Nine local organizations, including athletic clubs, received $270,000 from the provincial government Sept. 30 through the Community Gaming Grants.
Penticton Minor Hockey and Pinnacles FC, formerly known as the South Okanagan Youth Soccer Association, received $89,900 and $80,000, respectively. Bruce Judd, president of PMHA, said they use the $89,000 towards mentorship, instructing kids, ice time and helping the players become better athletes and people.
“If we didn’t have that funding, the registration fees would be far too high,” said Judd, adding that registration is $498 per player.
“We’re very happy that we get that.”
Judd said the gaming funs represent almost $100 per child. If they didn’t receive that cash infusion, they would see a major decline in registration. This year the association saw a decline of 25 fewer players to 480 players. Judd said the drop is from kids playing other sports.
Pinnacles FC will use their funds on uniforms, equipment, coaching and administration. Derrick Webb, treasurer for Pinnacles FC, said he budgets for that total every year.
“Without that $80,000, our association is in dire straights,” he said. “We rely on that funding every year to pay for some of our programs. If we don’t get it, we have to cut back on equipment, cut back on coaching and admin.”
The Glengarry Figure Skating Club received $22,225, which is used towards paying ice fees.
Michelle Tuckwood, president and communications for the GFSC, said they specify in their application what the money is used for.
“We pay approximately $60,000 in ice fees for all our programs throughout the entire year,” she said. “We use it for the main fall/winter season ice fees which is the higher amount, approximately $40,000.”
The Summerland Figure Skating Club received $14,000, while Nickel Plate Cross Country Ski Club was given $8,900 and Penticton Minor Fastpitch Softball Association, $4,000.
“These great organizations are doing their part to contribute to our community and provide opportunities for local residents to stay active and healthy,” said Penticton MLA Dan Ashton in a statement.
“Organized sports teach our children the value of sportsmanship, teamwork, and hard work, skills they will carry with them throughout their lives. I am very pleased to see such worthy organizations receiving this funding through the Community Gaming Grant program.”
Community Gaming Grants allow non-profit organizations to apply for provincial gaming revenues. In 2012/13, $135 million were given to approximately 5,300 community organizations. Local organizations wishing to apply or find out more about community gaming grants can visit http://www.gaming.gov.bc.ca/grants/index.htm.