Council Candidate Darrin Canniff Talks Chatham-Kent Sports

Chatham-Kent Civic Centre

Chatham-Kent Civic Centre

CKSN asked all candidates running for Chatham-Kent council and mayor, to give us their backgrounds in sports and recreation, and describe their goals and views for not only sports and recreation in Chatham-Kent, but making Chatham-Kent a healthier, and more active place to live.

The Chatham-Kent Municipal election day is October 27, 2014.

Here are council candidate Darrin Canniff’s responses. Canniff is running for council in Ward 6 – Chatham.

1. Background in sports and recreation:

I have been involved in sports in our community most of my life. I played soccer, volleyball and football while attending John McGregor Secondary School. I have played volleyball in the YMCA league over the last 15 years. I play golf and have played tennis on and off most of my life.

My involvement as a parent has included coaching travel and house league soccer and was serving as an assistant coach with the Chatham Cougars house league football. I am also the treasurer for the Timbits Volleyball Academy, which promotes volleyball to kids between the grades of 2 to 6.

My children are extremely involved in sports, including house league ice hockey, ball hockey, football, soccer, travel soccer, travel volleyball, beach volleyball and competitive dance.

2. What specific ideas or goals do you have for Chatham-Kent, to improve or maintain recreational programs and facilities, and support our athletes and sports organizations? Or to help build opportunities for future growth in these areas?

A wide range of sports programs and facilities are an integral part of any healthy, vibrant community. We need to continue updating current facilities and look at a new arena and indoor sports facility.

Many local residents see the quality of recreational facilities in other similar sized or smaller communities and question why Chatham-Kent hasn’t made these type of investments.

We have made strides through the new YMCA and St Clair College Healthplex, but Chatham-Kent still needs to do more to develop these type of facilities.

It is important to promote involvement in sports for all ages. Developing quality facilities, such as a sports park, would provide a go-to destination and encourage greater fitness and a healthier lifestyle among many residents. To make this happen we need to co-ordinate the efforts of federal, provincial, municipal governments to foster partnerships with sports leagues and the corporate and private sectors. The municipality should be a taking the lead to ensure best practices from other communities are looked at and incorporated were applicable.

3. How will you work to make Chatham-Kent a healthier, more active place to live?

Driving and promoting new facilities such as a new arena and a new indoor sports park for soccer, volleyball, basketball, lacrosse etc. A solid business plan needs to be put in place to balance costs with economic reality. An indoor sports park would be the go-to destination for several sports and would include 6 to 8 outdoor fields including one turf field. The facility would include a cafe/restaurant, sports store and other modern amenities. With the community working together they can both be a reality.

4. Anything else you’d like to add? 

The need for more recreational facilities is not just a nice to-do, there is a real need to provide these kind of amenities to help attract and keep residents.

There is also some disturbing statistics that provincial agencies have found regarding the poor health of many residents, particularly in the areas of heart disease and obesity that can’t be ignored.

Chatham-Kent should be taking the lead to provide its residents more opportunities to become more active, which can lead to living a healthier lifestyle.

What did you think of Council Candidate Darrin Canniff’s responses? Let us know in the comments below!

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    Brian Donais 4 years

    I also believe in a healthy life style. I see no mention of safe cycling paths that most growing cities are expanding on.