Don “Sparky” Leonard: CK Election & Sports Interview

Below are the CK Election and Sports interview responses for Ward 6, Chatham council candidate Don “Sparky” Leonard. Remember to Vote October 22.

Name: Don “Sparky” Leonard

Hometown and Ward: Chatham ward 6

What’s your sports/recreation background?

I have coached youth baseball, and previously served on the board of directors as President of the Essex 73’s, participated in a variety of recreational sports and I am a passionate fan of local and most professional sporting events.

What are your thoughts, or what value do you place in sports and recreation for the citizens of Chatham-Kent overall, and/or when showcasing Chatham-Kent to newcomers?

I believe it is essential to provide all residents the opportunity to engage in their favourite sporting activity, from pickle ball , soccer, baseball, swimming to hockey at all levels. Any sport activity teaches many life skills such as teamwork, dedication to succeed, leadership as well the activities work to increase your positive physical and emotional well being. A great example of showcasing this is our current Fergie Jenkins field at Rotary Park; just this past weekend several teams mentioned that they attend this tournament because this park is the best facility in all of Ontario!

One of the hot topics leading up to the election, and over the past decade has been a new twin pad arena for Chatham-Kent. Where do you stand on this? What thoughts do you have?

I am certainly in favour of developing a new twin pad facility, like Rotary Park this will create a venue that would serve all types of sporting events and attract visitors to our municipality. This type of complex should house a multiplicity of leisure activities like jogging trails, cycling, splash pad,etc done correctly by partnering with federal and provincial government, engaging our local service clubs for their input and fundraising initiatives and providing local businesses and major companies the opportunity to showcase their community pride I am sure this will be another part of Chatham-Kent that is admired across the province and beyond.

Do you have any other ideas or plans that would impact health, wellness, sports, or recreation in Chatham-Kent, and specifically in your Ward?

The more our municipality can work together with local groups and individuals to encourage a more active healthy life style, will certainly be one of my main priorities. Cycling, jogging & walking paths certainly lead to a healthier lifestyle and more enjoyable in a safe inviting atmosphere.

Anything else you’d like to tell our readers and voters?

We must continue to improve our infrastructure and maintain the integrity or our roads, bridges and all municipaly owned properties. This needs to be done in the most efficient and financially secure way. I believe I need to respect the taxpayers money and look at expenditures better than may treat my own!

I look forward to working alongside all residents in continuing to redesign Chatham-Kent, to create a Chatham-Kent that is talked about as the premier place to live, work & play.

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