City of Kitchener releases report on 2SLGBTQIA+ recreation and fitness programming

By Josh Goeree

On Monday, the City of Kitchener released its report on 2SLGBTQIA+ recreation and fitness programming.

In total, there were 84 responses from individuals in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. The report primarily focused on the responses from adults due to a smaller number received from children and youth, or their parents.

The report found that only 26 per cent of respondents said they felt comfortable going to their local community centre for fitness and recreation. 80 per cent of respondents said they were more likely to take part in recreation and fitness programs if they are specifically for 2SLGBTQIA+ people or groups. The top five programs that respondents wanted to see were outdoor fitness, swimming, weightlifting, yoga and recreational sports.

Survey respondents offered a variety of improvements for the City from program delivery, promotions, personnel and physical space. Some suggestions included offering recreation, fitness and swimming programs created specifically for 2SLGBTQIA+ people, in particular for trans/non-binary people, having gender neutral washrooms available and training staff and instructors be trained in creating inclusive spaces. 

The City said they are working with Spectrum, Waterloo Region's Rainbow Community Space, to initiate some of the suggestions. The organization said they are offering three free social and recreation programs: a yoga group, mindful movement program and a walking/hiking group.

The City also announced they have applied for an Innovation Initiative grant through Sports Canada that would fund a new mentorship program to “help local instructors deliver 2SLGBTQ-inclusive recreation, fitness programs and aquatics.” 

The full report is available on the EngageWR website.

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