The Greater Vernon Ringette Association is one of six Vernon sports groups benefitting from B.C.’s Local Sport Relief Fund. (Morning Star file photo)

The Greater Vernon Ringette Association is one of six Vernon sports groups benefitting from B.C.’s Local Sport Relief Fund. (Morning Star file photo)

Relief funds keep Okanagan in the game

Clubs at risk of closure due to inability to offer programs and fundraise

The provincial government has kicked in some support to keep sports groups at play following a shutout year.

Fifty community sport organizations in the Interior region are benefiting from B.C.’s $1.5-million Local Sport Relief Fund.

Harwinder Sandhu, MLA for Vernon-Monashee recognizes the important role local sport organizations play across the Okanagan.

”This funding will be instrumental in helping them regain financial footing so they can continue to offer opportunities for physical activity, fun and teamwork for everyone,” she said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put financial pressure on many local sports clubs throughout British Columbia that have had limited ability to offer programming and hold fundraisers to cover expenses.

Without financial support, these clubs are at risk of closure, leaving communities without local access to sport.

In total, 288 organizations will receive a boost from the Local Sport Relief Fund.

“Coaches, volunteers and board members have worked around the clock to ensure people can keep active and gain the physical and mental benefits of sport during the pandemic,” Tourism Minister Melanie Mark said.

“We heard their challenges to meet financial pressures with current health orders in place and are proud to provide this additional support so our communities can continue to offer sport in a safe way.”

Rural, remote and under-represented populations, such as Indigenous Peoples, girls and women, low-income, newcomers and persons with disabilities, are disproportionally impacted by limited physical activities during the pandemic. Organizations that offer targeted programming are among those supported by the relief fund.

“Local sport programming delivers profound benefits to the health and well-being of communities and individuals across our province” said Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO, viaSport. “Delivering these community benefits are local sport organizations that have been hit hard during this time. This funding provides much-needed financial relief to sustain these organizations during these challenging times and enable these valuable services to continue.”

The monies will help cover administration and operational costs for local sports organizations dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Insurance, rent, storage costs, essential equipment and more are among eligible expenses to be covered by the relief fund.

Given the significant number of applications received for the initial Local Sport Relief Fund, the ministry is considering other opportunities to support the sport sector.

“The pandemic has led to some significant financial challenges,” said Theresa Cooper, executive director, Okanagan Gymnastics Centre. “With this funding grant from the Province of B.C., we will be able to weather the storm and ensure that we can continue to offer safe programming, both now and into the future.”

Programs in the Okanagan receiving funds include:

Vernon

  • Greater Vernon Ringette Association
  • North Valley Gymnastics Society
  • Silver Star Freestyle Ski Club
  • Vernon Figure Skating Club
  • Vernon Rowing and Dragon Boat Club
  • Vernon Ski Club

Lake Country

  • Winfield Figure Skating Club

Kelowna

  • Two X Elle Cycling Association
  • Okanagan Athletics Club Society
  • Okanagan Gymnastics Centre Society
  • Okanagan Mainline Football Society
  • Okanagan Mission Hall Association
  • Kelowna Curling Club
  • Kelowna Lawn Bowling Club
  • Kelowna Minor Hockey Association
  • Kelowna Ski Club
  • Kelowna Speed Skating Club
  • Kelowna United Football Club
  • Kelowna College Basketball Society

West Kelowna

  • Lakeview Heights Tennis Club
  • West Kelowna Minor Baseball Association

Penticton

  • Glengarry Figure Skating Club
  • Penticton BMX Society
  • Penticton Curling Club
  • Penticton Dragon Boat Festival Society
  • Penticton Lawn Bowling Club
  • Penticton Minor Fastpitch Softball Association
  • Pinnacles Football Club Association

Salmon Arm

  • Salmon Arm Curling Club
  • Salmon Arm Waves Masters Swimming Club
  • Shuswap Dragon Boat Society

READ MORE: Vernon pro to join elite women’s golf coaching program

READ MORE: Good Samaritan turns in cash-filled wallet to Vernon Mounties


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Youth from Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and the Kootenays were able to dig into two evenings of online learning and connection through United Way Southern Interior B.C.’s <CODE>anagan program. (Submitted)<code> </code>
CODEanagan gives youth a chance to learn about technology

The youth, aged 12 to 21, built their own WordPress sites and developed blogging ideas

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

One person was extricated from a vehicle that rolled off Highway 97 Feb. 25, 2021, near Clerke Road in Coldstream around 2 p.m. (Roger Knox - Vernon Morning Star)
UPDATE: Highway 97 cleared near Vernon following rollover that trapped occupant

Single-vehicle incident on highway stretch; vehicle rolled onto its roof

SilverStar Mountain Resort near Vernon has teamed up with the Community Foundation of North Okanagan to help feed local families who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (SilverStar photo)
Vernon resort fills gap for residents impacted by COVID-19

SilverStar Mountain Resort and Community Foundation North Okanagan create program to feed families

Const. Kyle Camulush is the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP’s new liaison officer for the Okanagan Indian Band. (RCMP photo)
New liaison officer for Okanagan Indian Band

Const. Kyle Camalush joins Vernon North Okanagan RCMP from Barriere detachment

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, before she knew she would change literature. Photo Wikipedia
And Then There Were None

What book knocked your booties off when you were young?

A webinar on dealing with dementia will be held Wednesday, March 10, 2021 (Submitted)
Webinar on dementia scheduled for March 10

Okanagan residents invited to event on legal issues surrounding dementia

The BC SPCA is offering many chances for school-aged kids to learn about animal welfare and other animal topics. Pictured here is Keith, a three-month-old kitten seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
From pets to wildlife, BC SPCA offers animal education programs geared to youth

BC SPCA offering virtual spring break camps, workshops and school presentations

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
B.C. musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s close connection to director led to rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

Migrant farm workers transplant jalapeno sprouts from trucks into the tilted soil at a farm. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)
‘They’re afraid’: Coalition sounds alarm over COVID vaccines for B.C.’s migrant workers

Though health ministry says anyone can get vaccinated, critics say barriers are keeping migrants from their dose

Most Read