April 24, 2012 14:03 ET

Petro-Canada's FACE program supports big dreams

50 athlete and coaching pairs receive $8,000

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 24, 2012) - Petro-Canada is continuing its legacy of helping Canadian athletes and coaches dream big by supporting 50 athlete and coach pairings through the Fuelling Athlete and Coaching Excellence (FACE) program.

Working with National Sport Organizations across Canada, Petro-Canada's FACE program provides developing (pre-carded) Canadian athlete and coach pairings with $8,000 in grants. These resources go a long way in helping athletes achieve national carded status and coaches improve their skills over the long term.

"Congratulations to the recipients of this year's FACE program," said Steven Keith, Director of Brand Loyalty and Marketing Partnerships at Suncor Energy. "We are very proud to have been supporting athletes and coaches over the last 24 years as they pursue their Olympic and Paralympic dreams."

Since 1988, Petro-Canada's FACE program has provided more than 2,300 athletes and coaches with more than $8 million in direct financial support.

"The FACE grant enabled me to be a full-time athlete and not worry about working," said Leah Callahan, a 2012 FACE recipient and Olympic hopeful from Calgary, Alta. "Because of the FACE program; I was able to pursue my dreams of competing at the international level."

"By supporting up-and-coming talent, you are helping athletes realize their dreams," said Dave Richer, Boccia athlete and FACE recipient from Ste. Julie, Que., who qualified for the Canadian Paralympic team in March. "Amazingly, ever since I found out I was fortunate enough to receive a FACE grant I've only had good news: a spot on the Paralympic team and receiving my national carded status! You have lit the flame and now it's up to me to carry the torch higher! The biggest victory is confidence in oneself."

Coaches who receive grants often use the funding to build their skills or purchase equipment that can be used to benefit multiple athletes within the same sport discipline.

"The fact that the Petro-Canada FACE grant includes both athletes and coaches helps in the commitment and performance of both. With this funding, I can continue to commit the time needed to help my athletes reach their full potential," said Keith Loach, skeleton coach.

In the past the FACE program has provided financial grants to Canada's top athletes, including 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games medalists: Alexandre Bilodeau, Hayley Wickenheiser, Kaillie Humphries, John Morris, Kristina Groves, Mike Robertson, Jim Armstrong and Ina Forest. Other notable FACE recipients include Mark Tewksbury, Canada's Chef de Mission at the 2012 London Games, Marianne Limpert, silver medalist at the 1996 Olympic Games and Annie Pelletier, bronze medalist at the 1996 Olympic Games.

All Olympic and Paralympic sports are eligible for FACE program funding and follow criteria established by Petro-Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee to qualify. FACE was formerly known as the Olympic Torch Scholarship Fund.

The 2012 FACE program recipients are:
British Columbia
Brendon Restall, Athletics, Victoria
Christin Tsai, Badminton, Surrey
Joey Burton, Cross Country Skiing, Kamloops
Liam Firus, Figure Skating, North Vancouver
Jasmin Glaesser, Cycling - Track, Coquitlam
Kiera Leung, Freestyle Skiing, Coquitlam
Brittany Rogers, Gymnastics - Women's Artistic, Coquitlam
Anthony Purcell, PARA Wheelchair Basketball*, Burnaby
Benjamin de Wit, Rowing, Vancouver
Tyler Werry, Alpine Skiing, Calgary
Christine Bushie, Bobsleigh, Spruce Grove
John Fennell, Luge, Calgary
Wesley Savill, Nordic Combined, Calgary
Michelle Bartleman, Skeleton, Calgary
Tristan Tafel, Ski Cross, Canmore
Claudia Holzner, Synchronized Swimming, Calgary
Naven Kovacevic, Waterpolo, Calgary
Alex Burk, Wrestling, Calgary
Leah Callahan, Wrestling, Calgary
Dallan Muyres, Curling, Saskatoon
Curtis Graves, Gymnastics - Men's Artistic, Saskatoon
Dennis Thiessen, PARA Curling*, Sanford
Tyler Mislawchuk, Triathlon, Winnipeg
Tom Dvorak, Equestrian - Dressage, Hillsburgh
Eleanor Harvey, Fencing, Hamilton
Patricia Bezzoubenko, Gymnastics - Rythmic, Thornhill
Elizabeth Knox, Women's Hockey, Kitchener
Derek Langlois, Judo, Oshawa
Melanie McCann, Modern Pentathlon, Parkhill
Mac Marcoux, PARA Alpine*, Goulais River
Cynthia Berringer, PARA Swimming*, Etobicoke
Cody Caldwell, PARA Wheelchair Rugby*, Cavan
Thomas Ramshaw, Sailing, Toronto
Michael Ciccarelli, Snowboard - Freestyle, Ancaster
Ashley Lawrence, Soccer, Caledon
Erin Stamp, Swimming, Guelph
Hongtao Chen, Table Tennis, Ottawa
Yolaine Oddou, Biathlon, Quebec
Étienne Beauchesne, Canoe/Kayak, Trois-Rivieres
Philippe Gagné, Diving, Mont Royal
Vincent Riendeau, Diving, Pointe Claire
Karine Dufour, Gymnastics - Trampoline, Laval
Louis Krieber-Gagnon, Judo, Montreal
Dave Richer, PARA Boccia*, Ste Julie
Myriam Adam, PARA Cycling*, St Jean sur Richelieu
Namasthée Harris-Gauthier, Speed Skating - Short Track, Montreal
Françoise Abanda, Tennis, Montreal
Lena Gabriel, Waterpolo, Beaconsfield
Jessica Ruel, Weightlifting, Rouyn-Noranda
New Brunswick
Simon Richard, PARA Goalball*, Dieppe
*Paralympic sport

For more on the FACE program, visit, or follow us on Twitter @iwilldreambig. Suncor Energy is the proud owner of Petro-Canada.

Suncor Energy is Canada's premier integrated energy company. Suncor's operations include oil sands development and upgrading, conventional and offshore oil and gas production, petroleum refining, and product marketing under the Petro-Canada brand. While working to responsibly develop petroleum resources, Suncor is also developing a growing renewable energy portfolio. Suncor's common shares (symbol: SU) are listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges.

For more information about Suncor Energy please visit our web site at or follow us on twitter @SuncorEnergy

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