s website.
“The good news is you know, the bad news is you can’t tell anybody,” said Lucas, who is responsibile for fund raising and working as a liaison wth the city.
Lucas and other members of NOC welcomed St. Catharines mayor Walter Sendzik and MPP Jim Bradley to the club Saturday to thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation for its ongoing support.
A representative from the OTF was scheduled to appear, but was unable to attend.
“It was very gratifying,” said Lucas, who worked with NOC coach/chair Sharon Stewart on the application.
Lucas also put together an application that was approved four years ago and said that experience was helpful this time around.
“I did the 2014 one as well, and it has changed,” he said. “It’s a lot easier now. You have to understand how to complete it. The less words the better. It’s very matter-of-fact. We need the money for this, and this is what it’s going to be used to.
“I was fairly confident that we would be considered. We got some questions, but our justifications were very powerful.”
Lucas and Stewart began working on the process about a year ago.
“You first have to apply to be a potential receiver of funds, and that’s quite a process in itself. You have to show certain criteria. We started on this one close to a year ago, thinking about how we were going to structure it.
“The hard work started six months ago.”
All that hard work has come to fruition and the funds will be used to buy new pole vault equipment ($28,000); repairs to the surface of the track in Lane 1 and in the starting area; repairs to the javelin and pole vault runways; and the refurbishment (new frame and sand) of the sand pits for the long jump.
In addition to the funds, the club benefits from a strong working relationship with the city, paying just a token $2 a year to lease the land.
“When you look at the impact the Niagara Olympic Club has on athletes in the community, it really does show what you are doing here in this corner of the community, is having a tremendous impact on young people,” Sendzik said to those assembled.
“We love these type of partnerships because you’re bringing to us a service we could not provide to the community and in exchange, you have been able to transform a part of our community into an active place that brings pride to our community.”
NOC is scheduled to be a busy place this spring and summer, hosting several elementary and high school meets right up to the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association level.
As well, the Royal Canadian Legion Ontario Command Championship will be held July 13-14.
For more information on the Niagara Olympic Club, visit http://www.nocrunners.com.
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