Flip City’s Elise Van Harmelen at the 2017 Langley Invitational at the Langley Events Centre. Flip City is one of 11 local sports groups getting COVID relief funding. (Langley Advance Times files)

Flip City’s Elise Van Harmelen at the 2017 Langley Invitational at the Langley Events Centre. Flip City is one of 11 local sports groups getting COVID relief funding. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley sports clubs get COVID relief funding

The province is giving cash to groups hit hard by shutdowns

At least 11 Langley sports groups are getting funding from a provincial Local Sport Relief Fund.

The funding is to help local sports organizations make it through the pandemic, which has seen most sports either seriously curtailed or shut down altogether over physical distancing concerns.

The shutdowns have put financial pressure on groups that have had limited opportunities to raise funds.

“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, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “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 funding totals $1.5 million to be spread across 288 organizations in B.C., including 124 in the Lower Mainland.

The government is trying to target smaller groups in rural and remote communities, and those serving under-represented communities, because they’ve been hit disproportionately by the COVID-19-related shutdowns.

The funding can be used for administrative and operational costs, including insurance, rent, storage costs, and essential equipment related to COVID operations such as cleaning products and PPE.

“Local sport programming delivers profound benefits to the health and well-being of communities and individuals across our province,” said Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO of viaSport. “Delivering these community benefits are local sport organizations that have been hit hard during this time. This funding provides much-needed financial relief to sustain these organizations during these challenging times and enable these valuable services to continue.”

The Langley groups receiving funding include:

• Flip City Gymnastics artistic gymnastics program

• Langley Blades Speed Skating Club

• Langley Curling Club

• Langley Girls Ice Hockey Association

• Langley Judo Club

• Langley Minor Football

• Langley Minor Hockey Association

• Langley United Soccer Association

• North Langley Diamond Sports softball team

• West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association

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