B.C.’s decimated amateur sport sector received a financial boost from the provincial government to help it survive during the pandemic.
Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, made the $5 million pledge last week, estimated to be about half of the usual funding from the B.C. government.
"Government invests more than $50 million annually to make sure everyone has opportunities to participate in and enjoy the benefits of sport,” said Beare.
"COVID-19 and the need for physical distancing has had a significant impact on everyone, including those in the sport sector.
“B.C.'s sport leaders responded quickly to the orders, direction and recommendations from the provincial health officer and cancelled tournaments, training schedules and other activities to protect people's health.”
Beare added that the government understands the predicament organizations and their staff find themselves in and “this has had a significant impact on the province's athletes, coaches, officials, sport organization staff and volunteers.”
Starting in April 2020, the province, through viaSport, will provide provincial, disability and multi-sport organizations with the ability to access the $5 million.
"Sport plays a powerful role in helping people lead healthy, productive lives and contributes to the health and wellness of our communities,” said Beare.
“These measures are what we can do right away within the existing sport sector budget to help organizations during the pandemic.
“This is a first step and we will have more to announce regarding additional supports for the sector in the weeks ahead."
For more information on ViaSport's funding, go to VIAsport.ca/news.