A dozen Greater Trail sporting organizations reaped the rewards of the BC Community Gaming Grants handed out every year as part of the province’s initiative to support sports and recreation in BC.
A total of 28 West Kootenay sports, arts, and culture organizations cashed in almost $400,000 from the program last week.
“These grants are going to some great local organizations,” said MLA Katrine Conroy. “The groups benefitting from this funding help create opportunities for people in our communities to get involved with sports, the arts, and local history.”
The funding is provided through the Community Gaming Grants program, and is benefiting nine arts and culture organizations and 19 community sports organizations in Castlegar, Trail, Rossland, Nakusp, Fruitvale, and New Denver.
The Trail Gymnastics Society (TGS) is the beneficiary of a $32,000 grant and is putting it to good use.
“Actually, about half of it is earmarked to replace our spring floor deck, which is pretty exciting for the competitive girls especially,” said TGS Executive Director Amy Shields. “It is an important upgrade because it will reduce impact to the girls bodies, and give them more energy return for height as they learn and repeat more complicated tumbling skills.”
About $15,000 of the Gaming grant combined with another grant from Columbia Basin Trust and the society’s own fundraising efforts will cover the cost of the new spring floor, while the remainder will be used towards the lease and other expenses, added Shields.
“The spring floor was last replaced in 1991 when the club moved into the space,” explained Shields. “The foam and carpet were replaced in 2012 with used equipment purchased from the Western Canadian Championships, which we will still be using as it is still in good shape, and it was too expensive to replace the entire set.”
In all, the provincial gaming grants program will distribute approximately $27 million to more than 800 community-based sports organizations for programs such as soccer, swimming, gymnastics, hockey, biking, martial arts, skiing and Special Olympics.
Many organizations, like Greater Trail Minor Hockey Association (GTMHA), count on the funds to help offset expenses and keep registration fees in check.
“This is a gaming grant we apply for every year,” said GTMHA president Trent McNabb. “It is used for regular operating costs, basically enabling us to keep our registration costs low.”
In 2019-20, the Community Gaming Grants program is also sharing approximately $18.3-million to 700 not-for-profit organizations across the province to support visual and performing arts, literature, festivals, and Indigenous and cultural programs for people of all ages.
Area sports beneficiaries include: Greater Trail Minor Hockey Association $64,500, Greater Trail Swim Racing Society $15,400, Trail Special Olympics BC Society $7,500, Trail Gymnastics Society $32,000, Trail Minor Baseball Society $9,000, and Trail Orioles Baseball $4,600.
In Frutivale the Beaver Valley Skating Club gets $13,000 and the B.V. Nitehawks Society $15,000.
The Salmo Ski Team received $3,500 and the Salmo Valley Curling Rink and Association $6,000.
Rossland sporting organizations Black Jack Cross Country Ski Club received $15,300, Red Mt. Racers Society, $21,500, Rossland Figure skating, $12,500, and West Kootenay Timberwolves lacrosse – $7,000.