Through bursaries and grants, the funds will be used to help individual athletes, but also teams, sport organizations and communities. (Black Press files)

New sports fund to relieve young athletes from training, competing costs

BC Games Society announces new money Fund for athletes and coaches

A new fund from the BC Games Society is aiming to help young athletes who face cost and access barriers while training in their sport.

The society, which organizes both the BC Summer and Winter Games, announced the new Powering Potential Fund on April 4.

Through bursaries and grants, the funds will be used to help individual athletes, but also teams, sport organizations and communities, according to a news release.

The B.C. government will match donations up to a total of $50,000. Funding will be managed by the society and a board of community members from across the province, and be dispersed within three categories: a bursary program for athletes and coaches to be used for enhancing training and competition-related costs, capital projects such as specialized equipment and venues for hosting competitions and community projects that support participation and volunteerism.

Surrey hosted the BC Summer Games in 2012, and they’ve also been hosted recently by Langley (2010) and Abbotsford (2016). Mission hosted the BC Winter Games in 2014.

Four-time Olympian Simon Whitfield cited the society’s involvement in B.C. sports for 40 years as a “positive influence.”

“I was fortunate to have great supporters throughout my journey as an athlete and I know that this initiative will support the journey for many more to find their potential in sport and in life,” he said.

The next B.C. Winter Games are set for 2018 in Kamloops, followed by the summer games later that year in the Cowichan Valley.

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