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Donation makes St. Kateri sports court a reality

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A $110,000 donation from Co-op has made a new sports facility at St. Kateri Catholic School possible. Members of the New Horizon Co-op from communities across the Peace country presented the Grande Prairie & District Catholic Schools Education Foundation with the cheque Thursday afternoon.

The 5,000 square foot, outdoor sports court will have room for several different types of recreation, like basketball, volleyball, and hockey. The concrete pad will also be fenced in and will be usable year-round.

Superintendent Karl Germann says with the growth of the Celtic Sports Academy, this will mean another place for students to practice and play.

“This is one that we’ve been looking for for this area. The sports academy has put a lot of pressure on facilities throughout the city and this sports court can be used in summer, fall, winter, spring, and since it’s winter a lot in Grande Prairie, we’re going to be able to use it even in the winter.”

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This year, the Co-op Community Spaces funding program is supporting 27 projects with a total of $2 million. Germann says they stressed how it would help the entire community in their application, adding the court can also be booked by the public on top of school use.

“[Grande Prairie] is a young community; we need a lot of facilities, a lot of things for kids and families and adults, and this $110,000 donation will be great for the community and there will be a sports court here for years.”

This is the first time the program has partnered with a group in Grande Prairie, and Germann hopes seeing a donation of this size will encourage more.

“We don’t get donations of $100,000 in this community, and to get $110,000 from the Co-op regional area, when they’re only giving away $2 million across the country, it’s an amazing thing and maybe it will spur other sponsors as well to put some big money into Grande Prairie.”

Before construction can start, St. Kateri needs to move a group of modulars to Mother Theresa Catholic School using the space set aside. It’s expected shovels will be in the ground by July 15th, and the court ready for use by late summer 2017. The school is also set to undergo a modernization.

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