May 20, 2024

Reducing barriers to recreation access

By on August 9, 2021 0 382 Views

One of the most significant barriers to recreation access is financial, particularly for adults and families. While funding may exist for children and youth, there is often a gap in this funding when it comes to adults and families as a whole. In a region that has been subject to an economic downturn, wildfire, and a pandemic, these financial barriers may pose an even greater blockade for residents seeking recreation opportunities.

While many other communities have programs designed to facilitate recreation access for families and individuals facing financial barriers, this sort of program has not existed in the Wood Buffalo region – until now!

The Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo (RRC) and the Syncrude Sport and Wellness Centre (SSWC) are pleased to act as collaborative partners in introducing the new Wood Buffalo Recreation Support Program (WBRSP) to residents of the region.

“Recreation is a key component for health and well-being, including mental well-being,” said Jodie Cooper, RRC Director of Sport and Recreation. “Particularly during the past year, we saw the vital importance of access to recreation opportunities for our community members, and this exciting new program will increase accessibility for those in our region who may experience financial barriers.”

Both the RRC and SSWC provide amenities, activities and programs to residents of the region to enhance their quality of life through sport, recreation and leisure. One of the challenges for residents of the region is that those living in low-income households have specific financial barriers that may limit access to recreation facilities. The Wood Buffalo Recreation Support Program has been designed to reduce the barriers impacting residents by offering eligible residents more affordable rates.

“Sport and recreation is vital to the well-being of communities. Considering the challenges our community has faced, all community members need to have an opportunity to participate in sport and recreation,” said Jonathan Lambert, Director, Athletics and Recreation.

“The Syncrude Sport and Wellness Centre is thrilled to be a part of this initiative.”

Eligible individuals and families will be able to receive significant discounts on annual memberships and monthly passes under the WBRSP, allowing them access to sport and recreation opportunities. The program has been designed to function in a manner similar to other communities and to ensure financial barriers are reduced to facilitate access to recreation.

Applications for the WBRSP program are accepted through both the RRC and SSWC. You can find more information on WBRSP, including program details and eligibility online at and

Photo caption: The Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo and the Syncrude Sport and Wellness Centre have collaborated to introduce a new Wood Buffalo Recreation Support Program to residents. Supplied photos