Funding approved for local sports organizations on Vancouver Island
Sixty-four community sport organizations on Vancouver Island will receive financial support from the Province’s $1.5-million Local Sport Relief Fund.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put financial pressure on many local sports clubs throughout British Columbia that have had limited ability to offer programming and fundraise to cover expenses. Without financial support, these clubs are at risk of closure, leaving communities without local access to sport. A total of 288 organizations will be supported by the Local Sport Relief Fund.
“Coaches, volunteers and board members have worked around the clock to ensure people can keep active and gain the physical and mental benefits of sport during the pandemic,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “We heard their challenges to meet financial pressures with current health orders in place and are proud to provide this additional support so our communities can continue to offer sport in a safe way.”
Grace Lore, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill, said, “Sports are essential to our mental and physical well-being, and they help build community and connection. The pandemic has changed how we stay active, and these shifts have been hard on many local sport organizations. This funding will help clubs regain financial footing so they will be able to continue to bring people together and offer healthy and fun activities for everyone.”
Rural and remote communities, as well as under-represented populations, such as Indigenous peoples, girls and women, low-income individuals, persons with disabilities and newcomers, are disproportionally impacted by limited physical activities during the pandemic. The Local Sport Relief Fund helps ensure sport opportunities are available to these groups by providing support to sports organizations that offer targeted programming.
“Local sport programming delivers profound benefits to the health and well-being of communities and individuals across our province,” said Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO, viaSport. “Delivering these community benefits are local sport organizations that have been hit hard during this time. This funding provides much-needed financial relief to sustain these organizations during these challenging times and enable these valuable services to continue.”
The Local Sport Relief Fund covers administration and operational costs for local sports organizations dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible expenses include insurance, administrative costs, rent, storage costs, equipment essential to providing sports programs and COVID-19 related supplies, such as cleaning products, signage and personal protective equipment. Given the significant number of applications received for the initial Local Sport Relief Fund, the ministry is considering other opportunities to support the sport sector.
“Nanaimo Curling Club is very grateful for this much-needed support from the Province of B.C.,” said Brian McRory, president, Nanaimo Curling Club. “This funding will help us stay afloat financially and assist with putting the necessary health and safety measures in place so our athletes and staff can continue to participate in curling activities.”
- Local sports organizations include community-based baseball and soccer teams, gymnastics and lacrosse.
- As of September 2020, the Province, through viaSport, provided $11 million in accelerated funding to provincial, disability and multi-sport organizations.
A list of Local Sport Relief Fund grant recipients is posted on viaSport’s website at: https://www.viasport.ca/grant/local-sport-relief-fund
For more information about the Return to Sport Guidelines, visit: https://www.viasport.ca/return-sport
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