$1.5M relief funding now available to B.C. community sports clubs

Community-based sports groups at risk of closing due to COVID-19 can now apply for aid from the province’s $1.5-million Local Sport Relief Fund.

The province says the pandemic has “profoundly” affected people in the sports community, with many local sport organizations facing extreme financial pressure and risk of insolvency due to the loss of registration fees, event revenues and sponsorships.

The fund will help those local clubs – such as baseball, soccer, gymnastics and swim teams – pay bills, society dues, salaries and maintenance fees as they prepare for an eventual full return to sport.

“For many athletes and families, local sports organizations provide the important physical, mental and social benefits sports offer, which we need more than ever,” said 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 application process is open until Oct. 16, 2020.

B.C. moved into Phase 3 of ViaSport’s Return to Sport plan last month, which includes modified games and matches, and league play and competitions within sport cohorts.

As of Sept. 15, 67 sport-specific plans had been completed by provincial sport organizations, with 26 being updated for Phase 3 of returning to sport.

In all, more than 500,000 British Columbians are now able to return to sport, according to the province.

© Richmond News