AthletesCAN and Investors Group announce 2018 Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund bursary recipients  

OTTAWA (July 31st, 2018) – AthletesCAN and Investors Group are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund bursary. 

In keeping with their commitment to amateur sport in Canada, Investors Group established a bursary fund for Canada’s top high performance athletes. A national leader in delivering personalized financial solutions to Canadians, Investors Group annually awards twenty $5,000 bursaries to assist Canada’s elite amateur athletes with the costs of training and competition. Selection criteria includes: athletic achievement, financial need and community involvement.  

Since its inception in 2000, the Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund has provided $1.9 million to Canadian athletes.  AthletesCAN administers the bursary on behalf of Investors Group.  

“Investors Group is proud to support our nation’s elite athletes with these bursaries,” says Trevor Krahn, Director, Sponsorship and Community Engagement for Investors Group. “Athletes at this level are often living on a tight budget and juggling the demands of work and school with training and competition. We are pleased to be able to give some financial piece of mind to these committed individuals so they can better focus their efforts on their sport.” 

“AthletesCAN is proud to partner with Investors Group, one of Canada’s leading corporate contributors of direct funding to our country’s top high performance athletes,” says Ashley LaBrie, Executive Director, AthletesCAN. “For the last 19 years, the Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund has recognized the athletic accomplishments, financial need and community involvement of Canadian athletes. These bursaries continue to provide athletes with the financial confidence to focus on their pursuit of excellence as athletes, and as people.  On behalf of Canadian athletes, AthletesCAN applauds Investors Group for their continued leadership and support where it is needed most.”   

In 2017, Erica Wiebe, 2016 Olympic Champion in the sport or wrestling, was a recipient of the $5000 Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund bursary through AthletesCAN.  

“Winning the Olympic Games in 2016 was the culmination of years of fine-tuning every facet of performance and the result of fearlessly putting it on the line each and every single day,” says Erica.  “I was humbled by that performance but I wanted to continue to push my own limits. With the generous support of Investors Group, I am able to confidently continue that pursuit of excellence with the financial realities of amateur sport eased. I am especially grateful for their support over this past year as I defended my gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and am now in the pursuit of doing it once more in Tokyo in 2020.” 

Congratulations to this year’s recipients who will continue to leave their mark on the Canadian sport landscape and inspire the next generation of champions across the country. 

The 2018 Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund bursary recipients are: 

Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (Sherbrooke, Québec) – Speed Skating  
Bailey Bram (Ste. Anne, Manitoba) – Hockey 
Laura Brown (Vancouver, British Columbia) – Cycling  
Jaimee Bull (North Bay, Ontario) – Water Ski  
Jane Channell (North Vancouver, British Columbia) – Skeleton  
Monika Eggens (Pitt Meadows, British Columbia) – Water Polo 
Annie Guglia (Montréal, Québec) – Skateboard (Street) 
Tyler Henschel (Sherwood Park, Alberta) – Diving  
Philippe Marquis (Québec City, Québec) – Freestyle Skiing (Moguls) 
Brittany Kassil (Guelph, Ontario) – Rugby 
Benjamin Kendrick (Ottawa, Ontario) – Judo  
Andréanne Langlois (Trois Rivières, Québec) – Kayak (Sprint) 
Simon Langlois-Gauthier (Gatineau, Québec) – Para-Karate 
Emma Lunder (Canmore, Alberta) – Biathlon  
Heather McLean (Winnipeg, Manitoba) – Speed Skating  
Jackson Payne (Calgary, Alberta) – Artistic Gymnastics  
Jacqueline Simoneau (Saint-Laurent, Québec) – Artistic Swimming  
Christy Spurrell (Maple Ridge, British Columbia) – Sport Climbing  
Michael Tayler (Ottawa, Ontario) – Kayak (Slalom)  
Toshihide Uchiage (Richmond, British Columbia) – Karate  

A special thanks to our selection committee members Greg Edgelow (Wrestling), Andrew Haley (Swimming), Mercedes Nicoll (Snowboard), and Bo Hedges (Wheelchair Basketball).  

