Olympians and the COC applaud the Government of Canada for investing more in athletes
Canadian Olympic Committee – TORONTO — The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), along with its Athletes’ Commission, expressed gratitude to the Government of Canada for investing 18 per cent more in direct financial support to the country’s high performance athletes.
In his 2017 budget, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the government would increase funding allocated to the Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) by $5 million dollars a year, the first increase in 13 years.
Direct funding through to senior AAP carded athletes has remained at $18,000 a year since 2004 despite a 24 per cent increase in cost of living while AAP development carded athletes receive $10,800. The COC’s Athletes’ Commission along with other athlete and sport organizations, including the COC and the Canadian Paralympic Committee, has long advocated for increased assistance.
Athletes are eligible for AAP funding if they meet carding requirements set by their national sport federations based on their results at Olympic and Paralympic Games, world championships and world cup events. The AAP is open to sports that are part of the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games programs.
The COC also commends the Government of Canada for recognizing the critical role of sport in fostering healthy living and inclusion among Aboriginal youth. $18.9 million over five years have been earmarked to support community initiatives and the North American Indigenous Games, and ensure national sport development programs are more inclusive of Aboriginal athletes.
“I thank the government for investing in our athletes and look forward to learning how this will be rolled out. We need to give them stable funding so they can plan their lives, education and training, and remain in sport to represent Canada internationally. Olympians are key ambassadors for their communities. Their accomplishments unite Canadians like little else can and inspire youth to reach higher in whatever they choose to do in life. We will continue to work with the government to find ways to better support athletes and the development of sport at all levels.
– Jeff Christie, Chair, COC Athletes’ Commission, Two–time Olympian, Luge
“The COC Athletes’ Commission has been pushing for an update for quite a long time so we are really happy that Minister Morneau and the Trudeau government have made athlete funding a priority. Canadians get right behind our athletes during the Olympic Games and world cup events, and this is a huge step in the right direction to ensure that Canada supports them every step of the way in their journey to reach the podium.”
– Adam van Koeverden, Former Vice-Chair, COC Athletes’ Commission, Four‑time Olympic Medallist, Canoe/Kayak
“We applaud the work of the Trudeau government and the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities for their continued support of high performance sport, specifically through this increase in direct funding to athletes. We also congratulate the athletes who advocated for this initiative on behalf of their peers including COC Athletes’ Commission Chair Jeff Christie and former Vice-Chair Adam van Koeverden. This will make a huge difference for Canadian athletes who compete against the best in the world.”
– Chris Overholt, CEO & Secretary General, Canadian Olympic Committee
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