Island teams, sports organizations receive pandemic relief funding from province

Several Island teams and ­organizations will share in $11.6 million of pandemic relief funding announced Tuesday by the provincial government.

The 72 teams and organizations approved had to prove 30 per cent revenue loss during the pandemic. Funding amounts per team or organization have not been released in order to maintain the confidentiality of the recipients’ business information.

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Teams receiving the grants include the Victoria Grizzlies, Alberni Valley Bulldogs, Nanaimo Clippers and Powell River Kings of the B.C. Hockey League. The BCHL as a whole also received funding. So did the Western Lacrosse Association along with individual clubs Nanaimo Timbermen, Burnaby Lakers and New Westminster Salmonbellies. The B.C. Football Conference is also a recipient.

The Victoria HarbourCats of the West Coast League and Victoria Eagles organization and the Premier Baseball Association of Parksville are among the recipients from the diamond.

“It hasn’t been an easy time for community-based amateur sports teams, and the goal for teams like ours, has been survive-to-thrive,”said HarbourCats GM and co-owner Jim Swanson.

“Funding like this will help many and allow a return to normal for this fall and then into next year.”

On the gridiron, funding will be going to the Vancouver Island Junior Football Society and the Vancouver Island Red Raiders Football Society. Also listed are the Capital City Athletic Association and the Vancouver Island Runners Association.

“Without spectators and ­fundraisers, amateur sports teams were profoundly impacted by the pandemic,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.

Mark, who made the announcement in Surrey alongside the Eagles BCHL team, said her ministry received hundreds of requests for the funding.

Several provincial ­governing associations are receiving the relief money, including ­Rowing B.C., Badminton B.C., B.C. ­Boxing, B.C. Rugby Union, B.C. Ringette Association, B.C. ­Soccer Association, B.C. Snowboard Association, Canoe Racing B.C., Curl B.C., Cycling B.C., Volleyball B.C., B.C. Hockey Association, B.C. Amateur Athletics Association, B.C. Artistic Swimming and B.C. Wheelchair Basketball.

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