A federal minister was in Whitehorse to trumpet the success of some government investments in sports and recreation in the Yukon last week.
Daniel Vandal, the Canadian Minister for Northern Affairs, spoke to the plans for $234,000 in funding that the government provided to two Yukon sports organizations in an Aug. 19 press conference held at the Sport Yukon offices on 4th ave.
The construction of three new beach volleyball courts managed by Volleyball Yukon received $192,000 from the feds and an additional $23,800 came from the Yukon government. The federal money came by way of the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF).
“To those of us not from the Yukon, it might come as a surprise that beach volleyball is as popular as what it is. But the long summer days and the fresh mountain air lend themselves perfectly to the sport,” Vandal said.
According to Volleyball Yukon, The new three-court complex located near the F.H. Collins and CSSC Mercier schools offers industry-standard sized courts and the ability for teams to book times for consistent and reliable practice.
The territory recently fielded both a men’s and women’s team in the beach volleyball tournament at the Canada Summer Games held in Niagara, Ontario earlier this month.
“Volleyball Yukon would like to express our deepest gratitude and being selected in this application process. For there’s a great deal of work over the past year to acquire the single largest amount of funding in Volleyball Yukon’s 48-year history. Our volunteers coordinated the logistics of our largest capital project to date to benefit Yukon athletes,” said Tarra Mikeli, the volleyball club’s past president at the Aug. 19 funding announcement.
Mikeli said the funding announcement marks the beginning of a bright future for the development of beach volleyball in the Yukon. She added that it is hoped that that the availability of the beach courts will encourage the more than 200 students who play volleyball in Yukon schools to take up competitive beach volleyball.
“I’m personally excited to see how these courts will enable our future team Yukon athletes to succeed at the St. John’s 2025 Canada Summer Games,” Mikeli added.
The other project to receive an influx of funds was the Klondike Road Relay. Sport Yukon, the organizing body for the race, received $42,000 in federal money bolstered by $14,400 from the Yukon Government. The money will go towards the creation of a digital registration system and an outdoor gathering space for the annual running race between Skagway and Whitehorse.
Sport Yukon President George Arcand thanked the assembled dignitaries for the funding which comes before the road relay will be celebrating its 40th anniversary next year.
“It’s a race that unites Yukoners and Alaskans and inspires people to push themselves and others to train to the best of their abilities. The KRR also contributes to the local economy in the shoulder season, as people eat in restaurants stay in hotels and browse the shops. With generous supports, Sport Yukon can ensure the vibrancy of the KRR lasts for many decades to come,” Arcand said.
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