Premier and Minister meet with community clubs
Last week, Premier the Hon. David Burt, JP, MP, and the Minister of Community Affairs and Sports, the Hon. Lovitta Foggo, JP, MP, hosted a Chat and Chew for leaders of Bermuda’s community clubs on the lawn of the Cabinet Office.
This was the first Chat & Chew hosted by the Premier since the onset of COVID-19.
The agenda for the meeting included a discussion on how clubs can gain access to the $500,000 allotted in the 2020/2021 budget for capital development support to Community Clubs. To ensure that there are no lapses in funding for youth programs put on by Bermuda’s community clubs, the Premier announced that $250,000 would be made available from the Confiscated Assets Fund.
In speaking about the funding the Premier stated, “I understand the challenges many clubs are facing with fundraising and generating revenue during the coronavirus pandemic. Community and sporting clubs provide a vital service to the youth in our community and the Government wants to ensure that those programs are not affected and can continue. In this year’s budget we earmarked monies for Community Club development, though some capital projects have been postponed, we believe this support is vital and will help clubs provide some economic activity in their communities while upgrading their facilities.”
Community Club leaders shared their experiences with the technical and funding support they have received from the BEDC prior to the pandemic and also during the pandemic. Certain clubs spoke about their fears surrounding repayment of funds and the Premier committed that the BEDC would continue its work with clubs provide the assistance required to enhance their revenues to ensure that the load portion of funding (50% of total funding) can be repaid.
The Minister of Community Affairs and Sport encouraged clubs to continue to network with one another to share ideas and resources to better assist with management and committed to continue to engage with the leaders of Bermuda’s community clubs. Minister Foggo stated, “Community clubs play an important role within our community. I was gratified to hear that some of the measures that this Government put in place are assisting community clubs. I was grateful for the frank exchange and learned some of the new initiatives that we launched were not working as well as they were intended. We will redirect those resources to ensure that our vital clubs can thrive during and after this pandemic.”