People in Surrey will soon enjoy an updated aquatic centre funded through community gaming grants.

The aquatic centre at the Tong Louie Family YMCA will continue to provide a place to connect with others while developing skills and experiences to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“Sport can play a powerful role in helping people lead healthy, productive lives,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “We want people of all ages, backgrounds and levels of ability to choose active living. That starts with having access to facilities and developing physical literacy. By investing in the Tong Louie Family YMCA, we are helping families in Surrey learn how to swim, which is the first step toward both recreational and competitive aquatic sport.”

The Tong Louie Family YMCA promotes healthy living and provides services to the community by delivering child care, health, fitness, aquatics, camps, immigrant services, sports leagues, employment services, youth leadership and community health programs.

“Our government values the work of the Greater Vancouver YMCA, ensuring everyone has access to programs and services for people to learn life skills while making connections with their neighbours in the community,” said Jinny Sims, MLA for Surrey-Panorama, on behalf of Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We are pleased to support the upgrade to ensure the longevity of the Surrey aquatic centre, so people of all ages and backgrounds can continue to stay active together at the Tong Louie Family YMCA.”

YMCA of Greater Vancouver received $250,000 in capital project funding through the Community Gaming Grants program for these upgrades. These improvements include new pool mechanical systems and treatment systems to improve water quality, automatic pool-level controls, new direct digital controls and new boilers.

“When children and families swim at the Tong Louie Family YMCA, they not only are physically active and learn to swim – a critical life skill – but they also connect with friends and meet others who live in the same community,” said David Woollven, general manager, Tong Louie Family YMCA. “The upgrades we are now able to make as a result of this generous capital gaming grant will ensure that generations of children and families are active and connected through swimming, both now and in the future.”

The YMCA of Greater Vancouver is one of 63 not-for-profits receiving a total of $5 million in capital project grants through the Community Gaming Grants program this year. The capital project category was launched in fall 2017 to enable not-for-profit organizations to buy equipment and make renovations essential to their operations.

Quick Facts:

* The Tong Louie Family YMCA delivers a range of active lifestyle programs for individuals and families. It includes an aquatic centre with a 25-metre lane pool, a teaching and multi-use pool and a whirlpool.

* Every year, commercial gaming generates revenue that the Government of B.C. invests in key services. These services include health care and education, and a wide array of organizations representing arts and culture groups, sport, environment, public safety, human and social services, and parent advisory councils that make life better for British Columbians.

* Up to $140 million of the revenue generated is directed into the community through the Community Gaming Grants program that supports over 5,000 community organizations each year, with $5 million dedicated to funding the capital project sector.

* Each year, eligible organizations can apply for a capital project sector grant, in addition to one of the six sectors of regular community gaming grants.