People of all ages and abilities across Vancouver Island will have more opportunities to get involved in fun, community-based sport programs during the coming year through the joint federal-provincial BC Sport Participation Program (BCSPP).
“Sport has the power to connect people with their communities and build the foundation for a healthy lifestyle,” said Lisa Beare, B.C.’s Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “These programs will help people make new friends, improve their fitness level and try a new sport, regardless of their background or level of ability.”
The BCSPP is a partnership between the governments of Canada and British Columbia. This year, Canada and B.C. are making matched investments totalling more than $1.2 million aimed at getting more people of all abilities active in their communities and involved in a variety of sports, such as tennis, wheelchair basketball, para ice hockey and snowboarding. The funding supports sport programs, activities and coach and leadership training in communities throughout B.C.
“Our government has worked hard to make sure Canada puts athletes and children in sport first, from the playground to the podium,” said Kirsty Duncan, federal Minister of Science and Sport. “That means making sure sport is safe, inclusive and accessible, because everyone deserves to experience the benefits of sport. Our government is proud to partner with the Government of British Columbia to get more people involved in sport, particularly kids who face financial or social barriers.”
On Vancouver Island, some of the programs include:
- establishing Victoria's first all-female minor hockey association;
- purchasing BMX track bikes for riders facing financial barriers in Cumberland; and
- creating opportunities for people of all ages to experience speed skating in Duncan.
The BCSPP has two application-based grant programs administered by viaSport – the Provincial Sport Development Program (PSDP) and Community Sport Development Program (CSDP). Communities, Indigenous groups and not-for-profit organizations can apply to receive grants that help them buy equipment, train leaders, officials and coaches, and teach participants sport skills.
Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO, viaSport —
“By reducing barriers to sport, more British Columbians experience the unique benefits that sport has to offer. This grant program increases opportunities for participation in programs that attract children, youth, Indigenous and under-represented populations to lead active and healthy lifestyles through their involvement in sport. viaSport is proud to recommend these organizations and recognizes their commitment to providing meaningful opportunities for British Columbians to experience sport in their communities.”
Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox —
“We’re fortunate here on Vancouver Island to have fairly active lifestyles, but there are those who simply don’t get the opportunity. These grants will help even more children and others get involved in sports and enjoy all the benefits that come with greater physical activity.”
Betsy Burr, president, Cowichan Valley Thunder Speed Skating Club —
“We are thrilled to be starting a new speed skating club that will introduce the sport to the Cowichan Valley and the mid-Island. Funding from the BCSPP grant will give us a strong start as we provide youth and young adults on this side of the Malahat with the opportunity to give speed skating a try.”
- The BCSPP provides grants to provincial and multi-sport organizations to help youth learn about physical activity and provide sport opportunities for under-represented populations (women and girls, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, newcomers to Canada, the 55-year-old-or-over population and lower-income families).
- The BCSPP program is broken down into four streams: the PSDP, the CSDP, programming specific to Indigenous children and youth, and programming specific to populations that are traditionally under-represented in sport.
- The PSDP provides grants up to $30,000 to support sport projects with regional or provincial reach.
- The CSDP offers grants up to $3,000 to support local, community-based sport projects.
- The Indigenous supplement is provided to the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (ISPARC) for culturally relevant sport programming for Indigenous children and youth, to support B.C. athletes training for the North American Indigenous Games and to strengthen capacity and leadership. ISPARC is recognized by the Province as the lead Indigenous organization for sport.
- Targeted grants are also provided that support initiatives specifically focused on under-represented populations including people aged 55 or over, teenage girls, Indigenous youth in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and individuals with disabilities.
Read about Sport Canada’s work: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/culture/sport.html
Learn about viaSport and the grant intake period, guidelines and applications: https://www.viasport.ca/grants
A backgrounder is available online: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BCSPP_Program_Investments_July2019_Vancouver_Island.pdf