Hamiota, Manitoba – Kids and adults of all ages enjoy the Hamiota Aquatic Centre, which features a heated pool with a diving board and two slides. The pool is operated by the Midwest Recreation District and is accessed by families who come from Hamiota and the rural municipalities of Oakview and Wallace-Woodworth.
“We have kids come from all over for swimming lessons,” says Bonnie Michaudville, recreation director at Midwest Recreation District. “We put over 500 kids through every summer, so we’re very busy.”
The $2,500 grant from Bayer Fund’s Canada’s Farmers Grow Communities Program (CFGC) that the aquatic centre received was put towards fixing the pool liner, which had become brittle due to aging and was separating from the pool’s foundation. Part of the grant money was also used for new non-slip flooring in the changing rooms, as well as a new pool pump.
“When I got the email that we had won, I was in shock,” says Michaudville. “It was a great email to receive.”
The renovations to the pool will be completed in time for the facility’s busy season, starting June 1, and Michaudville says it was amazing to see the community come together to support the project.
“It’s about our farmers supporting the pool and seeing the value of that pool,” she says. “There is the aspect of employment for the older kids, and teaching the little kids the lifelong skill of swimming. Not to mention the tourism aspect, which benefits the entire community.”
According to Michaudville, the process of being nominated for and receiving the CFGC grant was simple and well worth it.
The person who nominated the aquatic centre for the grant, Dale Little, is a local canola, wheat, and oat farmer. He got the news from Michaudville when he was out on the field, and says he was in disbelief that the aquatic centre had been chosen to receive the grant. “I nominated this organization because sports and physical activity are a very large part of our small community,” Little says. “Very few communities can boast such a great facility, and keeping it operational is beneficial in our community and beyond.”
Little says he believes other farmers should nominate organizations and charities that they believe in for the CFGC grant because it’s easy to do so and is a great way to give back to the communities in which they live.