For the next half decade funding is locked in for eligible sport, culture, and recreation organizations in Saskatchewan after an agreement was signed with stakeholders and Saskatchewan Lotteries.
Last week, the provincial government signed an agreement along with Sask Sport, SaskCulture, and the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association that will see 3.75 per cent of annual lottery sales be generated back into organizations that maintain programs and services that benefit Saskatchewan.
Golf Saskatchewan is one of over 1,200 groups that benefit from lottery proceeds annually. One of the largest financial contributions provided to member clubs is the Member Assistance Program (MAP) grant program. Funding is available to courses to grow the game and without Saskatchewan Lotteries’ funding the help wouldn’t be possible. Golf Saskatchewan President Delbert Betnar said he’s personally witnessed the benefits of the program.
“Golf Saskatchewan has been able to provide over $1.1 million back to our member clubs to help them provide services for our members. I have seen first hand appreciation of this at my own club with the ongoing offering of group lessons to our members for a very reasonable amount from them. These lessons usually fill up very quickly and allow a person to take a lesson in a group environment with their friends,” Betnar said.
Over 1,000 Saskatchewan communities are beneficiaries of funding through the agreement. 12,000 groups are involved creating active and healthy lifestyles. The funding also spills into volunteerism, another trait Saskatchewan excels in, over 330,000 residents assist in events and organizations funded by the partnership. Organizations such as Golf Saskatchewan need staff to fulfill tasks and apply funding to the correct area. Betnar said growth within Golf Saskatchewan and the organizations’ reach is helped by the funding.
“With the funding we get we are able to attract personal that truly have a passion for the game. With the investment in staff this past year we can showcase what our member clubs are up to be it from the communications point of view. This allows us to go out to our member clubs to convey the message of why you want to be a member of Golf Saskatchewan,” he said.
The announcement of the partnership was made on Jan. 30. Parks, Culture, and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky was on hand for the presentation. He said all the stakeholders deserve credit for the agreement.
“The Saskatchewan Lotteries provides opportunities to more than 600,000 participants in many communities across our province. These far-reaching benefits would not be possible without our partners, Sask Sport, SaskCulture and the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association, and of course thousands of volunteers.”
Golf Saskatchewan is presumably one of the larger governed amateur sport organizations in Saskatchewan therefore long-term planning is crucial to success of the organization and the sport it governs. Sask Sport Chair Leslie Blyth said a five-year deal is critical for planning among organizations.
“Long-term planning is essential to non-profit organizations and their ability to deliver quality, sustainable programs, services and events. This agreement will continue to positively impact our communities and provide more opportunities for all. Together, we all win,” she said.
In the last fiscal year of the Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund, over $54.2 million was handed back to sport, culture, and recreational organizations in Saskatchewan.
Above photo: (l;r): Leslie Blyth, Sask Sport Chair; James Rose, SaskCulture President; Coralie Bueckert, Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association President; and, Gene Makowsky, Parks, Culture and Sport Minister.