Three-time Olympic sprint medallist, Andre De Grasse, announced today the establishment of the Andre De Grasse Family Foundation at the same track where his natural speed and remarkable potential were first identified.
“The roots of my success are really important to me,” said De Grasse. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my education, the resources made available to me and the mentorship and support of my first coach, Tony Sharpe, my mom and countless others along the way. I am very excited to pay it forward and to give others the same opportunity by empowering youth to realize their full potential through sport and education.”
The Andre De Grasse Family Foundation (ADGFF) will be a public charitable foundation committed to empowering and inspiring youth through sport and education. Andre’s namesake foundation seeks to inspire youth to reach their own unique potential by providing them with similar opportunities that made Andre a champion in sport and in life. Launching with the establishment of the Andre De Grasse Future Champions Fund, the ADGFF will expand its impact over the coming years by teaming up with other organizations that provide mentorship and/or resources to youth across Canada. The Foundation’s vision reflects Andre’s mantra, to Speak It Into Existence.
“Winning medals has made Andre a champion on the track, but giving back is what makes him a true champion in my eyes,” said Sharpe. “It’s amazing to see how far he has come since we first met six years ago. Some were surprised that Andre went back to finish his university degree at USC after winning three Olympic medals, but that was always the plan and he stuck to it.”
“I’m proud of all of Andre’s accomplishments, but to see him using his success as a platform to build future champions is very special to me,” said Andre’s mother, Beverley De Grasse.
A joint initiative of the ADGFF and the Athletics Canada Foundation, the Andre De Grasse Future Champions Fund will empower youth to use competitive sport as a platform to further their academic potential and become healthy and productive citizens in their community. Using the same blueprint that propelled Andre into a champion, the program will provide the support and services required for high school athletes – who are not yet a member of a registered track and field club – to maximize their athletic ability in pursuit of academic success and the opportunity to realize their potential.
“We look forward to working with Andre and the ADGFF to ensure promising young athletes, who may not yet be on Athletics Canada’s radar, are given the same opportunities that Andre had,” said Rob Guy, Athletics Canada’s CEO and Athletics Canada Foundation Board Member. “I first met Tony almost eight years ago and I have always been impressed with his desire and passion to help athletes reach their full potential, both on and off the track. Our mission at the Athletics Canada Foundation is getting Canadians active, keeping Canadians active and supporting excellence – and this is an example of a great partnership that will help us achieve that.”
Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti, who was on hand for today’s announcement, added that “Andre’s talent comes once in a generation. The Andre De Grasse Family Foundation is empowering the next generation, creating opportunity and giving youth support, hope and mentorship. The City of Markham is very proud of Andre for giving back at home and beyond.”