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Can you play if you can't pay? Yes.
But the cost of organized sports can leave some children and families on the sidelines. It's true: many activities like skiing, hockey and other sports programs are expensive and so is the equipment. But if you know where and when to buy, you can really cut the cost.
Kidsport Canada is an organization with 35 chapters in BC and they pay the registration for a child who otherwise wouldn't be able to play. Most applications are approved. There are also other programs that open up opportunities without you needing to open your wallet (see links below). And Spring is the time of year ski hills around the province offer pretty fantastic sales. Volunteering to help a sport organization is a great way to meet people and be involved in your community, but it's also a way to get a break on the cost.
http://kidsportcanada.ca/index.php?page=british_columbia_bc_chapters (Kidsport BC will cover registration for any sport under the Sports BC umbrella)
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