Eighteen B.C. communities will benefit from government grants geared to the development of local sport programs, announced Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Bill Bennett.

The B.C. government is providing up to $2,000 per grant to 25 different non-profit groups for sport programs through the Local Sport Program Development Fund. The fund is administered by viaSport.

The grants aim to help establish new sport programs or expand existing ones so that more British Columbians, particularly those who face barriers to sport, have opportunities to participate.

Programs funded this year are focused on introducing new immigrants to sport, teaching kids fundamental sport skills, providing adaptive sports to persons with a disability and expanding Aboriginal sport programs. Funds are generally used for equipment, coach training, or program development.