The Community Sport Champions Recognition Program is a Vancouver Community Sport Hosting Grant that recognizes and celebrates citizens who are making sport accessible in our community.
This program offers grants to advance the efforts and accomplishments of residents and organizations who deliver sport and physical activity to make a positive impact in our community, while aligning with City Council’s key priority areas, including but not limited to, gender equity, reconciliation, and affordability.
This is an annual grant award that will be directed to a certain theme or area of interest based on City Council priorities and initiatives within that cycle.
Making organized sport more accessible
Aligning with the 10 year anniversary of the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, the 2020 program will focus on local champions making organized sport more accessible for athletes with a developmental or physical disability.
We'll support grants in 2020 that recognize individuals and organizations who break through the traditional limits and pave the way, making sport accessible for athletes with a developmental or physical disability, including the sport pathways of participation, coaching, administration, and leadership.
August 11, 2020
2020 Community Sport Champions announced
The Community Sport Champions Recognition Program has selected five award recipients. Each of the five organizations represented by these champions will be granted $5,000 to support keeping community sport costs low and accessible.
2020 Community Sport Champion recipients
View video interviews on YouTube Video file
Byron Green and Ryan Schweizer, Vancouver Wheelchair Rugby Club
As wheelchair rugby athletes, Byron Green and Ryan Schweizer understand just how important it is to create a fun, supportive environment for individuals with a physical disability playing adaptive sports. Both play a crucial role in leading and organizing the Vancouver Wheelchair Rugby Club’s practice sessions.
Jessica Chapelski, Special Olympics BC Figure Skating
When Jessica Chapelski was invited to coach figure skating for a couple hours a week with Special Olympics in 2009, she didn’t realize just how long she’d stay involved. Eleven years later, she now helps to coach 35 athletes in the Special Olympics Learn to Skate program, and 14 competitive athletes, all of whom range between 8 to 55.
June Lum, Vancouver Speed Skating Club Special Olympics
June first came across the Vancouver Speed Skating Club while searching for a high-energy sport for her son, who has autism. The warm welcome they received and the inclusive culture of the club impressed the family, which had often struggled to find activities with a fully supportive environment. Here, at the Kitsilano ice rink, June and her husband watched as their son grew in confidence and skill alongside his fellow beginner speed skaters.
Kristopher Hildebrand, Exceleration Triathlon and Multisport Society
It’s the kind of love story that warms your heart—Manitoba boy meets BC girl, falls in love, and moves out to Vancouver to coach anyone and everyone at the triathlon club she started.
Wilson Wong, Special Olympics BC Vancouver Chapter
Wilson Wong started as a volunteer coach with Special Olympics after hearing an athlete speak at one of his university classes. “The talk was so authentic,” he recalls. “A bunch of my friends were already coaching, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I fell in love immediately with the athletes’ joy and charisma.”
How to apply
Applications will be reviewed by a Community Sport Advisory Panel and five recipients will be chosen. Those selected will be supported with a one time grant to help them continue and extend their work.
- Review the eligibility
- Apply online by January 24, 2020
Public recognition will be made for selected nominees, including but not limited to a public recognition reception or ceremony with the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, video interviews, and photos.
While this recognition program will honour a community champion (individual), the grant received will be directed to the program this individual is championing. The program must be run through a registered not-for-profit organization, and must take place within the city limits of Vancouver (directly impacting the citizens of Vancouver). The grant will be made payable directly to the registered not-for-profit organization the community champion represents.