TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s amateur sport system will receive C$72 million ($51.72 million) in coronavirus relief funding from the federal government, the country’s Heritage Minister said on Friday.
The funding was announced after a number of the country’s national sports organisations, who each manage teams and high-performance programs, were forced to cancel events because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) said they were sincerely grateful for the investment into the country’s sport sector.
“National Sport Organizations are facing significant obstacles, including limited cash flows, layoffs and uncertainty,” the organisations said in a joint statement.
“Along with this funding package, the COC and CPC will fully support the NSOs and broader sport community. We remain committed to playing our role in COVID-19 relief and recovery in concert with our partners at the Government of Canada.”
The emergency support for amateur sports announced by Canadian Federal Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault was part of a broader C$500 million commitment that also includes arts and culture in the country.
“We recognize that the Canadian culture, heritage and sport sectors, in all their diversity, strengthen the development of our communities and our national identity,” Guilbeault said in a news release.
“They are also major contributors to the Canadian economy. I want to thank the artists and athletes who have dedicated time and energy to bring Canadians together in meaningful ways during these uncertain and unprecedented times.”
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Louise Heavens