People who gamble in B.C. are helping young people in Langley run the soccer pitch.
On Oct. 24, Langley MLA Mary Polak held a presentation of $100,000 in gaming grants for the Langley United Soccer Association.
First vice-president Arnout Stams said the impact of the annual gaming funds is simple â€“ without it, many kids wouldnâ€™t be able to afford to participate.
The association has about 2,500 players, including 1,500 in the under-five to under-12 category. Membership four years ago was about 1,200.
â€œEvery year we grow,â€ Stams noted.
Langley has the largest club in the Fraser Valley and one of the leading programs in the province.
The funds are used to â€œtry and keep our registration fees lower,â€ as well as paying for capital items like equipment, field time and more, Stams said.
â€œIt keeps the kids participating,â€ summed up Scott Moye, the associationâ€™s director of grassroots soccer.
These grants have been awarded under the Sports category of the Community Gaming Grant Program, which allows non-profit organizations to apply for provincial gaming revenues from the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. Gaming grants are also awarded in the categories of arts and culture, public safety, environment and human and social services.
In the 2012/13 fiscal year, a total of $135 million in B.C. gaming grants were given to community programs and services.