The Columbia Basin division of PacificSport announced David Ellis as their first executive director. The Columbia Basin is a new division under PacificSport with the aim of promoting sport in the Columbia Basin.
Ellis, who grew up in Elkford, has an extensive history in sport, most recently working as the athletic director for the Olympic ski cross program. He is looking forward to encouraging sport in the region, which spans as far west as Rossland and as far north as Valemount.
“We have a strategic planning session scheduled for next week, where we will draft our goals and objectives for the organization, but we will be looking at all aspects of sport and see what we can support from athlete development to coach volunteer development and then really just trying to network the physical activity delivery partners in the area as well, from recreation to education,” Ellis said.
A huge facet of the PacificSport is the Canadian Sport for Life program, which promotes sport and recreation for all ages and abilities.
“If you provide a young person with the tools to play soccer, to play tennis, or whatever it may be, whether they go into a high performance athletic stream, it gives them the tools to be active for life. If you teach a kid to throw a ball, then they are more likely to play baseball, football and other sports in recreation as well, so it’s really trying to ensure that individuals are getting all of the components of physical literacy,” Ellis said.
The program’s aim is also to encourage people of any age to get involved in sport and recreation.
“If someone moves to the Valley from Ontario that’s never ridden a bike for example, we hope to connect them with a bike club and things like that to get them into sport as well.”
The Columbia Basin branch of PacificSport was founded in March 2015, and will receive $1.1 million in funding over three years from Columbia Basin Trust and ViaSport.