You are here

Building community and breaking barriers: Introducing the Team Up grant recipients

viaSport is thrilled to announce the selection of the Team Up grant recipients! This year, viaSport and the Province of British Columbia launched the Team Up grant, designed to build capacity for community-based sport programming through sustainable, cross-sector partnerships.

Out of 26 applicants, 11 recipient partnerships have been selected. Each successful application was submitted in partnership between a sport organization, such as a provincial, regional, or multi-sport organization, and a social sector organization, such as a cultural centre or a support service organization. The one-time funding of $140,000 was distributed with the goal of utilizing the expertise of each organization to deliver low-barrier sport programs to underserved populations.  

The impact of this grant will reach all corners of the province, with programming delivered in Greater Victoria, Peace River, Prince George/Carrier Sekani First Nations, Castlegar, Trail and the Lower Mainland. Several programs are offering multi-sport opportunities, while others are delivering sport-specific programs in gymnastics, soccer, swimming and rowing.

The Team Up grant recipients have exciting plans to increase community-based sport opportunities for a variety of populations that face unique barriers to sport participation. Areas of focus include sport programming tailored to Indigenous individuals, as well as individuals with physical or intellectual disabilities. For example, Cross Country BC and Carrier Sekani Family Services are working together to deliver multi-sport programs for Indigenous youth living in rural Northern B.C., while the Selkirk Challengers Gymnastics Club has partnered with Kootney Family Place to provide free gymnastics programming for gymnasts with disabilities and/or neurodiversity.

Combining these two focus areas, BC Wheelchair Sports Association, in partnership with the B.C. Spinal Cord Injury Network, are addressing barriers to wheelchair sports participation for Indigenous individuals. BC Wheelchair Sports Association (BCWSA) explains how their partnership with BC Spinal Cord Injury Network will enhance their ‘Indigenous Bridging the Gap’ program:

“[The Indigenous Bridging the Gap] program addresses the barriers to sport participation for Indigenous individuals with a physical disability by applying components of our Bridging the Gap program through a cultural lens to ensure greater success in providing positive experiences for participants, as well as for Indigenous communities and leaders engaged in the program. By creating a culturally centred program that aligns with Indigenous needs and experiences, BCWSA is in a better position to engage Indigenous leaders and delivery organizations in providing information on wheelchair sports, as well as facilitating programming that is targeted towards Indigenous peoples with a physical disability and their community.”

Other initiatives include sport programming designed for newcomers to Canada, and individuals facing economic hardships. PacificSport Fraser Valley and Inclusion BC have partnered to provide multi-sport programming with culturally and developmentally appropriate content for children from families who have recently immigrated to Canada. Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy, in partnership with City of Trail, are introducing fun, low-cost sports to socio-economically disadvantaged teens in the Greater Trail area, while Moresports British Columbia Society and Westcoast Family Centers are facilitating quality sport programs for youth facing barriers to sport access, with a focus on newcomers to Canada and those experiencing economic hardships.   

We would like to extend a huge congratulations to our Team Up grant recipients:

  • BC Wheelchair Sports Association and BC Spinal Cord Injury Network
  • City of Victoria and B.C. Muslim Association
  • Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy and City of Trail
  • Cross Country BC/Caledonia Nordic Ski Club and Carrier Sekani Family Services
  • Hope and Health for Life Society and BC Soccer
  • Moresports BC Society and Westcoast Family Centers
  • North Peace Gymnastics and Women’s Resource Center
  • PacificSport Fraser Valley and Inclusion Langley
  • Power To Be Advancement Therapy Society and Victoria Association for Community Living
  • Rowing BC and Canucks Autism Network
  • Selkirk Challengers Gymnastics Club and Kootenay Family Place

Keep an eye on viaSport’s website and social media for updates and progress on these exciting initiatives!