School phys-ed grants cut

School boards across Nova Scotia are losing provincial funding to promote physical activity and healthy living.

School boards across Nova Scotia are losing provincial funding to promote physical activity and healthy living.

The cuts were revealed in a letter sent to the eight boards this week.

The province says it can no longer afford to give them a total of $180,000 for equipment-related needs and fitness incentive programs.

"In order to reach our budget targets, we had to make difficult choices that will have the least impact on providing inclusive opportunities for participation in physical activity, sport and recreation," said the letter, signed by Farida Gabbani, a senior director in the department.

The letter states the department is working on a plan that focuses on after-school activities, but there are no details on what that would involve.

Chris Poole, a member of the Halifax regional school board, received an email late Thursday.

"It's a very short letter with potentially a lot of implications that I don't know what they are yet," he said.

The money came from the Department of Health and Wellness. The school boards then passed it on to individual schools so they could buy basketballs and repair nets, for example.

"The other program is a rewards and incentives program and that was used to reward volunteers staff or individuals who made a positive contribution to physical activity within the school," said Nicole Watkins Campbell, a spokeswoman for the department.

Poole plans to meet with school board staff on Friday to discuss the impact of the cuts.