Twenty-one B.C. communities will benefit from government grants geared to the development of local sport programs, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Bill Bennett announced Wednesday.
The B.C. government is providing up to $2,000 per grant to 31 different non-profit groups for sport programs through the Local Sport Program Development Fund. The fund is administered by viaSport.
Two Comox Valley groups are included in the funding. The LINC Youth Centre received $1,500 for its floor hockey league and the Vancouver Island Mountain Sport Society received $2,000 in support of its orienteering program.
Local Sport Program Development Fund grants are designed to help establish new sport programs or expand existing ones so that more British Columbians, particularly those who face barriers to sport, have opportunities to participate.
Programs funded this year are focused on teaching fundamental sport skills to children, introducing new immigrants to sport, expanding aboriginal sport programs, and providing adaptive sports to persons
with a disability. Funds are generally used for equipment, coach training, or program development.
“A key priority for the province is to encourage participation in sport and active, healthy lifestyles by all British Columbians regardless of age, background or ability,” Bennett said. “The Local Sport Program Development Fund is a good news story because it helps ensure everyone can take part. It is exactly the kind of program our government is proud to support,” he added.
Moira Gookstetter, vice-president of viaSport, said,
“One of our goals at viaSport is to unite and energize B.C. communities through the power of sport and increased participation in physical activity. The Local Sport Program Development grant program continues to help organizations get the boost they need to start or
expand a local sport initiative, giving more people an opportunity to get involved and play.”
• The Local Sport Program Development Fund was created in 2008 in the lead-up to the Olympics as part of 2010 Legacies Now.
• The Local Sport Program Development Fund is accessible to isolated rural communities where sport opportunities are fewer as well as large urban populations where low sport participation exists.
• 31 projects throughout British Columbia were funded up to $2,000 in spring 2013 equalling $51,000 in total funding.
• The successful applicants include municipalities, aboriginal groups and not-for-profit organizations that directly deliver organized sport programs.
• Since 2008, more than $450,000 from the Local Sport Program Development Fund has been distributed to over 90 B.C. communities, benefiting over 14,000 British Columbians.
• In 2012-13, 56 projects throughout British Columbia were funded through the Local Sport Program Development Fund.
– Province of B.C.