The Chilliwack Chiefs and Coquitlam Express will finally play games in early April as the BCHL squeezes in a shortened 20 game season. Just-announced provincial funding may help the junior A league offset financial losses caused by the COVID pandemic. (Darren Francis photo)

The Chilliwack Chiefs and Coquitlam Express will finally play games in early April as the BCHL squeezes in a shortened 20 game season. Just-announced provincial funding may help the junior A league offset financial losses caused by the COVID pandemic. (Darren Francis photo)

Province provides relief funding for amateur sport

The government is directing $15 million to teams/leagues impacted by the COVID pandemic

The provincial government is stepping up with a big funding promise for amateur leagues and teams hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the WHL and BCHL aren’t directly referenced in the news release announcing the $15 million relief fund, the money “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.”

Both leagues would fit that criteria.

The fund will be administered by viaSport and according to the release, focus on leagues and teams owned and operated in BC that do not pay athletes, and can demonstrate at least a 30 per cent loss in revenue due to the pandemic.

College/university teams aren’t eligible.

RELATED: BCHL requests financial aid from government as COVID-19 wreaks financial havoc

RELATED: B.C. government approves plan in principle to allow WHL to resume in the province

“We have heard from hockey leagues about the pandemic being a tough opponent,” said BC 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.”

“B.C.-based amateur sport organizations play a vital role in developing athletes who represent B.C. in provincial, national and international competition,” added Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Some of these athletes have spent their whole lives working to get to this stage. This investment is another important measure our government is taking, so amateur athletes can continue to follow their dreams.”

The Local Sport Relief Fund is also helping, with $1.5 million in provincial and federal money going to 288 local sport organizations throughout BC. After seeing high demand for the first round of funding, a second round was launched earlier in March and applications are being accepted until April 30 at viasport.ca

“During the pandemic, the absence of sport has had a profound impact on participants, athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, organizations and communities,” said viaSport CEO Charlene Krepiakevich. “This funding will help fill the gap and support B.C.-based amateur sports leagues and teams that have been ineligible for provincial sport relief funding to date and are experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic.”


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on

Local SportsProvincial GovernmentSports

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

Just Posted

Marchers supporting Indian farmers rallied in Surrey last month, from Bear Creek Park to Holland Park along King George Boulevard. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey MP says mayor’s motion to support Indian farmers is his to make

“He has his own sovereignty, right,” Sukh Dhaliwal says

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions against new model; BCSS and its board in favour

Researchers say residents should leave sleeping bats alone while they exit hibernation. (Cathy Koot photo)
Spring ‘signal’ brings White Rock, Surrey bats out of hibernation

Community Bat Programs of BC says it’s best to leave sleeping bats alone

(Photo: Creative Outlet)
YOUR MONEY: Tax tips for a complicated tax season involving CERB and more

With April 30 tax deadline, ‘it is important to understand the tax implications (benefits) will have’

The Delta Police Department’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Unit: (from left) Const. Joel Thirsk, analyst Jody Johnson and Staff Sgt. Sukh Sidhu. (Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police respond to rising number of hate crimes

Police have received 15 reports so far in 2021, compared to 12 in all of 2020

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Dr. Bonnie Henry – in a B.C. health order that went into effect April 12 – granted WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce workplace closures with COVID-19 spread. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
24 workplace closures being enforced in Fraser Health under new COVID-19 order

WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce closures if COVID-19 has spread to 3 or more employees

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue were conducting training operations at Gold Creek Falls when a firefighter broke their leg. (Eileen Robinson photo - Special to The News)
Firefighter suffers broken leg during swift water rescue practice in Golden Ears park

A training exercise at Maple Ridge waterfall on Wedesday results in mishap

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Most Read