Supporting Canadian Athletes

Getting Started

Breaking down your expenses into categories will help you to more easily identify your needs.

Courtesy of Sheryl Boyle – Partners In Sport

1) Equipment and fees:

→ Sport specific clothing and equipment

→ Sport related fees for a club, competition, training facility and/or coaching

2) Training and competition expenses:

→ Travel (airfare, car rental, gas not covered by your NSO)

→ Accommodation (hotel, longer term living arrangements if outside permanent hometown)

→ Food (nutrition plays a large role in performance)

3) Daily Training Expenses:

→ Daily commuting costs to and from training

→ Daily living expenses*

*Note: If you receive carding as part of Sport Canada’s Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) or are funded by Own The Podium (OTP), you should only include the daily expenses beyond those covered by your funding.

AthletesCAN has developed a resource that will help you identify your Sponsorship Wish List– items that you use in both your sport career and everyday life that have the potential to be ‘sponsored’ products, services or covered by cash donations/deals.  You should use this spreadsheet to identify your costs in advance quarterly, semiannually or annually depending on the financial flux of your training and competitive season.  The most logical first step is to use the actual costs from your last season and then build out your current year costs from there.

Click here for the Sponsorship Wish List spreadsheet. 


As athletes, you’ve probably struggled with this question at some point.  Both offer opportunities to expand your leadership skills and visibility.

Most athletes at the high performance level have experienced being the BIG fish in a LITTLE pond.  This could mean you are one of the greatest success stories in your small town or THE role model for kids at your club and/or community.  Here, you have a sense of responsibility to get up every morning and set an example.  You have built a good base of supporters and learned a great deal in this role – but you may have the drive and need to reach higher – you believe you can impact and inspire MORE people, and of course continue to achieve personal growth.  So you swim to the BIG pond…most likely upstream.

The key to being a SMALL fish in a BIG pond is the same as succeeding with your marketing plan – differentiating yourself.  In sport, a simple motto “FASTER. HIGHER. STRONGER.” differentiates the best from the rest.  In a world of fundraising and sponsorship – you will need to find an approach that will differentiate yourself from your fellow teammates and competitors in a way that inspires – FASTER (become relevant and top of mind); HIGHER (aim for greater reach, bigger network); and STRONGER (establish and share a believable and evoking story).  If you can successfully accomplish this, you’re on your way to becoming a BIG fish again but this time; your pond, along with your pool of supporters and potential sponsors, has grown significantly.


In either of these scenarios, you have a support system, people around you who teach you (coaches), look up to you (friends/next generation), inspire you (mentors), push you (teammates), and those who have your back (your family, your network). When defining your market, you’re simply identifying this support system.  When you decide to expand your market, think Six Degrees of Separation…it’s all about WHO YOU KNOW…and who they know.

We’ve developed a worksheet to help you identify and build your network entitled Where to Start.  Click here for the pdf version.

Additional Resources: “Funding Is a Fuel, Ensure the Tank is Filled Up” Kevin Jagger 

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