Three minor sports associations based in Maple Ridge are among 124 community sport organizations in the Lower Mainland approved for financial support from the province’s $1.5-million Local Sport Relief Fund.
The Golden Ears Athletic Society, Meadow Ridge Female Minor Hockey Association, and Meadow Ridge Football Association were all named as recipients. These organizations operate the Eagles track and field, Barracudas hockey and Knights football teams respectively.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put financial pressure on many sports clubs throughout B.C. that have had limited ability to offer programming or fundraise to cover expenses. Without financial support, these clubs are at risk of closure, leaving communities without local access to sport. A total of 288 organizations across the province will be supported by the 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,” said Melanie Mark, sport minister. “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.”
The fund covers administration and operational costs for local sports organizations dealing with the impacts of the pandemic. Eligible expenses include insurance, administrative costs, rent, storage costs, equipment essential to providing sports programs and COVID-19 related supplies, such as cleaning products, signage and personal protective equipment.
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.