The Nechako Figure Skating Club received some welcome news Thursday, Jan. 21, after being named recipients of a $5,000 Local Sport Relief Fund (LSRF) viaSport grant.
The NFSC was one of 50 community sport organizations in the Interior receiving sport, totalling $1.5 million from the Province.
Carlina Lyons, president of the NFSC, said the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on the local club, noting membership has decreased significantly.
“Essentially, this will help us cover our costs,” Lyons said. “It will definitely help us recover from this and help us go on for another year.”
She noted club membership has dipped from around 70 skaters to 23, currently.
“The skaters are practicing as normal, a few of our girls moved up in level, they’re working on solos but, of course, no competitions,” Lyons said.
Normally, the club hosts two major fundraisers each year: a community Christmas show and a fun, ice show, however, both those options were off the table due to the pandemic in 2020 and so far in 2021, she said.
“Then we were going to offer a mom and tot skate because, right now, with our Canskate program — the entry-level program — the kids have to already know how to skate because our coaches aren’t allowed to touch them, which makes it difficult,” Lyons said.
“We got word in December we could host one, but then the [provincial health] order was extended on Jan. 5 and that was also taken away from us.”
Melanie Mark, minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport, said she realizes the financial pressure played on many local sports clubs throughout B.C. due to the pandemic, and is pleased to be able to offer financial support.
“Coaches, volunteers and board members have worked around the clock to ensure people can keep active and gain the physical and mental benefits of sport during the pandemic,” Mark said.
“We heard their challenges to meet financial pressures with current health orders in place and are proud to provide this additional support so our communities can continue to offer sport in a safe way.”