Behind the Not-For-Profit Spotlight: South Burnaby Metro Club
Michael Cheung – Director of Corporate Development at South Burnaby Metro Club
Tell us about who you are and what your business is all about?
My name is Michael Cheung and I am the Director of Corporate Development at South Burnaby Metro Club (SBMC). SBMC is a not-for-profit organization that operates sports leagues (basketball, baseball, soccer) for youth in the Burnaby area. Having played in the basketball program up until grade 10, I have also been a coach for over 10 years. Currently, there are approximately 1,200 youth enrolled in the 3 sports ranging from ages 5 to 17.
What is the most unique thing about what your organization does?
SBMC aims to keep our registration costs as low as possible (a full season costs on average $250/child), so that all youth have the opportunity to experience team sports and the many valuable life lessons it can teach. SBMC strives to leave no child on the sidelines and will often cover the costs for families who cannot afford the registration fee. While there may be many other youth organizations who provide the same sports leagues, none focus on inclusion regardless of income, background, social status, etc. Having played in the basketball program and been a coach for 10 years, I can say from first-hand experience that it is. That to me is what makes SBMC unique.
How did your organization get started?
Established in 1952, the South Burnaby Metro Club (formerly known as the South Burnaby Men’s Club) was formed to help the children of the community. Guided by the motto: “Dedicated to Youth”, the club has sponsored numerous youth sporting events and has played a key role in the development of many of Burnaby’s youth programs and facilities, including the Bonsor Recreation Centre and Ron McLean Park. Along the way, its members have made lifelong friends in the fellowship that comes with this kind of community service.
The Club consists of four entities: a parent/mother club and three separate sports programs that report to the parent/mother club. The parent/mother club is the South Burnaby Metro Club and the three sports programs are the SBMC-Soccer Program, SBMC-Baseball Program, and SBMC-Basketball Program. Each program has an elected Chairman and an elected Board of Directors to oversee their own operations.
As a non-profit society, we have primarily relied on our registration revenue, government grant, and a dedicated number of volunteers to continue our mission of being “Dedicated to youth”. Our registration fees are among the lowest in the Metro Vancouver area.
However, in the current climate, SBMC faces a fast-changing economic landscape which includes continued cost pressures from all areas of its operations, and a reduced rate of volunteerism as parents struggle to afford living in Burnaby. This latter point is reinforced by the increasing number of parents applying for sports grants from organizations such as Kidsport, Jumpstart, and Athletics 4 Kids. As a result, we have started to actively engage the Burnaby community in an effort to find more volunteers and sponsors.
If you or anyone you know would like to volunteer or become a corporate sponsor, please reach out to me at Michael@SouthBurnabyMetroClub.com
I am very proud of what the club has accomplished with the very dedicated volunteers and volunteer Executive Board members. I hope that you will become part of our community in any capacity that you seem fitting! For more information, please visit SouthBurnabyMetroClub.com