Victoria – The Province is providing $15 million for B.C.-based amateur leagues and teams competing at the provincial, national or international level to ensure athletes will continue to have access to these opportunities after the pandemic.
“We have heard from hockey leagues about the pandemic being a tough opponent,” said Premier John Horgan. “This new relief fund will help them and other amateur leagues to get through these challenging times. We want sports fans to be able once again to cheer for their favourite teams on the diamond, at the local arena and on the pitch once the pandemic is over.”
This dedicated relief fund will help amateur sports leagues and teams with operational costs, such as salaries, administrative costs, personal protective equipment, and the development of COVID-19 safety plans to ensure the safety of athletes and staff. Funding will help ensure organizations pull through the pandemic to provide opportunities for amateur athletes and protect the jobs of people who work for the leagues and teams. The fund will be administered by viaSport focusing on leagues and teams owned and operated in B.C. that do not compensate athletes as employees, and can demonstrate at least 30% loss in revenue due to the impacts of COVID-19 and will not include college or university teams.
The Province has also provided $1.5 million in grants to 288 local sport organizations throughout British Columbia though the Local Sport Relief Fund. Given the demand of the first intake of the Local Sport Relief Fund, the intake for a second round was launched earlier this month, thanks to funding from the Government of Canada. Applications are being accepted until April 30, 2021, through the viaSport website.