QUOTES: 

“It’s a huge relief to receive such a bursary,” says Alex. “It will help me cover my expenses such as my national team membership fees, the purchase of skating and road cycling equipment for training, as well as travel expenses for World Cups and camps that are not covered by our sport federation. I won’t have to work to cover expenses over and above my budget and I’ll have more time and energy to train and participate in events to promote physical activity in a variety of ways.” 
Alex Boisvert-Lacroix, Speed Skating  

“I am truly honoured and humbled to be selected as a recipient for the Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund. There are so many amazing athletes but, most importantly, amazing people that applied for this bursary so being selected amongst them is an incredible feeling and something I am super proud of,” says Bailey. “The bursary will help in my pursuit of excellence by allowing me to spend less time worrying about finances and more time dedicated to training - pushing to be the best athlete I can be and engaging with my community!”  
Bailey Bram, Hockey 

“I have always admired Investors Group for their support in helping athletes who are both successful in their sport and also play an active role in giving back to their communities,” says Laura. “The Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund will help me in my pursuit of excellence from both a coaching and mentorship perspective. I have started my NCCP certification and wish to pursue cycling coaching after I am done my racing career,” she adds. “I have almost two decades of cycling experience as an athlete, and I want to give it all back and share it with the next generation of Canadian cyclists.”  
Laura Brown, Cycling  

“I am very excited and honored to have been chosen as a recipient of the Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund out of so many amazing Canadian athletes,” says Jaimee. “The bursary will help improve the quality and amount of training I will receive in the lead up to the 2019 World Championships in Malaysia. This will enable me to attend more training camps, where I will receive world class coaching on lakes specifically designed for water skiing,” she adds, “No athlete should have to experience financial struggles while competing and Investors Group is working hard to solve that.”   
Jaimee Bull, Water Ski  

“It feels amazing to have been selected as a recipient of this $5,000 bursary from the Team Investors Group Amateur Athlete Fund,” says Jane. “It means that I will be able to pay my team fees and purchase new equipment to stay competitive with the rest of the world. It gives me confidence knowing that there is support like this for amateur athletes like myself.” 
Jane Channell, Skeleton 

“I am very grateful to have been chosen as a recipient for this bursary,” says Monika. “It will be most helpful leading into these next two years as I continue to work to achieve my dream of representing Canada at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020. The Team Investors Group Amateur Athlete Fund will also afford me more opportunities to travel back home and continue to give back to my community, helping out the local clubs,” she adds. “I want to be able to inspire and encourage the younger generation of athletes to pursue their goals of one day representing Canada on the world stage just as my role models did for me.” 
Monika Eggens, Water Polo 

“The Team Investors Group Amateur Athlete Fund bursary will allow me to participate in another international competition this year and to go to a specialized training facility for extreme sports this winter,” says Annie. “All athletes need to train hard to become exceptionally good at their sports and bursaries like this one from Investors Group help us financially so that we can focus on training – something I need to do to represent Canada at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games where my sport will make its debut.” 
Annie Guglia, Skateboard (Street) 

“I am very excited to have been selected for the Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund,” says Tyler. “I am so grateful to be a part of Team Canada and selected for many international competitions, however, travel costs are probably one of the largest expenses and are difficult to budget for. The funds from this bursary will go very far in helping me travel for competitions in the lead up to Tokyo 2020.” 
Tyler Henschel, Diving  

“It’s a great source of pride and recognition to be a 2018 Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund bursary recipient,” says Philippe. “It gives me greater motivation to push myself in the pursuit of excellence. Programs like the Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund give us opportunities to seek out additional resources so that we can reach our full potential.” 
Philippe Marquis, Freestyle Skiing (Moguls) 

“Team Investors Group Amateur Athlete Fund bursary couldn’t have come at a better time - this funding will allow me to pursue other avenues of training and fund equipment required to perform at the highest level,” says Brittany. “Equity in sport is an issue. Female athletes do not receive the same amount of funding as our male counterparts and Rugby 15’s is not funded through the national carding program, so bursaries like this mean the world to amateur athletes like myself!”   
Brittany Kassil, Rugby 

“Being selected as a recipient of the $5,000 bursary from the Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund means a lot to me as an amateur athlete,” says Benjamin. “It is a good feeling to have the financial support of a company like Investors Group and an organization like AthletesCAN. Unfortunately, not all of my training and competition costs are funded by Judo Canada and this financial support will help pay for costs that I am required to pay on my own,” he adds. “I play a mentorship role for younger athletes including judokas and this bursary will enable me to free up some additional time to speak to athletes in the community.”  
Benjamin Kendrick, Judo  

“I feel privileged to have earned the trust of Investors Group,” Andréanne explained. “It’s an honour to have your firm invest in my dreams and future. As athletes, we may not be the wealthiest, but we have a lot of grit and determination. Despite the pitfalls we face financially, we continue to move forward. This financial assistance will take some weight off the shoulders of numerous athletes and enable them to focus on their competitions. Your generosity allows us the opportunity to give back to our community by supporting us in the most beneficial ways moving forward.” 
Andréanne Langlois, Kayak (Sprint) 

