Thursday, September 15, 2011

Let the costs continue

The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics ended more than 18 months ago, but one of the legacies includes costs to prop up the organization that is supposed to benefit from the $110 million, pre-funded Games Operating Trust. (There was no post-Games profit. VANOC claimed it broke-even, after a $187.8 million bailout from the B.C. and federal governments.)

The Pique Newsmagazine in Whistler revealed that the provincial government is spending another $6.2 million to help Whistler Sport Legacies, the society that operates the Whistler Sliding Centre and Whistler Olympic Park.

Those aren't the only dollars flowing to Olympic-related organizations after the Games. 2010 Legacies Now (rebranded "Lift Partners") got a whack of dough during the last fiscal year, which was the first fiscal year after the Games.

On page 137 of the Detailed Schedule of Payments for 2010-11 published July 18, it lists $10,581,300 in payments from the Community Sport and Cultural Development ministry to 2010 Legacies Now. When I asked, they told me it was for the following:

Participation ($5.4 million):

Supports programs that help train and certify community coaches and officials; that provide opportunities for individuals to learn sport skills (with particular attention to children and youth, individuals with a disability, First Nations, and lower income families); and that help to lower the cost of sport so that lower income families can participate (e.g contributions to KidSport and contributions that help keep sport membership dues as low as possible). Ideally, programming would ensure that the maximum level of any available federal matching funds is achieved. Much of this participation funding flows to Provincial Sport Organizations (PSOs – about 60 of them) so that they can provide support to community coaches, officials, and other volunteers.

High Performance ($4.1 million):

Supports programs that provide services and other support to BC’s high performance athletes and coaches; training support for upcoming competitions (e.g. 2011 Western Canada Summer Games, the 2011 Canada Winter Games; the 2011 North American Indigenous Games and other provincial or national competitions as required) and support the province’s high performance infrastructure such as the Canadian Sport Centre Pacific and the province’s regional centres. Programming ideally would maximize federal investment dollars including Own the Podium Funding. High Performance funding flows to PSOs to support the development of their athletes. Funding also flows to the Canadian Sport Centre Pacific and the regional sport centres.

Event Hosting ($1 million)

Supports the Hosting BC program that provides financial support to dozens of international, national and regional sport events held in communities large and small all across British Columbia thereby boosting economic activity, increasing the profile of sport and encouraging participation in sport. Funds also support larger international events (Whistler Bobsleigh/Skeleton World Cup, CONCACAF Olympic Women’s Soccer Qualifier).

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