Golfers watch a teammate pluck his ball from the cup after putting out at Bear Mountain Golf Resort during last year’s SportAssist charity tournament. This year’s fundraiser

Fundraiser helps more kids play community sports

Homegrown West Shore golf event at Bear Mountain continues to prove popular with supporters

Next week’s sixth annual Sport Assist golf tournament at Bear Mountain Golf Resort will be the organization’s biggest yet, with a full slate of 216 golfers swinging their clubs to raise money so local kids can afford to play sports.

SportAssist, founded by Langford’s Gerry St. Cyr, funds youth aged five to 18 on an individual basis, removing financial barriers so they can participate in sports. St. Cyr, facility operator at City Centre Park, started the organization seven years ago.

“I’m around recreation 24-7 and I can really see the need and financial struggle from some families, which means some kids were not getting to play sports,” he says.

“There was a young guy that used to carry his hockey bag all the way down the Langford parkway to do drop-in roller hockey,” he remembers.

St. Cyr looked into it, and found out the kid couldn’t afford the league fees. “I thought, something has to be done locally here.”

Since its inception, the number of kids helped by the program has doubled every year, he says. “Now people know that we’re here. There’s more of a need for it, but SportAssist is getting more well known around town.”

St. Cyr says they’re hoping to double last year’s total of $30,000 raised at the golf tournament to keep up with the need from the community.

“We’ve kept ahead of the curve so far, but the need keeps growing.”

Registration for the Sept. 12 tournament is sold out, but organizers are still looking for donated prizes or items for the silent auction.

“There’s a need for anything to help raise money,” St. Cyr says, stressing that all funds raised stay on the West Shore for local kids.

Businesses or individuals interested in supporting the fundraiser can email St. Cyr directly at gerrys37@gmail.com, or visit sportassist.ca for more information.

acowan@goldstreamgazette.com