New Outdoor Sports Court Supported by PRPA a Slam Dunk for Metlakatla Nation
October 24, 2023
The dream of being able to play basketball outside on a brand new, state-of-the-art sports court in Metlakatla has come true. Thanks to a partnership between the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s (PRPA) Community Investment Fund (CIF) and the Metlakatla First Nation, a new multi-use recreational amenity is now open and available for everyone to enjoy.
Public participation in sports and recreation, particularly for youth, plays a significant role in improving both physical and mental health, as well as social connections within the community, and the addition of the outdoor sports court will offer immediate benefits. This includes the ability to improve and increase the development of Metlakatla’s junior basketball program leading up to future Junior All-Native Basketball Tournaments, and of course, the All Native Basketball Tournament (ANBT) that is held every February in Prince Rupert. The new sports court officially opened on October 20, 2023, with a community celebration event.
“Hopefully it’ll change their lives one shot at a time. Another successful project in the community for a happy and healthy future,” said Troy Leighton, Recreation Director, Metlakatla First Nation.
The sports court will be open 24/7 and will support basketball, floor hockey, soccer, volleyball, pickleball, and other sports. Metlakatla is a remote community and prior to the new facility, access to the existing indoor facilities has been limited due to high demand. Now, everyone can practice and play their preferred sport when it’s convenient. In addition, the sports court is in proximity to the Elders Centre as well as the HeadStart program, so it will also serve as a place for community gatherings.
“The PRPA is proud to once again collaborate with the community of Metlakatla. Our investment in the new outdoor sports court will help enhance quality of life in the community,” said Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO, Prince Rupert Port Authority.
Initial preparation of the site began in 2021. The project was managed entirely by Metlakatla First Nation to take environmental and archeological considerations associated with its construction into account. Throughout the project, progress was evaluated by the Nation to ensure that the project was being conducted in a culturally sensitive manner, with the possibility of also including cultural aspects.
PRPA contributed $132,858 to the project, with the remainder being covered by the Metlakatla governing council. PRPA has previously partnered on CIF projects in the community of Metlakatla such as the reopening of the Metlakatla Wilderness Trail, Community Greenhouse, and the Sports & Recreation Field project totalling more than $390,000.