The sport of Volleyball is alive and well in the North Island, and the equipment needed to play is not cheap.
At their Feb. 13 meeting, Port Hardy council redirected a request for funding from the Port Hardy Volleyball Club to another group in town who would be able to help them out.
Coach Justin Reusch was the one who sent in the request for the grant in aid, noting in the past the district has been “gracious enough to grant us funds towards cost associated with being an organized sports team on the North Island.”
Reusch continued, “This season School District 85 has strongly enforced their policy of not providing any equipment to groups using their facility. In the past we have shared balls back and forth, but unfortunately this is no longer the case. Thus we no longer have enough balls to accommodate our growing number of players, this year being 14 young ladies between the ages of 13 and 18.”
According to the letter, the club is “currently in need of more balls, a bag to transport them to tournaments, and a ball cart for practice” and “any funding assistance the district would be able to provide would be very much appreciated as the team is currently hard at work fundraising to cover cost of tournaments and travel, with our closest team to play against in Campbell River, and the majority of the tournament play in Nanaimo and Abbotsford.”
Reusch added that competing with other organizations in a small community for fundraising is “difficult with everyone trying to gain support and funding from the community in the same ways. This puts financial strain on many of the families, all of which do their best to support their children, but many do not have the financial means to do so. We try our best to provide a great opportunity for these young ladies to gain some great experience and grow to be valuable members of our community and hate to see some unable to participate due to funding.”
The district’s Director of Finance, Lynda Sowerby, listed the total cost for the equipment in a staff report, which you can read in full below:
“The Port Hardy Volleyball Club has requested a grant in aid towards the purchase of six volleyballs at a cost of $70 each, plus various other volleyball equipment for a total of approximately $700. The team uses School District 85 facilities for its practices. This arrangement is provided by the reciprocal agreement between the School District and the municipality.”
Of note, Port Hardy council has a 2019 Grant in Aid budget of $9,000, of which $1,193 has not yet been awarded.
Sowerby then listed options for council to choose from:
1. Deny the request; or
2. Award a grant in aid donation towards equipment purchase.
Coun. John Tidbury stepped up to the plate and said he knows a local organization (the Lions Club) that would be more than willing to help purchase volleyball equipment.
Council briefly discussed the two options, before agreeing to send a letter pointing the Port Hardy Volleyball Club in the direction of another service group in town to help with the costs.