Last night's Fort St. John & District Sports Council annual general meeting provided an update to its members.
March was declared KidSport month in Fort St. John, kicking off the annual toonie banner campaign, which raised $1,500.
"That means that 750 people increased their awareness about this worthwhile organization," said Sports Council chairperson Gail Weber.
By paying a $50 annual fee, local sports organizations become part of KidSport, which pays up to $200 for registration.
"We believe that all children should be given the opportunity to be a part of our local sports organizations. We do not feel that a family's economic condition should be a factor in not allowing participation," Weber said to the small crowd of sports representatives in attendance.
They are also approaching School District 60 to help educate principals and teachers since they usually recognize those families in need. They are distributing pamphlets throughout the district.
"A lot of kids are in need, more than we realize in Fort St. John," said Weber.
Though Fort St. John has had a KidSport chapter for over 10 years, this is the first year that Dawson Creek and Fort Nelson have hopped on the bandwagon.
"As long as we have money, we'll help the kids. If the time comes we run short of money, we'll just get out and beat the pavement because I really think it's that important."
Vice chair Connie Richter made a presentation about True Sport, "a national movement to ensure sport provides a supportive, meaningful and enriching experience for all participants."
True Sport's core values are: fairness, excellence, inclusion and fun. There is a True Sport banner in the North Peace Arena and the Sports Council hopes to see more around town. True Sport membership is free.
"Sport can be a powerful vehicle. It has the potential to teach respect between sport participants. It has the power to unite entire communities, build friendships and create healthy lifestyles," said Richter. "If left unchecked, sport can also be a source of negative challenges - where winning at all costs, cheating, violence or other problematic behaviours occur. We want to see these behaviours stop. We want to the sports in our community to be a positive experience for all involved."
True Sport is fairly new to Fort St. John and the Sports Council hopes more local sports organizations will join to spread the positive attitude of sport around the community.
At last year's annual general meeting, the local sports organizations determined that their number one priority was more storage space. The Sport Council found out about a major projects grant available each year through BC Lotteries. They put together a proposal, got a $35,000 loan from the City - a stipulation for the grant - but found out just last month that the grant wasn't being given out this year due to the economy. The Sports Council then returned the funds, with interest, back to the City and hope to get a new grant this year.
The total proposal of $70,000 for a 12-unit storage facility on a piece of City-owned property on the corner of 112th Street and Tahltan Road was over projected, including building the cement pad and wiring for power.
"If we can't find a grant, we'll have to meet again and look at the feasibility of doing this," said Weber. "I know a lot clubs have trouble getting storage. I know a lot of people are storing things in their garages, which doesn't make it convenient for people to pick up and take back."
They will also be looking at volunteer power to lower costs of the facility.
The Sports Council also voted on its executive, with most keeping their positions: Gail Weber as chair, Connie Richter as vice chair, Tina Almond as secretary, Eliza Stanford as treasurer and directors Barb McCracken, Carin Buerckert and newly appointed Wes McNutt. Lisa Stewart will stay on as the director/KidSport liaison, with Stephanie Peters and Dan Davies staying on a representatives from the City.
The Sports Council meets on the first Wednesday of every month, for more information contact Weber at 250-785-5163.