Mission now has a united voice to represent the sports community.
The Mission Sports Council was officially formed on February 18, although members have been getting together, informally for the past year.
The purpose of the council is to promote sports in Mission and give a cohesive voice to all local, non-profit sporting organizations.
“It’s purpose is to try and get kids to keep in sports all the way through their lives. A sports for life philosophy,” said Dan Williams, president of the council and of Mission Minor Baseball.
He said the council represents all sports, not just baseball, hockey and soccer. There are 25 different sports organizations in the community and Williams wants to promote all of them.
With that in mind, Williams is asking all of the groups to get in contact with the council. Its next meeting is on Tuesday, April 14 at the Mission Leisure Centre at 7 p.m. After that, they will meet the first Tuesday of each month.
“We want to keep it down to one rep for each group,” explained Williams, that will ensure every sport has one voice and one vote.
“So just because hockey is bigger than lawn bowling, it doesn’t mean anything. They each get one vote. Every group has an equal voice on the board,” said Mike Palmer, president of Mission Minor Hockey and a member of the council.
Palmer said while every sport has its own concerns and issues, the council is designed for the overall benefit of all. It’s a philosophy he feels makes sense.
“We want to attract kids to sport. I have a vested interest, from a hockey perspective, of having kids play baseball, because it gets them active. It gets them playing a sport, no matter what sport. The more kids that are out there, active in the community, the better it is for our community.”
By pulling their resources together, the council can help smaller associations promote events, announce registration dates or call out for volunteers and coaches.
“As an individual association, I don’t have a lot of clout… but as a council we have a ton of clout,” said Palmer.
One of the projects the new council wants to take on is fundraising. Williams explained that businesses in Mission are often approached by various sports groups for sponsorship and financial support. The council could unify those fundraising campaigns into one, allocating the funds to its member groups.
They also want to help fundraiser and be a support mechanism for Kidsport, a program that helps provide funds to lower income families to allow kids to get into sports.
“The ultimate goal is to get the marginal kids off the street and into an organized sport. We see it all the time. You get a kid who comes in with a chip on his shoulder and he has attitude and he doesn’t come from a very stable background,” said Williams
“You put him into a sport, you give him structure, you give him somebody that cares and all of a sudden he has 10 pairs of parents because they are all on the team and everybody bands together and that’s the foundation of community. Now that kid cares a little bit.”
Other purposes include establishing Mission as a place to raise healthy kids and to put Mission on the tournament map.
A new website is in the works and should be available soon. The group is also working on an information sheet to distribute to all the school kids in Mission listing all the sports available to them, contact and registration information and season of play.
While barely a month old, the council already has many groups on board and is asking the remained to come to the next meeting. An executive board has been selected, but they are still looking for someone to take on the role as treasurer.
We really want to see every group represented,” said Williams.