A total of 43 Thompson Okanagan sport organizations are receiving funding to help them recover from the pandemic and welcome a safe return to play.
“As B.C. makes its way through Step 3 of the Province’s restart plan, I want to thank the sport and recreational organizations for the central role they play in bringing people back together and in returning to the activities we love,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Volunteers have done an amazing job adapting to the pandemic. Our government is proud to support these community-based sport organizations as they work to get people back in the game.”
There are more than 4,100 local sports organizations in B.C., many of which have faced financial challenges due to the absence of registration fees, event revenues and sponsorships because of the COVID-19 limits on gatherings to keep us safe. The Local Sport Relief Fund provides grants of up to $7,500 to non-profit sports organizations to assist with expenses such as insurance, administrative costs, rent, storage costs and equipment essential to providing sports programs.
“Families and children across the Interior are very active, and we know the important role kids’ sports play in their development,” said Harwinder Sandhu, MLA for Vernon-Monashee. “Sport organizations are a vital hub for social connection, physical activity and fun. I’m glad to see support for local organizations so people can return to the activities that keep them healthy and happy in Vernon and throughout B.C.”
This is the second allocation of funds for local sport organizations thanks to additional financial support provided by the Government of Canada. In this round, the Province is disbursing more than $1 million in grants to 214 organizations throughout B.C. In January 2021, the provincial government provided $1.5 million to 288 local sport organizations during the first funding allocation.
“It’s thrilling to be able to move forward in this province to a careful return to games, competition, and recreational activity,” said Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO, viaSport. “COVID-19 took a tremendous toll on sport organizations across this province. This funding acknowledges the need to financially support local sport organizations to ensure they are ready to help ramp up capacity as sport returns to communities.”
The Province is focused on enhancing opportunities for a more inclusive, diverse and affordable future for sport. Local Sport Relief Fund grants awarded in both rounds prioritized organizations serving under-represented populations, including girls and women, persons with disabilities, underprivileged youth, racially diverse and LGBTQI2S communities.
“This funding is welcomed support that will help us build back the financial stability we lost during the pandemic,” said Dave Merklinger, manager, Vernon Curling & Athletic Club. “We are thrilled to be able to have our sport programming back up and running for the public and value this opportunity to serve our community once again.”
- Local sports organizations exist in every community in B.C. and include activities such as baseball and soccer leagues, gymnastics and swimming.
- These organizations serve as the foundation for sport in B.C. and provide a valuable outlet for children and adults to be physically active.
- The Local Sport Relief Fund is administered by viaSport on behalf of the Province.
For information about the Local Sport Relief Fund, visit: