VICTORIA, B.C. – The province announced $15 million for B.C. based amateur sports leagues and teams who compete at provincial, national, or international levels to support athletes through the pandemic.

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

The relief fund will help offset teams and leagues with operating costs, administrative costs, personal protective equipment, and the development of COVID-19 safety plans for athletes and staff.

Funding is designed to help organizations through the pandemic and protect the jobs of people who work for these leagues and teams.

Through the province’s Local Sport Relief Fund, 288 local sport organizations have received $1.5 million. Based on the need for the first round of funding, a second intake was launched earlier in March with federal funding.

“During the pandemic, the absence of sport has had a profound impact on participants, athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, organizations and communities. 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.,” said Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO, viaSport.

“We are glad to partner with the B.C. government to administer these grants, recognizing the significant economic and community value of these organizations, their staff, volunteers, athletes and fans.”

Funding applications are being accepted until April 30th through the viaSport website.