Local Sport Relief Fund to help community sports clubs amid pandemic

Funding for sports clubs

Many community sports clubs are at risk of closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic but now they can apply for support from B.C.'s $1.5 million Local Sport Relief Fund.

Local sport groups are under extreme financial pressure as a result of no one registering, event cancellations and loss of sponsorships. These organizations are at risk of insolvency. 

"For many athletes and families, local sport organizations provide the important physical, mental and social benefits sports offer, which we need more than ever," says Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

"This funding will help local organizations so they can continue to support children, families and our communities with healthy activities."

The fund will support bills, society dues, salaries and maintenance fees. This will give the clubs and organizations the ability to plan for a full return of sport.

Applications are now open until Oct. 16.

"COVID-19 has had a significant financial impact on local non-profit sport organizations, resulting in a great number being at risk of disappearing," says Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO of viaSport. "As sport begins to safely return to communities, this funding will help maintain the viability of these organizations and retain the opportunities they have worked so hard to create for British Columbians."

This funding program aims to help rural communities, under-represented populations such as Indigenous people, girls, low-income people, disabled people and newcomers as they are disproportionally impacted by reductions of physical activities as a result of COVID-19.

"This financial support from the provincial government for local sport organizations is really huge during these volatile times. The support will help our club, Kamloops Classic Swimming, continue 'developing good citizens one stroke at a time,' which is our mantra," says Brad Dalke, head coach of Kamloops Classic Swimming.

"It will ensure our staff can continue working with our athletes, ages six to 23, to maintain healthy, balanced lifestyles and good mental health in these unusual times."

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