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Posted: July 28, 2021

Three local hockey groups supported

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport July 27 announced that 72 amateur sport leagues and teams will receive support from the province so B.C. athletes can continue to train, practise and play.

The Amateur Sport League Fund will provide a total of $11 million in one-time grants to help B.C.-based and/or B.C.-owned non-profit and for-profit amateur leagues recover from the financial losses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants will support amateur athletes and ensure the jobs of people who work for the leagues and teams are protected.

Three East Kootenay organizations are receiving funds, as reported by the ministry: Columbia Valley Rockies Booster Society (Invermere); Cranbrook Hockey (Cranbrook); and Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (Kimberley).

“These top-level athletes have dedicated their entire lives to become the best of the best, and like all British Columbians, they’ve sacrificed so much during the pandemic,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “These grants will provide vital support to B.C.-based sport organizations so these athletes can continue to reach for the stars.”

The Amateur Sport League Fund will be administered by viaSport on behalf of the Province.

“We are pleased to see this investment in amateur sport and glad to partner in the distribution of these grants,” said Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO, viaSport. “In communities around the province, amateur sport leagues, teams, coaches and supporters foster the development of our B.C. athletes. This funding will help ensure that the amateur sport system pulls through the pandemic so that our athletes can play another day and sport can continue to be an integral part of the economic and social fabric of our communities.”

The fund is directed at organizations that do not have athletes as paid employees and can demonstrate at least 30% loss in revenue since March of 2020 due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Eligible expenses may include committed and forecasted expenses associated with:

* day-to-day administrative costs (e.g., essential fees and dues, IT costs, office supplies);

* salaries, wages or benefits;

* professional fees (e.g., accounting, bookkeeping, legal);

* rent, mortgage, storage costs or utilities;

* insurance; and

* equipment essential to providing sports programming.

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