‘Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committees urge for more athlete funding as crisis looms’

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Request for Additional Funding to Support Canadian Sport Organizations

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) have made a formal request for an additional $104 million in federal funding to support national sport organizations. This funding is crucial to prevent these organizations from facing a crisis situation, as highlighted by COC president David Shoemaker.

Shoemaker emphasized that the current trajectory of national sport organizations is unsustainable, with many facing the prospect of running deficits without immediate intervention. According to a press release, 90 percent of these organizations rely heavily on funding to deliver their essential services to athletes across Canada.

Karen O’Neill, CEO of the CPC, echoed the concerns raised by Shoemaker, noting that the development of Para sport in Canada could be at risk without a substantial financial injection. She stressed the importance of providing adequate resources to foster excellence in sports and support aspiring athletes in their quest for success.

The requested $104 million allocation comprises various components, including $20 million to compensate for inflation since the last funding increase in 2005. Additionally, $57 million is earmarked to sustain short-term funding programs that promote gender equity and safe sporting environments, while $27 million is allocated to address the increasing deficits faced by national sport organizations.

Casey Wade, CEO of Canoe Kayak Canada, emphasized the challenges faced by these organizations in balancing rising costs with the need to ensure safe and inclusive sporting practices. He highlighted the essential role that increased funding plays in fulfilling these duties effectively.

The urgency of the funding request is underscored by the proximity of the upcoming Paris Olympics and the subsequent Paralympics. The recent announcement of the Paralympic Performance Recognition program, offering financial rewards to Paralympians on par with Olympians, reflects the commitment to supporting athletes across both platforms.

The COC and CPC caution that failure to meet this funding request could have detrimental effects on athletes at all levels. Shoemaker emphasized that without immediate financial support, athletes may face significant challenges in the coming months, jeopardizing the development of a safe and inclusive sporting environment in Canada that benefits the entire population.

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