British Columbia has a proud tradition of establishing B.C. athletes on the national or international stage.
Whether they strive to be national, Olympic, Paralympic or world champions, the Province supports them on the performance pathway by ensuring that the sport system in B.C. provides for world class coaching, technology (e.g. equipment, sport science, training methods), training facilities and other things that help them perform at their best.
In any given year, thousands of young British Columbians test the waters, fields and courts with their first multi-sport experience at BC Summer and Winter Games, Western Canada Summer Games, Canada Games or North American Indigenous Games.
Athlete support programs provide funding to support athletes striving to represent B.C. and Canada at national and international games and championships. Provincial sport organizations and post-secondary institutions provide grants directly and/or use the funding to support individual or team expenses (such as travel, coaching, sport science). To find out more, contact your provincial sport organization or post-secondary institution athletic department.
The BC Summer and BC Winter Games (each held every two years in communities across B.C.) provide opportunities for coaches and athletes to gain experience in a multi-sport environment and are considered the entry point in the B.C. sport excellence system. Athletes are selected by their provincial sport organization to compete for their zone (there are 8 zones spread throughout the province). Athletes range in age from 10-18 years with an average age of 14. For some athletes, the BC Games are the highest multi-sport competition they will participate in. Others will move onto the next level – Western Canada Summer Games, Canada Games and international competitions.
Every four years the Province of British Columbia assembles a team of athletes, coaches, managers and mission staff to represent the province at the Canada Games. This group – called Team BC – competes at the Canada Summer Games and Canada Winter Games, each held every four years. These Games are a national, multi-sport competition with participation from every province and territory in Canada and take place on an alternating summer/winter cycle every four years.
(CSI Pacific) provides programs and services to athletes and coaches to ensure they have every advantage to win medals for Canada. From performance planning, biomechanical analysis, physiology and sport nutrition to strength and conditioning, athletic therapy, mental performance consultation and massage therapy, B.C.-based athletes and coaches have all the help they need to represent British Columbia and Canada on the world stage. Pacific Sport Regional Centres bring these programs and services to regional athletes and coaches in the Fraser Valley, Northern B.C., Okanagan, Interior B.C. and Vancouver Island.
The B.C. Government funds the Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council to deliver sport programs and services for the aboriginal population. The Partners Council assembles Aboriginal Team BC to compete at the North American Indigenous Games held every three years in North American communities. Here, more than 5,000 athletes and cultural performers compete/perform in traditional and non-traditional First Nations sports and cultural activities.
The National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) provides training and certification for coaches in the “competition stream” of sport. These coaches usually have previous coaching experience and tend to work with athletes over the long term to improve performance, often in preparation for provincial, national, and international competitions. The NCCP in B.C. is administered by Coaches viaSport . The B.C. Government supports coaching through funding to Coaches viaSport, provincial sport organizations, Canadian Sport Institute Pacific and Pacific Sport regional centres to help ensure athletes have access to high-level coaching services.
Grade 10, 11 and 12 students can earn credits toward graduation through the Athlete, Coach and Officials External Sport Credentials program. Athletes competing at BC Games, North American Indigenous Games, Canada Games and other national and international competitions could be eligible to earn four credits per year per program involvement.
For more information about the program, please go to External Sport Credentials or contact your provincial sport organization or school counsellor.
In addition, some sport and recreation organizations have approved courses included in the Industrial and Occupational Course section of the External Credentials Program (such as scuba diving certification).