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USING THEIR HEADS

- Local Sports Council Launches Helmet Lending Program to Ensure More Children Can Take Part in Sports –

(NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY) – The local health unit is part of a community group launching a new helmet lending program in Northumberland County aimed at getting more children in the game.

The Northumberland Sports Council has secured $6,000 in funding from the Dr. Tom Pashby Sports Safety Fundto create a new Helmet Lending Program. The program will allow schools and community groups to borrow helmets at no cost, allowing children to safely participate in sports activities that require protective head gear.

“Often a lack of helmets prevents children from getting involved in certain sports,” says Heather Grundy, a sports council member and a Health Promoter with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. “Now with this new helmet lending program, a barrier to recreation is removed as local children can now access the protective head gear they need to safely try out new activities.”

“We are very grateful for the generous gift from the Dr. Tom Pashby Sports Safety Fund that will allow more children to try out sports and recreational activities they might not otherwise have been able to play,” says Eugene Todd, the Chairperson of the Northumberland Sports Council. “The entire community wins when there is better access to recreation.”

The Northumberland Sports Council is promoting the new Helmet Lending Program to local schools, camps, youth groups, daycares and other community organizations. The sports council has plans to purchase eight bags that would contain 20 CSA-approved helmets apiece (including maintenance kits and cleaning supplies).

Most of the CSA-approved helmets will be for skating and hockey, although some of the helmets are also geared for skateboarding and other wheeled activities like cycling. Todd notes that the helmet lending program fits in perfectly with the Northumberland Sports Council’s vision of enhancing and promoting sports, recreation and healthy active living opportunities for all residents in Northumberland County.

The Helmet Lending Program is already up and running, with bags of 20 CSA-approved helmets available to be signed out as follows:

• In Port Hope at the Jack Burger Sports Complex. To borrow helmets from this location, call (905) 885-2474.

• In Cobourg at the Cobourg Community Centre. To borrow helmets from this location, call (905) 372-7371.

• In Brighton at the King Edward Park Arena. To borrow helmets from this location, call (613) 475-0302.

• In Trent Hills at the Campbellford Arena. To borrow helmets from this location, call (705) 653-1670.

• In Colborne at the Keeler Centre. To borrow helmets from this location, call (905) 355-2846.

• In Baltimore at the Baltimore Community Centre. To borrow helmets from this location, call (905) 372-5662.

The Dr. Tom Pashby Sports Safety Fund is a Toronto-based charitable organization that promotes the prevention of eye, spinal cord, head and other catastrophic injuries occurring in sports and recreational activities through public education, research, the development of prevention programs and the monitoring of their effectiveness.

“We’re very pleased to be supporting this innovative program in Northumberland because it fits in so well with the vision of Dr. Tom Pashby,” says Dan Murphy, a spokesperson for the Sports Safety Fund.

Dr. Pashby was an ophthalmologist and advocate of safety in ice hockey who was instrumental in making it mandatory for minor amateur hockey players to wear face protectors, thus eliminating lost eyesight among Canada’s hockey playing youth. The Sports Safety Fund that bears Dr. Pashby’s name was established to carry on his dream of safe sport for everyone.

For media inquiries, contact:

Eugene Todd, Chairperson, Northumberland Sports Council, (905) 376-3315,

or Heather Grundy, Health Promoter, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100, ext. 1488.

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