GM Announces the Receipients of Canadian Coaching Grants Totaling More Than $200,000

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Ten Canadian high performance coaches and their Olympic hopeful athletes, including Mike Brown and his coach Jan Bidrman and Benoît Huot and his coach Benoît Lebrun were awarded $10,000 grants for coaching skill development through GM Canada’s Making Dreams Possible Program.

In addition, 56 community clubs across Canada received a coaching grant of $2,000 each and GM and ACDelco awarded more than $2.4 million to Own the Podium 2010.

Today’s announcement is the second phase of GM’s overall $5.2 million pledge to provide a competitive edge for Canadian athletes. GM will contribute a total of $4 million to Own the Podium 2010, an initiative created to help Canada become the number one nation in terms of medals at the 2010 Olympic Games and top three at the 2010 Paralympic Games, as well as $1.2 million to directly support coaches at the elite and local club levels through the Making Dreams Possible program.

“The coach-athlete partnership is essential to the success of our Canadian athletes,” said Tom Laurie, GM of Canada’s Olympic Partnership Manager. “With support from the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC), these grants were designed to invest in coaches across Canada. GM has a long history of supporting Canadian athletes and is proud to help our Olympic hopefuls realize their dreams as they look to stand atop the podium in Beijing this summer and in Vancouver in 2010.”

John Bales, Chief Executive Officer for the CAC commented that, “We are encouraged by the response from clubs across the country that have shown a strong interest in the General Motors Making Dreams Possible Program. GM’s direct support of coach education and development through this program has impacted over 9,000 coaches and nearly 110,000 athletes in 171 communities across the country. The CAC is very pleased that our flagship program – the National Coach Certification Program (NCCP) – has been made accessible to Canadians through the GM Making Dreams Possible Program.”

“This funding alleviates a lot of the worry and gives us more opportunities to do a few extra things that make a huge difference,” says Mark Fawcett, coach of Alpine Snowboarding star, Matt Morison, who was selected to receive a $10,000 Making Dreams Possible high performance grant for the second year in a row, “Things like having extra training sessions in Vancouver – extra touches to make Matt more comfortable with the site, with the prospect of the approaching Olympic Games.”

“A coach provides more than just technical instruction for their athletes,” said Gail Stanwood, treasurer, Shasta Trampoline Club. “At the community level, we set the foundation to develop and grow the next generation of Canadians through sport and it is at this grass roots level where Olympic dreams begin.”

“The financial support that General Motors of Canada provides to Own the Podium 2010 (OTP) is critical to the development and delivery of technical programs that are helping to prepare Canadian winter athletes, their coaches and their sports for podium performances in 2010,” said Roger Jackson, CEO of Own the Podium 2010. “Partnerships like this enable OTP to provide the best coach professional development programs to Canadian coaches.”

General Motors of Canada Ltd. is the Official Vehicle Partner of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Making Dreams Possible is a program developed by GM in partnership with the Coaching Association of Canada, the governing body of Canada’s coaching education program and is designed to support coaches of Olympic and Paralympic Sports at the high performance and community club levels.

GM’s Making Dreams Possible program will provide a minimum of 100 grants of $2,000 each annually for coach development in local communities, and ten grants of $10,000 each annually to high performance athletes and their coaches. These grants will be used to fund special projects that develop the skills and abilities of elite and community level coaches. Application forms can be found through www.thedriveison.ca.

About GM Canada
General Motors of Canada (GMCL) is engineering and manufacturing advanced environmental technologies ranging from Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and hybrid systems to E85 biofuel and fuel cell vehicles – more than any other auto company right here in Canada. Headquartered in Oshawa Ontario, GMCL employs more than 19,000 people nationwide. GM of Canada manufactures vehicles, vehicle powertrains, and markets the full range of General Motors vehicles and related services through 732 dealerships and retailers across Canada. Vehicles sold through this network include Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, GMC, Saturn, Hummer, Saab and Cadillac.

About the Coaching Association of Canada
The Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) is a not-for-profit amateur sport organization with the mandate to improve the effectiveness of coaching across all sports and at all levels of the sport system. With a mission of enhancing the experiences of all Canadian athletes through quality coaching, the CAC and its partners deliver a leading edge coaching system that has a goal of reaching 100,000 NCCP-trained coaches who will impact 1,000,000 athletes each year by 2010. Visit www.coach.ca for more information about coach education and training.

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