Pemberton making mad dash for sports funding 

B.C. communities tell the world how they are supporting sport and living healthy lives

The Canadian Olympic Team isn't the only entity going for gold this year - Pemberton is too, but the top prize isn't so much a medal as money for recreational opportunities.

Pemberton has entered itself in the GamesTown 2010 contest, a provincial program that asks B.C. communities to tell the world how their people  are supporting sport, healthy living and sustainable development.

As a bedroom community to an Olympic venue, Pemberton has caught the Olympic spirit and it hopes to cash in on it in order to acquire $100,000 that could go towards recreational facilities and opportunities within the Spud Valley.

"Who couldn't use $100,000?" asked Village of Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy.

Pemberton's had a hunger for new recreational facilities since about a year ago, when the village hosted a community forum at which residents expressed a desire for amenities such as a swimming pool and a hockey arena.

Funding through GamesTown 2010 can be gained at three levels: gold, which awards communities $100,000; silver, which awards communities $50,000; and bronze, which awards communities $25,000.

Money gained through GamesTown 2010 won't necessarily allow Pemberton's recreational ideas to come to fruition, but it may help with what the village already has.

"$100,000 doesn't go that far," Sturdy said. "It could be used to rejuvenate fields or perhaps look at the gym facility at the old community centre. That would be an excellent project.

"If it turns out the gym is worth investing in, to spend the money on adapting the building to serve a long-term purpose, $100,000 would be great. If we even looked at upgrading fields, those fields up there... (that) would be money well spent."

Sturdy said the push for funds is a community-wide campaign, a chance for Pembertonians to show what the community is about to a global audience.

"It seems to me that this is exactly the venue that the global media will be accessing to better understand the province and better understand the communities around the province," he said.

Pemberton, however, won't be alone in chasing funds for recreation. It's up against over 600 other communities and each of them has an equal chance at the money.

Stories of Meager Creek Hot Springs, Potato Jack and the area's extensive mountain biking trails will go up against Princeton's Performing Arts Society and Houston, which has already won an Early Bird Prize and thus been treated to a visit by Olympic athlete Ryan Cochrane.

To tell Pemberton's story go to and enter your photos, stories and videos to the town's homepage. Anyone can contribute, but no doubt the community wants to see the best its people can muster.

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