AthletesCAN applauds the federal government's investment in direct support to Canadian athletes

Friday, October 13, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) - Canadian athletes are celebrating today as the federal government announced direct support to Canadian athletes through the Athlete Assistance Program (AAP), also referred to as 'carding'. The additional $5 million investment delivers on an 18% increase in the budget released in March 2017, 13 years in the making.

"Our athletes have been and continue to be sources of inspiration for all Canadians, especially our youth," said Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities Kent Hehr. "I am proud of the direct support that the Government of Canada has provided to our athletes over the last 40 years, including today's new investment. This increase in funding will continue to allow athletes to strive for the podium, and I, along with all Canadians, look forward to cheering them on at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games."

The new investment means dollars directly into the hands of the athletes. A senior card is now worth $1,765 a month for a $265 increase. Development card athletes get $1,060, which is a top-up of $160. In addition to their monthly raises, athletes eligible for retroactive pay on the increases for the governments 2017-18 fiscal year that started April 1. Tuition money has also jumped $500 to a maximum of $5,500 per year through the program.

"As the voice of Canadian national team athletes, we applaud the federal government for its continued recognition of the support needs of our athletes, both as individuals and as Canadian heroes," said Dasha Peregoudova, President of AthletesCAN and two-time Pan American gold medalist. "AthletesCAN has been engaging the media and working collaboratively with sport leaders in Ottawa for what is now decades, fighting to secure much needed direct funding which we believe is one the most effective ways to achieve Canada's sport goals."

"Direct funding represents so many things to an athlete from greater training opportunities, a place to live, access to support services critical to their well-being, and the confidence to know a country is behind them, supporting them, and recognizing their sacrifices to represent Canada on the international stage," said Ashley LaBrie, Executive Director of AthletesCAN. "This investment also reflects the governments commitment to athletes as leaders, positive change agents and role models inspiring our next generation the true impact sport can have in our communities."

AthletesCAN continues to work on behalf of Canadian athletes, to raise awareness around the need for increased direct athlete support with both the Canadian Paralympic Committee Athletes' Council and the Canadian Olympic Committee Athletes' Commission, as well as Sport Matters Group -a coalition of more than 80 sport, physical activity and recreation groups.

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