By Andrew Mitchell
Now in its second year, the Pemberton “A Chance For Kids” program has doubled the number of Sea to Sky athletes assisted this year to six.
The 2007 grants were presented this past weekend at the Pemberton Winterfest Fine Art event.
Continuing on with the program from last year are Whistler road cyclist Will Routley, Squamish mountain biker Neal Kindree and Pemberton cross-country skier Sydney VanLoon. Routley and VanLoon will receive the maximum of $4,000 each, while Kindree — now a carded athlete with the national team — will receive $2,000.
The new athletes chosen this year are Charley Field, Ben MacLean and Logan Pehota, all three skiers. Ben, a FIS athlete, will receive $4,000, while Charley Field and Logan Pehota will receive $2,000 each. That brings the A Chance For Kids contribution up to $30,000.
Money is raised locally for the program through A Chance For Kids Charity Golf Tournament, the third of which is taking place this year in May.
According to Lonne Clark, a spokeswoman for the program, the athletes can spend the money in the way that makes best sense for them — all they ask is for an accounting of how it is spent.
“We’re different than some other programs because we don’t dictate how they spend it,” she said. “If they want to allocate money to go to a training camp in Europe or South America they can do that. If they need to buy equipment, or pay for special coaching, that is their choice. It’s just some money to augment their other sources of income, make it easier for them to compete.”
Athletes are only eligible for the grant for three years. After next year there is potential that the program could provide money for more than six athletes, depending on fundraising and the needs of the applicants.