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ON TARGET FOR FUNDING— Emmet Kapaniuk takes aim on the archery range at Biathalon Yukon. Kapaniuk will receive $2500 in funding to advance his archery career.

YG announces $1.6 million in funding for sports and rec organizations

The government of Yukon (YG) has announced $1.6 million in funding to territorial sports organizations, special recreational groups, high-performance athletes and officials.

By Morris Prokop on July 14, 2021

The government of Yukon (YG) has announced $1.6 million in funding to territorial sports organizations, special recreational groups, high-performance athletes and officials. The Yukon Lottery Commission and Sport Canada are named as partners in the funding.

The funding will help Yukon sport organizations organize and run activities related to sport and leadership development, and facility operations and maintenance. It includes:

• $830,817 to 27 territorial sport organizations and $165,800 to five territorial recreation organizations through the Yukon Recreation Advisory (YRAC) Program.

• $467,500 to 22 sport organizations through the Yukon Sport 4 Life (YS4L) program.

• $101,000 to 41 athletes and two officials through the Yukon High Performance Athlete Assistance program.

• $56,000 to five athletes through the Elite Athlete Assistance program.

YG is approaching this year’s funding with some flexibility due to the evolving COVID-19 situation.

Marie Cairns is the acting director for YG’s Sport and Recreation Branch. She explains how the funding came about.

“This is annual funding we provide in collaboration with Yukon lotteries commission and Sport Canada. So it’s an annual funding application process that Sport governing bodies or special recreation groups can apply for.”

Cairns says this is separate funding from that mentioned last Friday at the YG COVID Response Team Zoom meeting with Yukon sports and rec organizations.

“The other one was a federal announcement of funding pots COVID-related, where this one is not.”

According to Cairns, “The purpose is to provide sports organizations with funding to operate. So they can use the money to cover costs associated with rent, or hiring staff, or coaches. There’s also an opportunity provided for leadership development, and specific athlete training. There’s different categories they can apply for for funding, depending on what their priorities are and the capacity of each sport.

“Also for special projects…to do coach training, or sending teams out to participate in different competitions outside. Sport governing bodies can also provide funding to some of their clubs.”

COVID has affected this funding in that it is more focused on training than travel right now.

“The funding is pretty much set, but it fluctuates a little bit, depending on amounts coming from governments or lotteries.”, says Cairns. “Some of the sport governing bodies haven’t been able to do the programs they have in the past, so they may use it for developing guidelines or policies. Training athletes doing more mental training or nutrition instead of maybe travel at this time. But the amounts are similar to what they have been in the past.”

So what determines funding amounts?

“It’s an extensive application process that each Sport governing body has to go through, or a special recreation group. There is criteria they have to meet. They have to be the territorial sport organization for the sport. So it would be like Swim Yukon could apply, but the Glacier Bears would not be applying, because they’re more of a club. And it depends on capacity. Some of their participation numbers…there’s lots of different determinants. Whether they have paid staff or coaches, if they have a facility- those are some of the criteria that we look at.”, says Cairns.

As to whether organizations get 100 percent of their funding ask, Cairns replied, “No. The asks are always higher than the funding available.”

As for the criteria for individuals, Cairns says, “So the high-performance funding, that’s used to help some of our higher level athletes with travel and competition costs, or training costs as well. Those athletes apply through their sport governing body. There is different criteria that they have to meet as well, and it’s definitely used for athletes that are competing at a national, or at least a provincial level, or attending those competitions.”

The funding is currently in the process of being distributed.

Meanwhile, $1.9 billion in federal funding was announced in the 2021 budget to help support arts, culture, heritage and sports sectors in Canada. Cairns says, “We really don’t know any of the details of this funding yet. Just the amounts were announced, we don’t know what’s going to flow or how it’s going to flow to each province or territory.

“They had two different pots. One was the Recovery Fund for arts, culture, heritage and sports sectors. The other was the Reopening fund. And again, that’s to help Canada festivals culturally balance out their performances, amateur sports events, culture.”

That funding will be used directly for COVID relief.

The Yukon Soccer Association is slated to receive $128,000 in funding through the YRAC and YS4L programs.

The Executive Director for the Soccer Association is Andrea Fischer.

“It’s annual funding that we apply for in April and we heard back a week ago for this fiscal year.”

Soccer is uniquely positioned to qualify for a large amount of funding.

“Yukon soccer is a year-round successful sport for all ages and abilities, and provides a pathway to excel outside the territory. It’s overall a healthy physical activity and promotes teamwork.

“Yukon Soccer Association provides community support, we have equipment, and player clinics, and we have coaches who go to Dawson City, Haines Junction, Mayo, Teslin, Carmacks, and anywhere we’re invited to go.

“Yukon Soccer also provides coach education programs. John McPhail is the lead for that. He does the “Learn to Train” level of coaching course for Yukon coaches.”

