NEWS RELEASE · 20th September 2010
M. of Healthy Living & Sport
Building on the success of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the Province is providing an additional $1 million in funding for the B.C. sport hosting program, Minister of Healthy Living and Sport Ida Chong announced today.
The minister made the announcement during today's opening ceremonies for the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships, which take place Sept. 21-26 at the Richmond Olympic Oval.
"The benefits of hosting sporting events in our communities are considerable," said Chong. "The economic development potential can be substantial, our athletes get to train at home at world class venues, we enhance our sport hosting expertise and we build our volunteer base. It's a win-win situation."
In the lead up to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the Province launched the Hosting BC program. Between 2004 and 2010, close to $2.5 million was invested in 181 sport events in communities across British Columbia.
As part of the 2010 Sport Legacy Fund, the highly successful Hosting BC program will be brought back and expanded to include an allocation for mid- sized events that build on B.C.'s unique hosting experience from the 2010 Games.
The first of these events will be the 2010 FIBT Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup, Nov. 25-27 at the Whistler Sliding Centre, announced earlier this year.
"Hosting events like the Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup is not only an opportunity to build on the legacy of our Olympic venues, they will help attract potential events to other parts of the province and strengthen our already vibrant sport system," added Chong.
"The Hosting BC program provided us with support to host national events and gain the experience necessary to successfully bid on a world championship," said Kathy Newman, director and event manager for the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships. "We are thrilled this program is being brought back so we can continue to raise the profile of Paralympic sport in B.C. and Canada, and pursue national and international events that create lasting legacies within our communities."
Details regarding program criteria and intake periods will be announced in the coming weeks. Changes will be incorporated to build on the success of the program, allow for strategic consideration in pursuing larger events in some sports, and to maximize the economic development potential of sport events within communities.