Freestyle Canada announced today that 11 athletes from the National Team program are the recipients of a $3,000 grant from the Wekerle Futures Fund, named after Mr. Michael Wekerle, a financier, philanthropist and Freestyle Canada’s Premier Partner and Donor.

Rachel Anderson Caledon, ON Halfpipe
Robbie Andison Oakville, ON Moguls
Kris Atkinson Calgary, AB Halfpipe
Elena Gaskell Vernon, BC Halfpipe
Mark Hendrickson Calgary, AB Slopestyle
Zac Hoffman Thornhill, ON Moguls
Matt Joosten Calgary, AB Moguls
Brenden Kelly Pemberton, BC Moguls
Sam McKeown Calgary, AB Halfpipe
Brenden Reid Langely, BC Slopestyle
Matt Wilcox Collingwood, ON Slopestyle

The Wekerle Futures Fund is targeted to Freestyle Canada athletes who have been recognized as next generation athletes preparing for international level events, and ultimately the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games. These athletes represent the disciplines of moguls, slopestyle and halfpipe and are currently not receiving any financial support through the Sport Canada Athlete Assistance Program.

As unfunded athletes, these Freestyle Canada skiers pay directly for their training and competition expenses, a cost that will reach over $25,000 annually. A mixture of family support, private donations and local corporate sponsorships pay for the significant cost.

“The cost to pursue your dream of being an Olympian is significant,” says Bruce Robinson, CEO, Freestyle Canada. “The financial support made available by Mr. Michael Wekerle’s donation to Freestyle Canada will help alleviate some of the athletes’ current expenses.”

The Wekerle Futures Fund grant helps these 11 Freestyle Canada athletes pay for a portion of their out-of-pocket expenses as they pursue their dream to represent Canada at the Olympic Winter Games.

“The athletes on Freestyle Canada’s National Team are some of the best and most dedicated athletes in the world,” says Michael Wekerle. “I am pleased to be able to provide needed financial support to these young athletes so they may continue pursuing their dreams of representing Canada on the world stage.”

This year’s recipients will be travelling to Toronto in the spring to meet Mr. Wekerle and thank him in person for his generous contribution.