UA-74833448-1 Mani Fallon – Sports Interview –

Mani Fallon – Sports Interview

Mani comes from Honeymoon Bay on Vancouver Island, which is located on Cowichan Lake just south west of Duncan and the current population is 629.

Dad was born at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New West and her Grandfather was one of the first Indo-Canadians to come to Canada in the early 1900’s.

Her Mother immigrated to Canada from India in 1969. Mani is the oldest of five children and the four girls were born first and her brother is the youngest. She also has two half-sisters and two half-sisters.

Everyone lives in Surrey, but one sister just recently moved to Yale-town. Her Dad worked in the local saw mill and her Mom was a stay-at-home Mom, which is in itself a full time job.

Mani remembers that her Dad enjoyed out door activities such as gardening and made sure the yard looked good and the house was painted.
Her brother was involved in hockey as she (Mani) wanted to get him involved as she was a bit older than him. He started when he was in grade 7.

Mani took him to his first game and he ended up getting a puck in the eye and that was the last time Mani took him to a game. He stills play’s and recently joined a new league.

Mani took part in sports and remembers attending sports days at school getting credits for playing.

She also remembers taking part in Participation which was a government funded program. Mani was fairly competitive at running as well as the high jump and the long jump.

She wasn’t necessarily good when it came to doing sit-up’s. When she was young she joined the local baseball team where several parents ran the league.

She played short stop, but remembers moving around to play different positions.

At the end of each game the team would go to the local ice cream shop and it was a bonding for all players and showed strong support for what the community had to offer to the youth”.

She say’s that the ice cream was the best and she has yet to find ice cream like that and when she returned a while ago, the ice cream shop was gone.
Mani recently joined a running club and joined a gym. She worked out at studio 64 and until recently changed careers and simply could not fit this in her schedule.

She has done a weight lifting course, Yoga and Pilates. This is a sport that emphasizes balance development of the body through core strength, flexibility as well as overall awareness.

She recently took an eight week course at the Newton Rec Center and did fairly well with this. Given the recent success of the Olympics’ she used to attend games played in the BC Junior Lacrosse League.

Energy is high from everyone, but it is tough to find a good spot to sign the kids up, because most spots get taken up fairly quick. From a families perspective getting kid’s in sport can be expensive and I asked what should be done to help them. She mentioned “that the family tax credit has been fantastic” but never expanded on this.

With sports on a National level, I asked “what should be done for those that are not an elite athlete and never get to take part in any Provincial and/or National championship”.

Mani felt that she is not familiar with this topic and feels that anyone that wants to play is playing.

I mentioned that I am not interested in funding for Adults but rather the youth. She feels that this is where the local Rec centers take over as they make it affordable.

This is where the local communities should help out. I mentioned that “government grants have been cut back and asked how we deal with the issue of funding for youth sports”.

She see’s this it like any household and say’s “We all had to make cuts and down grade where we recently went through a recession and the economy the way it was we had to make cut’s.

She continues “once we have done this the next thing we have to focus on is getting into improving the economy and how we pay for this is through the taxes.

The Government pays for it, but the money has to come from some where, so the taxes have to come from somewhere and the taxes can either come from us and they can tax us more, but that won’t solve it, so we need to encourage business.

She continues “small business contributes over 50% of our jobs and the taxes and we have to encourage that more.

She comes from small business and when the work is done, you can’t just turn you phone off and go home, cause they worry about this all the time and they need tax breaks”. She say’s “by having more of those businesses, you collect more taxes and now you have more money to play with in regards to grants”.

I asked what approach she would take if Stephen Harper placed her as the new sports Minister for Canada.

She state “First I would have to learn the in and out’s of it and want to learn it from the bottom starting with the minor leagues with the kids all the way up to the elite league”.

She would want to find out how the system works and where the money comes from and how it’s distributed”. This would be her starting point and then she would go from there.

She comes from a health and wellness background and she feels that far too many kids today are sitting in front of the TV’s and computers too much and hers are no exception.

It is a multiple of problems because she is not comfortable at letting her kids play outside and walk themselves to the park and I have to go with them.

Then I have to tag along with them and take my lap-top to get my work done. We need our streets to be safer and I used to play outside until dark when it was time to come in.

We can’t do that anymore as we are in a different time and different place, so now our kids are not going out as much.

She say’s “we need to get them involved and send them to the Rec Center (which she loves) as this is where they are involved in a multiple of activities”.

On the subject of a police back ground check she mention’s “we need to get the parents involved as they want to have a general interest in the kid’s”. She was under the impression that one back ground check covered all sports and feels this must be simplified to make it easier for getting volunteers involved”.

She feels that the party could look at this as it’s about safety for the kids. It’s a $40.00 investment for the child and she thinks it’s not the money, but rather the time it takes to get one done”.

Finally she say’s “we need to get our kid’s actively cause today’s kids are chunkier than ever before and as Adults we have to take charge of this”.

I personally found my conversation extremely direct in all her responses. It was clear though that she does not completely understand sports overall, but not everyone does.

I wish her all the best for the upcoming Federal Election.