Every person in the county with year-round access to an activity or sport they love
so they can thrive relationally, physically and mentally.
There is a lack of sporting facilities in Elgin County, Ontario, we aim to change that.
The Malahide Athletic Centre is a domed, indoor athletic centre where youth and adults from all over Elgin County can enjoy sport and recreation all year round. Designed to be accessible and affordable, the MAC will accommodate all kinds of activities such as football, soccer, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, field hockey, track and field, volleyball, pickleball, as well as fitness classes and dance.
But it’s about so much more!
The vision behind the MAC is to create a community hub where people of all ages and from all walks of life can find connection and belonging.
At an estimated cost of $7.5 million and with close to $2 million already raised, construction is projected to begin in 2024.
For sports like baseball, soccer, and football, lacrosse, field hockey, track and field.
For sports like basketball, volleyball, and pickleball.
For dance, exercise or training classes.
A place to hang out and socialize between games or classes.
The team behind the MAC are motivated by three realities: the lack of facilities in our community; the health of our youth and the legacy of our parents and grandparents.
1. A lack of facilities in our community
In Elgin County, there are limited places children, youth and adults can go to enjoy sports and recreation. In a 200km radius, there are only 4 indoor sporting facilities offering year-round recreation. Getting court or turf time is difficult, expensive, and too far away for the majority of families. We need to change this.
2. Our kids are struggling
The pandemic years had a deep effect on the mental, physical and relational health everyone, but especially on our youth. Canada-wide, surveys show youth of all demographics are getting less physical activity than any generation before. The average child spends 2,778 hours per year in front of a screen and 1 in 5 Canadian youth experience anxiety and depression.
Sports and recreation provide opportunities for children and youth to develop relationships, increase confidence and find a place to belong.
3. It’s our responsibility to build our community
Elgin County had its beginnings in 1790 with the McKee Purchase Treaty between the Crown and the Wyandot, Anishinaabe and Mississauga Nations. By 1810 many Scottish and English immigrants had moved in. They were followed by immigrants from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Hungary and Mexico. Each generation has worked hard to build this community.
The MAC is a chance for our generation to roll up our sleeves and like our ancestors, build the facilities our children and youth need to be healthy, confident and contributing adults.
 “The Big Book of Nature”, Drew Monkman
 “The Health of Canadian Youth: Findings from the health behaviour in school-aged children study”, Government of Canada, Canada.ca, 2020
The MAC will be built at 6576 Springfield Road in Mount Salem, Ontario.
Designating land in Malahide, an under served region of Elgin County, this location is within easy reach of Tillsonburg and St. Thomas.
Aylmer – 10 minutes
Belmont - 25 minutes
Port Bruce – 12 minutes
Port Burwell – 14 minutes
Port Stanley - 25 minutes
Sparta - 12 minutes
Springfield - 10 minutes
Straffordville – 15 Minutes
Tillsonburg – 23 minutes
St Thomas – 25 minutes
The driving force behind the MAC is a passionate Board of Directors. They work in Elgin County, live in Elgin County, volunteer in Elgin County and are raising their families in Elgin County. Their commitment to the vision for MAC stems from their combined decades of organizing and coaching minor sports in the county.
Dave & Mary Thiessen - Co-Chairs
Lino & Ingrid Vandenborre