Like most non-profit and sports organizations, KidSport Greater Trail has faced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, but local businesses and organizations are still stepping up their support.
Just in time for KidSport BC Week, Septen Financial contributed $1,000 to KidSport Greater Trail, donating $250 for each of the Trail Smoke Eaters’ four shorthanded goals scored last season. The celebration of KidSport Week comes on the heels of the province announcing Phase 3 of its Return to Play plan, giving amateur sports programs a glimmer of hope.
“Looking forward, we are excited to celebrate the upcoming KidSport BC Week which is slated for Sept. 7-14,” said Rob Newman, President and CEO of Sport BC and KidSport executive member. “KidSport Week is an opportunity to raise the profile of KidSport BC across the province and hopefully help more kids get off the sidelines and into the game.”
Since the pandemic hit and all sports cancelled, the applications for assistance to the non-profit group essentially ceased. However, with Phase 3 of Return to Sport, amateur sports organization can prepare a way to play.
“I just checked on applications, and we haven’t really received anything (since COVID hit),” said KidSport-Trail director Betty Anne Marino. “We’re ready to fund sports that meet the guidelines. Moving into Phase 3, that requires that local sports organizations meet the standards and safety protocols as defined by the provincial sport organizations.”
In Phase 3, there are four different levels depending on numbers, proximity of participants, and nature of the game. But sports organizations will be allowed to compete within a limited bubble proscribed by viaSport, the provincial governing body of amateur sport.
Each organization must submit a plan to viaSport, then work with their respective municipalities to create safety plans to embed in their facilities.
“So the local groups, all the great volunteers who already have enough on their plates, are now meeting to define their own safety systems, and align them to the facility or the spaces that they’re playing sport in – and there’s a whole lot of work in that mix,” said Marino.
Local associations like Greater Trail Minor Hockey and Trail Youth Baseball are ramping up return to play plans within cohorts, but it should be business as usual for Black Jack Cross Country Ski Club and Red Mountain Racers that are self-distanced the majority of the time anyway.
While, there is still uncertainty for many sporting organizations, KidSport is accepting applications for those families that need financial assistance for their kids to participate in amateur sport in Greater Trail.
“But we are ready to fund people if groups, local sports meet provincial sports (requirements), and facilities; if all that’s happening, we’re still in the mix ready to support kids to keep playing.”
KidSport is represented in over 150 BC communities, and in 2019 alone issued 7,248 grants totalling $2.1 million; these positive results are possible because of over 300 volunteers in 42 KidSport Chapters.
“We believe that all kids deserve the chance to get involved in sport and benefit from healthy lifestyles early on; this is the core mission of KidSport BC,” added Newman.