The PacificSport Columbia Basin board and viaSport B.C. have announced the launch of a new PacificSport Centre in the Columbia Basin, with support of the British Columbia Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.
PacificSport Columbia Basin joins the Regional Sport Alliance, a collective of provincial-sport delivery organizations passionate about enriching lives and energizing communities through sport and activity.
“Sport and active living contribute to the vibrancy of our communities and play a powerful role in helping people lead healthy, productive lives”, Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, said in an April 11 news release. “We are pleased to support this project through viaSport, as it will directly impact the quality of sport activities offered to people in this region by supporting physical literacy initiatives and coach development.”
PacificSport Columbia Basin will lead the sport sector in the region, helping build capacity, deliver programs, and develop partnerships that address structural and systemic barriers to sport participation, as well as ensure all participants and communities have opportunities to learn, grow and develop to their potential through sport.
“Sport is an incredible vehicle for social change and community development,” says Charlene Krepiakevich, viaSport British Columbia CEO. “It supports happier, healthier people in better connected communities. We are thrilled to see the launch of PacificSport Columbia Basin, a key viaSport Regional Sport Partner in driving increased participation of under-represented groups in sport, supporting high quality and safer sport, and ensuring that everyone in the Columbia Basin can thrive through the positive impacts of sport.”
Given the distributed population and mountainous geography of the region, PacificSport Columbia Basin will primarily be a virtual centre.
In-person services and programs will utilize a distributed staff as well as enhance the capacity and skills of key partners within each community.
Emily Brydon, three time Olympian and vice chair of PacificSport Columbia Basin shares “I firmly believe in the power of sport to enrich communities and changes lives. I am thrilled to be involved in this important organization and look forward to the positive impact we will have on children, youth and communities through our work.”
Sport participation is very popular in the Columbia Basin, with nearly half of adolescents between grades 5-8 participating in organized sports. Delivering these programs are over 250 volunteer led local sport organizations, 82 schools, and over 1700 trained and registered coaches/ technical officials.
PacificSport Columbia Basin aims to increase access to coach training and deliver tailored coach education programs as well as multi-sport modules like “Making Ethical Decisions,” which are core training for youth sport coaches through the National Coaching Certification Program.
It will also work closely with local sport organization leaders as a mentor; building capacity and system alignment to improve the quality of sport across all ages and stages of sport.
There are currently over 85 high performance athletes and coaches in the region, five of which attended the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. These elite performers will experience enhanced access to performance supports like physiology support, strength and conditioning facilities, nutrition, and mental performance consultants.
They, along with aspiring high-performance athletes, will have increased access to sport performance programs, including enhanced testing/monitoring and performance education programs.
About PacificSport Columbia Basin
PacificSport Columbia Basin serves the communities in the southeast corner of B.C. commonly referred to as the Columbia Basin or East and West Kootenays.
It delivers programs that support sport development, from individuals to communities, and grassroots to national teams.
Through partnerships with recreation departments, school districts, health authorities and local sport organizations, PacificSport Columbia Basin delivers programming that builds capacity and supports sport participation by addressing structural and systemic barriers including physical literacy, access, inclusion, and representation.
PacificSport Columbia Basin works closely with viaSport B.C., Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, and the eight other Regional Sport Alliance organizations to maximize the effectiveness of these important investments in the sport sector by governments, community trusts, corporate foundations and philanthropic partners.