The Wood Buffalo Sport Connection Society is receiving $604,000 to help support local athletes and programs.
The funds will come from the Games Legacy Reserve, revenue leftover from the 2015 Western Canada Summer games, over a three-year period starting in 2017.
Mayor Melissa Blake tells Mix News the money is more like “seed funding.”
“You’ve got to tend your garden well for it to grow and flourish and in this case, we hope to see some flourishing sport achievement as well.”
The society has four objectives they want to focus on; ensuring optimal sport facility development and use, facilitating athlete, coaching, officiating and volunteer development, becoming the sports hub, offering a one-window, single entity approach to share, explore and resolve sport issues and struggles, and being an advocate on behalf of sport in Wood Buffalo.
Blake notes she’s hoping to see some longevity from the non-profit with the next three years being a chance for them to prove more municipal funds could be used for the organization.
“Because they got funding, they will be monitored for ensuring they’re using the funds appropriately first and foremost,” added Blake. “When you start to see some good success and strides being made then that may well make it into budgets for the municipality into the future if it’s the right thing for us to do.”
They will also be asked to send reports twice a year over the next couple of years to show what the funds are being used on.
The society notes they will also be applying for industry, federal, and provincial grants once the funding ends in three years.