“I feel very privileged to receive this bursary and I thank Investors Group for their contribution,” says Simon. “Due to my limited financial income, this bursary will allow me to represent my country at the Para-Karate World Championships in November 2018 in Madrid, Spain. As an athlete with an intellectual disability, I must constantly make an effort to maintain my focus during competitions. This bursary will give me a significant financial boost so that I can continue to participate at the highest level.”  
Simon Langlois-Gauthier, Para-Karate 

“I feel extremely grateful to be a selected recipient of the Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund,” says Emma. “This bursary will help me by covering the fees associated with my national team summer training camps. With all of the travel, time, and money associated with being on the road for training, having financial support not only allows me to spend more time recovering properly for future training sessions, but also alleviates the stress that comes with financial worries,” she adds. “With my training camp expenses covered, I am now able to spend more time giving back to my sport and community. I can continue to volunteer at my local foodbank, as well as pursue a coaching certification to eventually assist in coaching some of Canada's young biathletes.”   
Emma Lunder, Biathlon  

“To me, excellence requires dedication and focus towards training and competing as well as a commitment to developing and growing as a human being outside of sport,” says Heather. “The Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund will allow me to financially ease the burden of team fees, equipment, and travel, allowing me to stay balanced in training, school and volunteering with Fast and Female,” she adds. “Partnerships like this one through AthletesCAN give us athletes the opportunity to take that crucial next step between average and elite in terms of performance and representing Canada.” 
Heather McLean, Speed Skating  

“I feel very honoured and grateful to be selected as a recipient of the Team Investors Group Amateur Athlete Fund,” says Jackson. “The bursary is so valuable for an athlete’s morale, confidence, and their given financial circumstance. This fund will help me in a lot of aspects of my training and life,” he adds. “Big or small, challenges come on a regular basis and programs like this are that extra, external support that so many athletes need.”  
Jackson Payne, Artistic Gymnastics

“The Team Investors Group Amateur Athlete Fund bursary will help cover all of my training and competition costs, which includes the hefty cost of competing at the World Series events in 2018 and 2019 to achieve a world ranking,” says Jacqueline. “The money will also allow me to focus primarily on training and performing, as well as enable me to continue to support my local community and the Make A Wish Foundation,” she adds. “As athletes, our bodies are like the engine of a sports car, and we must maintain and take care of it. Receiving the Team Investors Group Amateur Athlete Fund bursary ensures I am able to do this and gives me the means to be able to overcome challenges in my career.” 
Jacqueline Simoneau, Artistic Swimming  

“One of the biggest challenges I have encountered as an athlete is the financial barrier,” says Christy. “As a competitive sport climber in Canada, I must pay for all training in addition to travel and accommodation fees for all international competitions. In previous seasons, I have had to select which World Cups I am able to attend based on cost,” she adds. “Programs like the Team Investors Group Amateur Athlete Fund help athletes, similar to myself, have the opportunity to compete at more international competitions and represent our country with pride!”  
Christy Spurrell, Sport Climbing  

“It's an amazing feeling to be selected for the Team Investors Group Amateur Athlete Fund bursary,” says Michael. “This fund will allow me to compete at the World Championships this year without accumulating debt from my NSO fees. Receiving this funding takes a huge weight off of my shoulders and I’ll be able to focus solely on the competition at hand.”  
Michael Tayler, Kayak (Slalom)  

 “I'm grateful for this support from Investors Group, which will help me continue to compete on the international stage,” says Toshihide. “The funds will be used towards covering travel costs to the many international competitions I compete in over the course of the year and it will also be used to upgrade some of my training equipment. The upgrade in equipment will not only help me, but also the next generation of athletes as the athletes that train in my community will also have access to the new equipment I can now purchase.”  
Toshihide Uchiage, Karate  

About Investors Group 
Founded in 1926, Investors Group is a national leader in delivering personalized financial solutions to Canadians through a network of Consultants located across Canada. In addition to an exclusive family of mutual funds and other investment vehicles, Investors Group offers a wide range of insurance, securities, mortgage and other financial services. Investors Group has $88 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2018 and is a member of the IGM Financial Inc. (TSX: IGM) group of companies. IGM Financial is one of Canada's premier financial services companies with over $159 billion in total assets under management as of June 30, 2018. 

About AthletesCAN 
AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, is the only fully independent and most inclusive athlete organization in the country and the first organization of its kind in the world. 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.  

For more information, please contact: 
Ashley LaBrie 
Executive Director  
(613) 601-3413 
Toll Free: 1-888-832-4222 
alabrie@athletescan.com 
www.athletescan.com    

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