Olympic bid funding sports programs for underprivileged kids 

Although the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Bid Corporation hasn’t officially announced its intention to bid for the 2010 Winter Games, it has already started to make good on its promise to develop young athletes.

LegaciesNow, a program by the B.C. government and the bid corporation, is donating $25,000 to KidSport, the charitable arm of Sport B.C. The program helps children whose families can’t afford either the equipment or registration fees to participate in organized sports.

"Sport is such an important part of a healthy lifestyle," said Gerard Janssen, the minister responsible for sport. "This funding means about 250 more kids from families around the province will be able to participate in sports."

Almost 7,000 children have been helped by KidSport since 1993, in nearly 60 different sports and 120 communities.

"Giving young British Columbians access to sports is a legacy of B.C.’s bid to host the Olympic Winter Games nine years from now," says bid corp chair Marion Lay. "Just imagine one of the KidSport recipients being on the podium representing Canada at those games, here at home."

Each child who applies is eligible for up to $100 for a season of sport. Money goes directly to the sports league and is available for one sport per year per child.

LegaciesNow includes the National Sports Centre of Greater Vancouver, the regional athlete development program, the International Sports Centre at Whistler, the Sport Search and Olympic Education programs and the WorldHost program. It is sponsored and supported by the province, the bid, and its supporters.

In Whistler, LegaciesNow is already providing funding for the B.C. Development Centre for alpine snowboard racing, and GymWorks, a program where high performance athletes get free access to recreational facilities.

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