(ISN) – – Calgary – Department of Canadian Heritage
The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), today announced $1 million in matched funding from the Government of Canada to the $1 million raised by Own the Podium from donors including Canadian Tire, the Canadian Olympic Foundation, MITACS, the Institut national du sport du Québec (INS), and private-sector partners of the Canadian Paralympic Committee.
The Government of Canada also committed to matching any funds raised by Own the Podium, up to $1 million per year over the subsequent two years. This overall funding of up to $6 million will be directed toward Innovations 4 Gold, an initiative to develop research and innovation projects focused on Canadian success in Olympic and Paralympic sports, with details listed below.
· In an effort to reduce the private-sector funding gap that existed following the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, the Government of Canada challenged Own the Podium (OTP) to raise funds through the private and not-for-profit sectors to support increased efforts in priority research and innovation projects. In return, the Government pledged to match those funds with an annual contribution of up to $1 million of public funds for three years.
· Innovations 4 Gold (I4G) is an applied sport research program led by OTP to help Canada win more medals at the Summer and Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
· Funding will be allocated to support cutting-edge and competitive advantage initiatives in three general areas:
Human performance, including training methodologies, recovery protocols, performance nutrition, sport psychology, biomechanics and sport analytics;
Sports engineering, including equipment fabrication and customization, aerodynamics, ergonomics, and performance technology; and
Proactive sports medicine, including injury prevention, rehabilitation and return to podium.
· OTP serves as an innovative and collaborative high-performance initiative between Sport Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC). OTP is a high-performance technical advisory body charged with identifying sports and athletes with medal potential at future Olympic and Paralympic Games; recommending funding levels for targeted sports and athletes to Sport Canada, the COC and CPC; and providing technical advice and leadership to the high-performance sport community.
· The Government of Canada is the largest single contributor to amateur sport in the country, providing close to $200 million annually in support of approximately 1,800 carded athletes, 56 national sport organizations, 21 multi-sport service organizations and 7 Canadian sport centres/institutes, as well as the hosting of over 120 national and international championships in this, the Year of Sport in Canada.
“We are very pleased to see these partners step up to the challenge of providing additional funds that will help Canadian athletes through the research and innovation projects from the Innovations 4 Gold initiative. The Government of Canada recognizes the continued success of our athletes in major international competitions—such as the upcoming 2015 Toronto Pan and Parapan American Games and the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games—depends on dynamic partnerships like this that will continue to provide them access to cutting-edge resources and technology. We are a leading sport nation and we want to keep it that way.”
—The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport)
“Innovations 4 Gold is a difference maker. If Canada is not doing innovation and research, then we are simply not part of the game. Innovation 4 Gold is a critical component of Own the Podium’s goal to deliver more medals for Canada. With the Government of Canada’s leadership through this gracious investment, along with our corporate partners, this unique program will continue to make a difference in putting more Canadian athletes on the Olympic and Paralympic podiums.”
—Anne Merklinger, Chief Executive Officer, Own the Podium
“Thank you to the Government of Canada for their important contribution in matching the $1 million raised by Own the Podium and our great partners. These much-needed funds will go toward the crucial development of sports medicine, human performance and sports engineering—all of which will help Canada’s athletes on the road to the podium.”
—Marcel Aubut, President, Canadian Olympic Committee, and Chair, Canadian Olympic Foundation
“On behalf of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, a sincere thank you to the Government of Canada and all the supporters of this extremely important investment. Research and innovation are as essential to success as athlete identification, coaching and daily training environments, and so we applaud this leadership and vision that will support Canadian athletes in their quests for podium performances.”
—Gaétan Tardif, President, Canadian Paralympic Committee
“Canadian Tire is exceptionally proud to be a leading supporter of sport in Canada—from the playground to the podium. We know first-hand through our relationships with athletes how important science, research and innovation are to their training. We are proud to contribute to this program and help fund world-class research and innovation that will put more of our athletes on the podium for Canada.”
—Duncan Fulton, Senior Vice-President, Canadian Tire Corporation
“New innovations are made every day—whether it’s mechanical, to make our equipment better; or biological, to assist us with training or injury-prevention and recovery. For Canada to continue to fly the Maple Leaf atop the podium, we need the support of Own the Podium’s research and innovation programs. OTP’s supporters are making a direct, positive impact on us as athletes; and for that, I thank the Government of Canada’s leadership, along with the support of our corporate and sport partners for making this financial investment a reality.”
—Jesse Lumsden, two-time Olympic bobsleigh athlete
“The sit ski project has been instrumental in helping Canada become not only competitive, but a leading nation in the Paralympic world. For me, one of my sport objectives was to find harmony between the driver and equipment, and through the continued support from the Government of Canada through Own the Podium, we are achieving this. This continued partnership has allowed me to become the athlete that I always dreamed of being, and proudly representing my country on the world stage.”
—Josh Dueck, three-time Paralympic alpine skiing medallist