Supporting Canadian Athletes

2014 AthletesCAN KidsCAN School Day inspires more than 800 Calgary students

September 26th, 2014 – (Calgary, AB) – The 9th annual AthletesCAN KidsCAN School Day was a tremendous success.  Today, over 35 national team athletes and more than 800 Calgary Board of Education students converged at the Talisman Centre for a day of sporting activities and fun.


The event was an opportunity for school children across Calgary to meet with national team athletes, try a variety of sports and learn about the importance of physical activity, goal setting and healthy lifestyles.

“Spending the day with local Calgary-area students in a world-class facility and sharing my love for sport was such an incredible privilege”, says Calgary wrestler and 2014 Commonwealth Games Champion Erica Wiebe. “These young students had so much energy and passion and it was great to represent Calgary’s strong elite athlete community to help promote the joy of sport to the next generation. I hope they had as much fun as I did today!”

The 2014 KidsCAN School Day also had a special visit from the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport).  Minister Gosal arrived early to speak with many of the national team athletes participating in the activities, congratulating them on taking the time to give back to sport and the local community.  He later inspired over 800 Calgary youth to stay involved in sport during the event pep rally with the help of more than 35 athlete role models.

“Athletes are our best ambassadors to encourage young people to get active and participate in sport, and KidsCAN School Day is a great opportunity for students to try new sports and meet Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). “Our Government is proud to support activities like this, and I hope the students who took part in KidsCAN School Day learn about the importance of physical activity, take up sports and—most importantly—have fun!”

“Competing for Canada was always what made my pride swell the most as an active athlete”, says Eric Mitchell, 2010 Olympic ski jumper.  “Now retired, I have found a new joy in sharing my journey with others. KidsCAN School Day is a powerful event in that it brings together athletes from such a wide range of sports and gives them the opportunity to share their stories with the next generation of young athletes”, he adds.  “From experience, I know that KidsCAN School Day is great fun for both the students and the athlete leaders and I couldn’t have been more excited for the event to take place in my home town of Calgary.”

“As a facility with a legacy built on the 1983 Western Canada Summer Games, Talisman Centre is excited to be part of KidsCAN School Day, a program that pairs inspiring national athletes with children wishing to follow in their footsteps”, says Jeff Booke, CEO, Talisman Centre.  “Talisman Centre is passionate about sport – and people, and we were thrilled to welcome Olympic and Paralympic athletes from all across Canada along with our local school children to participate in a fun day of sporting activities.  It was a day enjoyed by everyone.”

“It is truly remarkable when so many talented and passionate people and organizations come together in support of inspiring youth through sport!  Many thanks to our athletes, Minister Gosal, Sport Canada, the Talisman Centre, the Calgary Board of Education, True Sport, and Right To Play for their generous support of this event”, says Jasmine Northcott, Executive Director, AthletesCAN.  “And a special thank you to all the athlete leaders who shared their personal stories to encourage the next generation of sport heroes at the 2014 KidsCAN School Day!”

Anastasia Bucsis             Speed Skating             2-time Olympian

Caroline Calvé                 Snowboard                  2010 Olympian, 2011 World Champion

Thea Culley                      Field Hockey                2014 Commonwealth Games, Silver Medalist

Nathan Gafuik                 Gymnastics                  2-time Olympian

Christine Gauthier          Para Canoe                 Para Canoe, 2-time World Champion

Tom Hall                           Canoe                          2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist 2008

Trevor Hirschfield           Wheelchair Rugby       2-time Paralympic Medalist

Jennifer Joyce                  Hammer/Discus         4-time CDN Champion, Commonwealth Games Silver Medalist

Lynda Kiejko                     Shooting                      2010 Commonwealth Games Medalist

Jeane Lassen                    Weightlifting                2008 Olympian, World Championship Bronze Medalist

Eric Mitchell                     Ski Jumping                 2010 Olympian

Tyler Mosher                    Para Snowboard          2010 & 2014 Paralympian

Dasha Peregoudova         Taekwondo                  9-time National Champion, 2-time Pan American Champion

Erik Petursson                  Diving                          5-time National Championship Medalist

Robin Randall                  Water Polo                   2008 Olympian, Commonwealth/Pan Am Medalist

Ryan Riehl                        Adaptive Waterski        7-time Canadian National Champion

Scott Sandison                  Field Hockey                2008 Olympian, 2007 Pan American Games Gold Medalist

Keven Smith-Worthylake Boccia                         2011 Canadian Champion

Robbi Weldon                  Cycling                          2012 Paralympic Champion, 4-time Parapan Am Champion

Erica Wiebe                      Wrestling                      2014 Commonwealth Games Champion, 6-time CDN Champion

Amanda Yan                    Wheelchair Basketball  2014 World Champion

Also in attendance, Annie-Claude Belisle Denis (Handball), Chris Bird (Sitting Volleyball), Courtney Brown (Synchronized Swimming), Haley Daniels (Canoe Kayak), Dan Devlin (Handball), Emma Friesen (Diving), Sam Effah (Athletics), Erica Gavel (Wheelchair Basketball), Joanna Guy (Fencing), Antoni Kindler (Field Hockey), Danielle Lopez (Softball), Jess Polley (Wakeboard), Margaret Purdy (Figure Skating), Martin Robitaille (Sailing), Jeff Teutsch (Orienteering), Ekaterina Zavialova (Snowboard).

Since its inception in 2006, AthletesCAN’s KidsCAN School Day events have enabled over 250 national team athletes including Olympians and Paralympians, to reach more than 22,000 school children from Whitehorse, Yukon to Fredericton, New Brunswick with messages of inspiration and determination.

For more information:
Ashley LaBrie
Director, Operations
613-601-3413 (cell)

Twitter: @AthletesCAN

As the voice of Canadian national team athletes, AthletesCAN ensures an athlete centered sport system by developing athlete leaders who influence sport policy and, as role models, inspire a strong sport culture.

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