The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport undertook a redesign of the current sport funding programs to reduce the administrative burden and duplication and to improve the application process. This redesign was a commitment under Game ON – The Ontario Government’s Sport Plan.
The Ontario Amateur Sport Fund (OASF) is a multi-year funding program designed to support the three pillars identified in Game ON: Participation, Development and Excellence.
The Ontario Amateur Sport Fund will lead to greater support for PSO/MSOs to strengthen athlete programming, identify clear athlete performance targets, develop a stronger talent identification system, and operationalize strategic plans for their organizations. The Ontario Amateur Sport Fund will pave the way for Ontarians to have access to a best-in-class amateur sport system from the playground to the podium.
MTCS recognizes that PSO/MSOs are key partners in the sport system and play a critical role by encouraging participation in recreational and competitive sport programs.
PSO/MSOs are responsible for developing their sports; providing a competitive pathway for athlete development; selecting provincial teams; recruiting and training coaches, officials and volunteers; and conducting provincial championships. PSO/MSOs also play an important role by linking into the national sport system.
The Ontario Amateur Sport Fund will provide funding support and enable new or developing PSO/MSOs to further build their capabilities, while ensuring that larger, more established PSO/MSOs will continue to offer high quality programs and services.
At its core, the Ontario Amateur Sport Fund aims to build the capacity of the amateur sport sector to:
- Encourage and support lifelong engagement and participation in sport and physical activity;
- Retain participants in sport by developing the passion and skills of athletes;
- Have more Ontario athletes excel than ever before;
- Support a system that welcomes all Ontarians to play organized sport.
The Ontario Amateur Sport Fund is designed to support the following priorities:
- System Capacity: Includes activities/initiatives that enable organizations to develop and enhance their operational governance and oversight, including the development of strategic plans, budgets, operational plans, governance training, etc.
- Participation: Ensures athletes are better able to participate in safe, organized sport. This includes the Active Start, Fundamentals and Active for Life stages of the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model, as well as targeted and total membership within the sport.
- Development: Ensures athletes receive the right support as their skills develop. This includes the Learn to Train and Train to Train stages of the LTAD model; the development of coaches and officials, including training and certification; as well as participation in the Ontario Games and Canada Games.
- Excellence: Ensures athletes are better able to pursue excellence in high performance sport. This includes the Train to Compete and Train to Win stages of LTAD, and the percentage of athletes who receive Sport Canada Athlete Assistance Program cards.
- Other Government Priorities: Includes projects that focus on increased participation and programming for the under-represented populations of Ontario, including Indigenous people, the LGBTQ community, children from low-income families and new Canadians/immigrants. The Ministry has identified that women and girls will be a priority over the next two years. As a result, particular emphasis will be placed on projects targeted for women.