Relief funding to get the amateur sport sector back in the game
VICTORIA –Government is providing $4 million for post pandemic re-ignite the amateur sport sector, to help rebuild sport membership and to bolster volunteerism.
“We know how challenging this pandemic has been on sport organizations in B.C.,” said Melanie Mark, Hli Haykwhl Ẃii Xsgaak, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Sport has the power to heal individuals and communities, to create connections and re-connections, and to promote health and wellbeing. Over the last two years, British Columbia’s amateur sport sector has lost many players, participants, volunteers and advocates, and we need to kickstart the sector so sport clubs can get back in the game.”
The funding will be provided to viaSport British Columbia, who will implement two separate grants on behalf of the province. The first grant of $2 million focuses on rebuilding membership: to recruit players, athletes and participants of all ages, and to offer more inclusive and accessible program options. The second grant of $2 million is meant to help recruit, retain and train volunteers. These volunteers are assistant coaches or referees, they schedule and coordinate events or equipment, manage the communication or the administration of the club, or get involved in so many other ways. They are the backbone of many sport clubs who cannot function without them.
“Rebuilding sport membership and volunteerism are top priorities for viaSport. Sport leaders from across the province have told us that to continue delivering safe, welcoming and inclusive sport programs, these are the areas where they need the most support,” said Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO, viaSport British Columbia. “At viaSport British Columbia, we are thrilled to steward this significant investment from the Province of B.C. that will be instrumental in recovery and creating a more resilient sport sector.”
Non-profit provincial, disability and multi-sport organizations that are accredited, recognized, or affiliated with viaSport BC and their member local sport organizations are eligible to apply. This funding will help ensure that B.C.’s amateur sport continues to provide many opportunities and programs for all British Columbians, to make sure people of all ages can play the sport they choose in their community. These organizations offer are sport and activities like gymnastics, snowboarding, boxing, wheelchair basketball, and many more.
“Sport BC knows the power of sport. We know that sport builds belonging, communities,
friendships, leaders, healthy kids, connection, and resilience. Through its absence, we learned that sport is critically important to a thriving province,” said Rob Newman, Sport BC president and CEO. “Working hard to support our 73 member organizations throughout and beyond the pandemic, I know the sport relief fund will significantly support amateur sport, specifically in helping participants and volunteers find their way back to sport.”
In B.C., 85% of provincial sport organizations are reporting a decline in membership, which dropped from over 800,000 in 2018/19, to around 500,000 in 2020/21. Funding will be determined based on needs and impact, size of organizations and scope of projects. Grant intake will run from September 15 to November 4, 2022.
For more information on eligibility and application, visit the viaSport website at https://www.viasport.ca/grants
For a complete list of Provincial and Disability Sport Organizations in B.C., visit https://www.viasport.ca/partners/pso-and-dso
To find out about other COVID-19 related recovery initiatives in BC, visit StrongerBC website at https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/
To find out about the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport’s 2022 Service Plan, which includes several goals and objectives related to post-pandemic recovery, visit https://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2022/sp/pdf/ministry/tacs.pdf
Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport