Alberta ranching family feeds Canadian Luge Athletes’ quest for podium

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October 7, 2013, CALGARY (ISN) – An Alberta ranching family is proving anyone can step up and support a Canadian athlete’s journey to the international podium by donating a purebred cow to the Canadian Luge Team.

The Barnert family – owners and operators of Pin to Point Gelbvieh in the heart of the foothills are the first to step up and respond to the Canadian Luge Association’s recently announced FOR SALE campaign. In true Alberta fashion, the new official beef supplier of the Canadian Luge Team announced on Monday it is contributing one cow, nearly 600 lbs of high-end Alberta beef, that will be divided amongst each of Canada’s six luge athletes (Sam Edney, Alex Gough, Kimberly McRae, Arianne Jones, Tristan Walker and Justin Smith) that placed in the top-10 at the 2012 World Championships. 

“Our family heard about the Team’s recent sponsorship struggles, and we thought ensuring the athletes have access to high-quality beef could be a small way to contribute to the campaign and their performance goals,” said Mark Barnert, who made the announcement while hosting the team and media for a good old fashion western cookout in the middle of his 50-strong Gelbvieh seed-stock that were roaming the picturesque ranch south of Calgary. 

“Not only do we believe in the benefits that high-performance sport has on communities across Canada, but there are many synergies between what we do, and the goals of these athletes. Elite athletes are focused on achieving excellence, and we too are committed to developing a high-quality, grass-fed stock program that delivers high-performance beef to our clients. We are thrilled to help out, and I challenge other organizations across Canada to take a step back and think about how they may also be able to connect themselves to this inspiring group of Canadian role models.” 

Lower in overall fat and saturated fat, grass-fed beef is truly high-performance; leaner meat that results in lower cholesterol levels, more Vitamin E, natural, wholesomely tender and flavourful beef. 

“When athletes are cash-strapped one of the first things that often drops in our daily routines is proper nutrition,” said Sam Edney, a two-time Olympian and veteran of the Canadian Luge Team. “Protein is key to a luge athlete’s diet, and providing our Team with access to an elite grade of beef removes another distraction in our preparation to be fully prepared to win. We know it takes a community to build a medal-winning athlete, and are grateful to the Barnert’s for recognizing everyone can play their part in this exciting ride to the podium.” 

In February 2009, the Canadian Luge Team launched its original FOR SALE campaign on top of a community toboggan hill in Calgary, showcasing the grassroots of the sport in Canada. The initiative netted an immediate response and financial commitment of a little more than $200,000 per year from the organization’s first-ever title sponsor. 

Since that time, Canadian luge athletes have racked up 19 World Cup medals and four World Championship medals. Athletes from British Columbia and Alberta have also combined to win more than 10 Junior/Youth World Cup medals. With that support now behind them, the Canadian Luge Association relaunched the campaign by replacing corporate logos with For Sale decals on their helmets during its first on-ice session of the Olympic year in an effort to establish new relationships. 

“We are not looking for millions or freebies, but we now have a massive financial hole in our program that we need to fill to provide athletes with the resources they require to fully prepare and win. We are now focused on establishing a close relationship with a company, or group of partners, that can help ensure the success of our sport beyond 2014,” said Tim Farstad, executive director, Canadian Luge Association. “This partnership today is small step forward in accomplishing our goal. We are extremely grateful for the continued support and look forward to finding more partners that will ensure the success of our program beyond 2014.” 

For more information on the Canadian Luge Association’s FOR SALE campaign, please contact FORSALE@luge.ca. For more information on Pin to Point Gelbvieh, please visit http://pintopointgelbvieh.com/home/ The Canadian Luge Association is a not-for-profit organization governing the sport of luge across the country. With support from the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, the Canadian Luge Association safely recruits and develops the nation’s current and future high-performance luge athletes with the goal of regularly climbing onto the international podium. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at www.luge.ca on the Internet.

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