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B.C. gives a boost to community sport

Communities around B.C. will see local sports organizations continue to provide programming thanks to $1.5-million from the Provincial Government.

The Province said the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for the 4,100 local sports organizations in B.C. due to the absence of registration fees, event revenues and sponsorships.

“We want people of all ages, backgrounds and levels of ability to be able to gain the physical and mental benefits sport offers,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “People in the sports community have felt the effects of COVID-19 profoundly. This funding will help local organizations pay their bills and keep our communities active.”

The funding it is providing will go to help out organizations with fixed costs during the pandemic.

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According to the Province, rural and remote communities and underrepresented populations, such as Indigenous people, girls and women, low-income individuals and persons with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by a reduction in physical activity opportunities as a result of the pandemic.

“Many amateur sports clubs in British Columbia are volunteer-based and rely on membership fees, events, tournaments and competitions to fund sports activities in their communities,” said Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO, viaSport. “COVID-19 has especially impacted their ability to do that. This funding will help local clubs at the most financial risk to maintain operations until, and as, their communities and facilities can slowly reopen.”

As well $3.4-million will go to B.C. sports organizations from Canadian Heritage as part of a $72-million COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations. The Province said the money will be distributed through viaSport to provide support for disability and multi-sport organizations.

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