November 1, 2013, Victoria B.C. (ISN) – A street soccer team in Kelowna that gives homeless people a chance to participate in organized sport is among the groups that will benefit from the most recent round of nearly $30,000 in Local Sport Program Development funding.
The Kelowna Kodiaks, founded in 2010 by volunteers Tom and Tiffany Maxwell, is one of 16 groups that will receive a grant of up to $2,000 through the Local Sport Program Development Fund. The team is made up of more than 20 homeless players who meet twice a week year-round to play soccer. Some of these players go on to represent Canada at the Homeless World Cup of Soccer.
Administered through ViaSport, the Local Sport Program Development Fund grants are designed to help establish new sport programs or expand existing ones so that more British Columbians, particularly those who face barriers to sport, have opportunities to participate. Funds are typically used for equipment purchases, coach training or program development.
Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development –
“The Local Sport Program Development Fund is all about increasing participation in sport so that as many British Columbians as possible can realize its benefits. The Kodiaks soccer team changes lives and is a prime example of the positive effect sport can have for both individuals and community. And the good news is-it’s just one story of many.”
Cathy Priestner Allinger, CEO, ViaSport –
“The ViaSport grant programs exist to increase access to sport-related opportunities for participants of all ages and abilities throughout British Columbia, and the Local Sport Program Development fund continues to be a means to do just that. The Kelowna Kodiaks’ success story is representative of an amazing group of grant recipients who continue to inspire action for social change through sport in our province.”
Tom Maxwell, coach and co-founder, Kelowna Kodiaks –
“Our program has been running for three years and we have seen some amazing accomplishments for both our players individually and for our team. We have always operated on a shoestring budget, to meet our basic needs. This grant will ensure that the Kodiaks will continue to achieve great things for the players, the team, and the homeless community of Kelowna. We are so honoured to receive this grant, and look forward to many more years of success.”
- Since its inception in 2008, nearly $500,000 from the Local Sport Program Development Fund has been distributed to over 90 B.C. communities, benefitting over 14,000 British Columbians.
- Last year, 56 projects throughout the province were funded through the Local Sport Program Development Fund, which provides $100,000 in grants annually.
- The successful applicants include municipalities, Aboriginal groups and not-for-profit organizations that directly deliver organized sport programs.
About the Kelowna Kodiaks: http://viasport.ca/homeless-street-soccer-team-offers-avenue-change
About applying for Local Sport Program Development funding: http://www.viasport.ca/local-sport-program-development-fund