Government of Canada

Government of Canada

March 02, 2008 14:21 ET

The Government of Canada Supports Road to Excellence

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 2, 2008) - Canada's summer sport athletes received a major boost from the Government of Canada this week in the form of a funding commitment to the Road to Excellence Program. Budget 2008 provides funding of $24 million over the next two years and ongoing support of $24 million per year thereafter for the program to ensure that our summer athletes have the support they need to perform at the top levels of international competition.

"Our Government is committed to making Canada a leading sport nation," said the Honourable Helena Guergis, Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport). "Canada is both a summer and a winter sport nation. This investment in summer sport excellence builds on the success we have achieved in winter sports and will help Canada achieve its performance targets, support Canadian athletes in achieving their goals, and make Canadians proud."

"This is great news for our athletes and summer sport organizations and will certainly enhance our chances of seeing them on the podium in future summer Olympic and Paralympic Games," said Alex Baumann, Executive Director of Road to Excellence and double Olympic gold medallist in swimming. "This commitment will allow us to move forward with many of our initiatives, including improving the quality of coaching and support services available to our athletes and increasing training and competitive opportunities."

"This investment is the culmination of a long, collaborative process between the sport community and the government, and I want to congratulate Secretary of State Helena Guergis for her timely leadership on this file," said Chris Rudge, CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee. "With this funding, the Road to Excellence Program will be able to take a big leap forward in putting programs in place to help Canadian summer athletes reach the podium at upcoming Olympic Games."

"We are thankful the government has included money in the Budget for the Road to Excellence Program, which is necessary to ensure our amateur athletes can reach their full potential at upcoming summer Paralympic and Olympic Games," said Carla Qualtrough, President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. "With the growth worldwide of the Paralympic Movement and competition intensifying, we need funding for our summer athletes. This program will help our Paralympic athletes train more and better and contribute to our sporting success."

In April 2005, the 28 national Olympic and Paralympic summer sport organizations, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, and Sport Canada decided to create a business plan that would guide the way to creating excellence at the 2008 and 2012 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. The group selected Dr. Roger Jackson, current CEO of the Own the Podium 2010 organization and a three-time Olympian in rowing, to lead the development of the plan.

In April 2006, the Road to Excellence Business Plan was created as an initial action plan to start the process of creating a more coordinated, effective Canadian sport system resulting in world-class programs, policies, and financing that will place Canada amongst the top nations at the summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Government of Canada is the single largest contributor to sport in Canada. When this commitment in Budget 2008 is fully implemented, the Government of Canada's investment in the Canadian sport system will grow to an all-time high of more than $164 million annually.

This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Secretary of State
    (Foreign Affairs and International Trade)
    (Sport)
    613-992-0928
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Donald Boulanger
    A/Chief, Media Relations
    819-994-9101