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TORONTO – The RACE WITH ME! Virtual Challenge, which will officially launch on May 1, was sparked by the energy and enthusiasm of 14-year-old Jesse Briscoe of Montreal, Que., and inspired by sprinter Andre De Grasse’s commitment to Canadian children and youth.

Jesse was frustrated by the cancellation of his sports clubs and was getting tired of sitting and playing video games all day. He teamed up with his parents and his siblings to do something about it. Jesse was inspired by the incredible track performance of De Grasse and his mission to inspire young Canadians to get moving. He contacted De Grasse’s management team and the RACE WITH ME! Virtual Challenge was created.

“The RACE WITH ME! Virtual Challenge has not only inspired me to run track, but my whole family has started racing,” said Jesse. “I’m determined to beat my brother’s time because I already know I’m faster than my dad.”

Hamilton, Ontario, Sept 11,2017- Andre DeGrasse leads the way for some star struck runners at the Hamilton Olympic Club Monday night. The multiple medal winning Canadian Olympic track star joined the young athletes for a training session on the McMaster University Track. The session which was three years in the making came about as the result of runner Alex Prunell’s parents who bid on the session during a fun raising event. Cathie Coward/ Hamilton Spectator

“This is all about getting Canadian kids back on track,” said De Grasse, a triple Olympic and four-time World Championship medallist from Markham, Ont., who opened the outdoor racing season with a fast 9.99 seconds in Florida on April 17. “I believe in the power of reciprocal inspiration. These kids continue to inspire me to do my best and proudly represent our country. I was the same age as Jesse when I ran in my first track meet, so I know that there must be some fast kids to be discovered.”
Named after De Grasse’s upcoming motivational picture book, RACE WITH ME!, the virtual challenge is an invitation to children and youth across Canada to join the race to get active after a year of restrictions and to combat the devastating impact of COVID-19 on physical and mental health. A couple of facts to consider: according to ParticipACTION, less than five percent of youth in Canada are meeting the movement behaviour guidelines and seven in 10 Canadians agree that sport will be essential to getting youth and teens motivated and engaged after COVID-19 is over. (Source: IMI International 2021)

Beginning May 1, and for a period of eight weeks, Canadian kids will be encouraged to find a way to race a 400-metre distance as fast as they can at their local track or measured out on the road, sidewalk, or a green space in their neighbourhood. Siblings and/or parents can record their times and video content and upload them to, an interactive website showcasing leaderboards along with fun and inspiring content and prizing. Social media will amplify the virtual challenge results as participants share their results and fun over the next two months.
Each week as Canadian athletes are training for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, De Grasse and his teammates will share tips and words of encouragement with participants through social media and on While the Tokyo bound athletes will serve to engage and mobilize, the real inspiration will come from the participation of thousands of kids across Canada. Registration is FREE with the first 1,000 registered participants receiving a free challenge T-shirt, while the net proceeds from any donations will go to youth mental health charities, such as the Kids Help Phone, through the Andre De Grasse Family Foundation.
The RACE WITH ME! Virtual Challenge is an opportunity for the Briscoe family to connect with each other and De Grasse; united in promoting physical activity for Canadian kids and the spirit building of youth across the nation. “This will be an opportunity to get kids active and raise funds and awareness for youth mental health after a challenging year,” said Rob Briscoe, Jesse’s father.
Athletics Canada is a proud partner of the RACE WITH ME! Virtual Challenge with the goal of inspiring kids to discover the power and fun of athletics. “Just like Andre when he ran his first track competition as a high school teen, Canada’s next ‘fastest person’ just might come from this virtual challenge,” said Athletics Canada’s Chief Executive Officer David Bedford.
RACE WITH ME! Virtual Challenge channels:
Registration site:
About Andre De Grasse
Andre De Grasse became the first Canadian to capture medals in all three sprint events during a single Olympic Games, when he won silver behind Usain Bolt in the 200 metres and bronze in both the 100 metres and 4×100-metre events at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Off the track, De Grasse is a proud father raising his daughter Yuri and stepson Titus with his partner Nia Ali, who is the reigning World Champion in the women’s 100-metre hurdles and an Olympic silver medallist. The speedy couple met at the University of Southern California and live and train together in Jacksonville, Fla. In addition to his responsibility as a family man, De Grasse seeks to inspire and empower youth through the work of the Andre De Grasse Family Foundation and as an author of children’s books.
About Andre De Grasse Family Foundation
The Andre De Grasse Family Foundation is a public charitable foundation committed to inspiring and empowering youth through access to sport, education, and healthcare.
About Athletics Canada
Athletics Canada is the national sport governing body for track and field, para athletics, cross-country running and road running. Its purpose is to support high performance athletics excellence at the world level, and to provide leadership in developmental athletics. Athletics Canada is a not for profit, charitable organization operating under a Board of Directors elected by Provincial / Territorial members.
For more information, please contact:
Steve Wallace – BRAND ACT!VATiON
(416) 885-9662
Brian Levine – Envision Sports and Entertainment
(416) 464-4591