Yukon athletes, sports clubs get $1.4 million in grants

The financial burden on Yukon's top athletes and the territory's sports and recreation organizations was eased with the release of almost $.14 million in government grants this week.

The financial burden on Yukon’s top athletes and the territory’s sports and recreation organizations was eased with the release of almost $1.4 million in government grants this week.

The Yukon Recreation Advisory Committee (YRAC) has awarded 36 sport and recreation organizations a total of $876,067 in grants. YRAC is also giving 29 of the Yukon’s high-performance athletes $91,000, with the potential for additional “world championship bonuses” of $5,000. Five officials are getting a total of $4,000.

Yukon Sport for Life Program (YSLP) is doling out $348,000 in grants to 23 Yukon sport governing bodies. An additional $59,500 will be equally divided between seven nationally carded Yukon athletes.

“I am pleased to announce our continued support for Yukon’s sport and recreation organizations, our athletes, coaches and officials, all of whom contribute tremendously to building healthy and vibrant communities throughout Yukon,” said Community Services Minister Elaine Taylor in a media release. “This annual funding provides vital support to sport and recreation programs for Yukoners of all ages.”

Yukon’s cross-country skiers are getting taken care of. Cross Country Yukon was awarded the most money of the sports organizations, getting $92,000 from YRAC and $58,500 from YSLP for a total of $150,500.

Arguably, the cross-country organization deserves every penny. A record five Yukoners competed at the World Junior Championships and World U23 Championship in Turkey this past February. Three of those produced Canada’s top results in races at the championships.

At the Haywood Ski Nationals in March, the Whitehorse Cross-Country Ski Club finished second out of 66 clubs from across Canada. Skiers from the Whitehorse club captured nine medals, including five gold.

It was announced last week that three Yukon skiers are on Canada’s national cross-country ski teams. Whitehorse siblings Graham and Emily Nishikawa are both returning to the senior development team and Dahria Beatty is on the junior national team for a third straight year.

Getting the second most in grants was Sport Yukon with $132,000, ahead of the Yukon Soccer Association with $129,500.The only other organization to break the six-digit mark was the Yukon Amateur Hockey Association with $103,200.

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