British Columbia

B.C. creates $1.5-million relief fund for local sports clubs

The B.C. government has unveiled a new fund that will make $1.5 million available to community-based sports groups facing the risk of closure due to the loss of registration fees, event revenue and sponsorships on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizations can apply for up to $7,500 to help pay bills, society dues, salaries and maintenance fees

Swim and soccer clubs, along with baseball and gymnastic teams, are some of the groups the province says may be eligible for the local sport relief fund. (Jhim Burwell )

The B.C. government has unveiled a new fund that will make $1.5 million available to community-based sports groups facing the risk of closure due to the loss of registration fees, event revenue and sponsorships on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The province says the local sport relief fund is designed to provide one-time financial relief for non-profit, community level sports clubs, associations and organizations.

Eligible organizations can apply for up to $7,500 to help pay bills, society dues, salaries and maintenance fees to support an eventual return to sport. Funding for new sport programming or initiatives is not permitted.

"COVID-19 has had a significant financial impact on local non-profit sport organizations, resulting in a great number being at risk of disappearing," said Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO of viaSport, which will be distributing the money. 

"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," said Krepiakevich.

The province notes this program is meant to ensure that underrepresented populations like rural and remote communities, Indigenous peoples, immigrants and people with disabilities — whose access to physical activity is disproportionately impacted during COVID-19 — get opportunities to engage in sports. 

Applications are being accepted until Oct. 16, 2020. 

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