Yukon Soccer has been receiving funding on an annual basis for over 10 years. Fischer says the funding is used for a wide variety of programs.

“Community support, coach education, Yukon soccer referee development program, training for high performance and Team Yukon, and providing opportunities for Team Yukon to compete prior to major games. We provide support to Yukon soccer clubs, Whitehorse United, Haines Junction soccer club, and Dawson City soccer club. That’s for their equipment and their clinics.

We also upgrade facilities…Yukon Soccer doesn’t own any facilities directly, but we facilitate improving the areas.

“The funding also goes towards camps in Yukon with visiting coaches, and that’s for improving player opportunities locally, and making connections outside. So that would be Whitecaps, College ID, and Team Yukon camps. We also put it towards running the Yukon soccer championships.”

One of the teams that have developed out of the adult leagues are the Selects, who are preparing to join the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL), in the Frontier Conference in Alaska. A couple more adult teams that are forming are the North of 60 team and La Liga team.

According to Fischer, “The main thing to know is the funding... is for youth. So it’s for opportunities for…female and Indigenous players, and rural, and it’s focused on the youth they have.”

The Yukon Amateur Hockey Association (YAHA) found out they will receive a total of $118,150 in funding last week via email. Krista Stand is the President of the YAHA. “It would be really difficult for some of these associations to run just based on their membership, so getting some of this extra support from the government funding is definitely beneficial to the associations.”

She says the size of the organization and it’s members has a lot to do with receiving that amount of funding.

“Hockey is one of the largest sports in the territory…they are also one of the sports that gets the most funding. I do think that very much shows in the number of individuals that hockey brings in, both through kids and adults, because we require adults to be a huge part of it too, with our coaching and volunteers. There is expenses with having the coaches, even though they’re volunteers, but they have to be trained, and certified to be on the ice and stuff. And then there’s also criminal record checks… so I do believe it’s because it’s such a big sport organization in Yukon Territory.

“Hockey is Canada’s sport, so it is a sport that most communities will provide some level of the activity.

“I love hockey, and I believe that it is an important part of communities, and having that opportunity for kids and adults to go to the rink is important, so I think it is a huge sport, and a lot of people participate in hockey.”

Like soccer, funding going to the YAHA will be used for a variety of activities. “It’s going a lot to our player coaching and officiating development…you have to have strong coaches to help develop the players.” , says Strand. “We also have our refs- if we don’t have them the kids can’t play the games. Really finding the balance of how to support the grass roots of hockey and the recreational hockey players, but also supporting the high-performance players that are looking at further development of their hockey career, and where it may take them– if it remains in Yukon or if it’s to go somewhere else from the Yukon.”

She adds, “We really work hard at supporting everybody who wants to be a part of hockey, with support, not always 100 percent financially, but try to support the best we can, to ensure that we have the people to keep growing the sport of hockey.”

Emmet Kapaniuk, 15, is an archery athlete under the Yukon Aboriginal Sports Circle. He will be receiving $2500 from the high-performance funding program. Kapaniuk explains how the funding came about.

“Each year Sport Yukon has funding for high-performing athletes and you can apply… you submit your training schedule, your equipment, and everything, what tournament you’ll be going to, your mental preparation, and a few more things. and then they evaluate what you’re going to be doing, and if they think you’re a high-performance athlete, and if you are a high-performance athlete, how much money they think you deserve.”

Kanapiuk is understandably grateful for the support.

“Nowadays, with equipment getting so expensive, travel getting so expensive, and everything, every little bit of money helps. So getting a good chunk of money sure is gonna help and keep me going to the next level.”

Kapaniuk says the money will be put to good use.

“The funding can be for anything related to the sport of archery for me. A good chunk of it will probably be going to equipment, some of it will be going to fees to pay for my archery coaching, and then if tournaments start popping up, I’ll be sure to put some money aside for travel.”

The funding will also help improve his performance.

“With being able to use the money, I can start getting more expensive equipment, so I’m not just eating the price up myself. I have the support of Sport Yukon behind me, to help get some of the final top things, that will help me get going to the international level and everything.”, says Kapaniuk.

Kapaniuk adds he wants to send a “Big thanks to Sport Yukon for giving me the funding this year and last year.”

He is hoping for more funding in the near future.

“There’s a few more funding I can receive once I start competing at like worlds and stuff. There’s bonuses and stuff. So hopefully in the next few years I’ll be able to capitalize and start going to the gold level funding. Once I’m hopefully on Team Canada, and start getting those bonuses so I can start paying for things like a second bow setup, for travelling and stuff, and bigger competition fees, cause they can get very pricy at the international level.”

A complete list of the funding recipients can be found at https://yukon.ca/en/news/government-yukon-provides-more-16-million-funding-sport-and-recreation

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