People of all ages and abilities across B.C.’s Interior will have more opportunities to get involved in fun, community-based sport programs through the latest round of grants in the joint federal-provincial Community Sport Development Program (CSDP).
“Our government is committed to helping people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to get involved in sport and explore their athletic potential,” said Lisa Beare, B.C.’s Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Our local sports leagues, schools and recreation centres are key resources for people who want to take up sport and active living. Through this program, we are supporting community-level initiatives and increasing participation across the province.”
The CSDP is part of the BC Sport Participation Program, an application-based grant program funded by the governments of Canada and British Columbia and administered by viaSport. In fiscal year 2019-20, Canada and B.C. are making matched investments totalling more than $1.2 million. These investments are aimed at getting more people of all abilities active in their communities and involved in a variety of sports.
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.
“Thanks to the work of community organizations, sport and physical activities are now more accessible to many British Columbians,” said Steven Guilbeault, federal Minister of Canadian Heritage. “Our government is proud to partner with the Province of British Columbia to offer better sport opportunities to all British Columbians so they can get moving and realize their full potential.”
Some of the programs include:
- teaching introductory or beginner cross-country skiing to people aged 50 and older in Fernie;
- offering a dedicated beginner learning session for those new to wheelchair basketball in Kamloops; and
- providing social sporting opportunities to individuals of all ages with learning disabilities, autism, Down syndrome and other challenges in Pemberton.
The CSDP has two intake periods each year. As part of the fall 2019 intake, the program is funding 32 projects with a total value of $80,970. In Interior B.C., there are 10 programs receiving a total of $23,270.
Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO, viaSport —
“Positive sport experiences have the power to transform individuals and inspire communities. Through this grant, viaSport supports local organizations to create new opportunities for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities to try organized sport and benefit from that power of sport in their own lives.”
Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West —
“Investments in community sport are investments in the health and interconnectedness of our communities. Whether it’s in a gym or out in the mountains, sport can give people opportunities to enjoy some of the best things about where they live. This funding will help more people in the B.C. interior access these benefits.”
Madeleine Bragg, Fernie Nordic Society —
“Staying active can be a challenge for seniors, especially when there is such a limited number of organized fitness opportunities designed for them in the Elk Valley. Through this grant, the Fernie Master’s Program can offer a safe and affordable way for cross country skiers aged 50 and over to experience the benefits of this great activity and take it into their later stages of life.”
- Government invests more than $50 million annually to make sure people have equal opportunities to participate in and enjoy the benefits of sport.
- Recent investments in sport include:
- $1.46 million to the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council to support Team British Columbia’s participation at the 2020 North American Indigenous Games in July 2020 in Halifax.
- $2.5 million to Sport BC over the next three years to expand KidSport, to increase access for kids who have traditionally faced barriers to getting involved in sport and recreation — including under-represented population groups, such as girls, Indigenous youth and new Canadians.
- viaSport is the main service delivery partner for government’s sport investments and works with 70 provincial sport organizations that provide programs and services to more than 660,000 provincial sport organization members.
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/Community_Sport_Development_Program_Grant_Recipients_Interior_Fall_2019.pdf