TORONTO (February 8, 2024) – On Thursday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) revealed 15 Olympian-led projects that will receive the OLY Canada Legacy Grant, now in its fifth year.
This edition awarded a total of $100,000 to 15 Olympian-led non-profit initiatives, each of which focuses on sport access, sport safety or sustainability in their communities. This brings the total funding awarded by the grant since its inception in 2019 to $345,000.
The OLY Canada Legacy Grant is designed to reflect the three pillars of Team Canada’s impact program: the COC’s commitment to making sport safe, inclusive and barrier-free so that more young people can play and stay in the sport.
The selected projects are divided into three categories:
- Podium – helps strengthen the sport system and support the athlete’s journey
- Play — improves accessibility, encourages inclusion and diversity among youth and communities at all levels of sport
- Planet – promotes and supports environmental sustainability, the health of our planet and the preservation of our sporting environments
The recipients of the fifth edition of the OLY Canada Heritage Grant are:
Carol Huynh OLY – Wrestling – Beijing 2008, London 2012
Breaking down barriers promotes the development of female wrestling coaches through panels, workshops and camps to promote diversity in sports and create a safer environment for female athletes.
Jill Moffatt OLY – Rowing – Tokyo 2020
Momentum supports Canadian elite female athletes with family planning needs during their preparation and recovery from national team events through grants, education, mentoring of other athletes and legal resources . The project is carried out in collaboration with Olympians Melissa Bishop-Nriagu (athletics), Mandy Bujold (boxing), Kim Gaucher (basketball) and Paralympian Erica Gavel (wheelchair basketball).
Jessica Tudos OLY – Artistic Gymnastics – Los Angeles 1984
FLIP-IT by Jessica Tudos hosts an educational retreat for women and female-identifying leaders in the gymnastics community. The event facilitates conversations around promoting allyship and adopting actions, behaviors and practices in support of a more ethical and safer journey in sport.
Caroline Ouellette,OLY – Ice hockey – Salt Lake City 2002, Turin 2006, Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014
Celebrating Women’s Hockey is a four-day event in Montreal that connects women’s hockey players from the Olympic and national teams with the next generation to inspire more young girls to play hockey and help them discover opportunities in the sport.
Brandon McBride OLY – Athletics – Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020
McBride Youth United Association Mentoring Program is an eight-week mentoring program that helps racialized and under-recognized youth cultivate a growth mindset and increase their podium representation in various areas of play.
Phil Monckton OLY – Rowing – Montreal 1976, Los Angeles 1984
THE David and Mary Thomson HS Rowing Program introduces rowing to new young Canadians, many of whom have had no exposure to organized sport prior to this program. Participants embark on a journey that takes them through a range of activities from the basics of swimming to advanced rowing, all with the underlying goal of building resilience and perseverance.
Charles Hamelin OLY – Short track speed skating – Turin 2006, Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014, PyeongChang 2018, Beijing 2022
Swipe to Integration welcomes newcomers to Quebec with an introductory skating class focused on community development and fun in the context of the iconic Place Bell in Laval.
Laura Stacey OLY – Ice Hockey – PyeongChang 2018, Beijing 2022
LS7 participates in charity road hockey tournament is an annual event that engages the local community in a road hockey tournament, raising money for charities that will help under-recognized youth enroll in sports programs.
Cendrine Brown OLY – Cross-country skiing – PyeongChang 2018, Beijing 2022
Laura Leclair OLY – Cross-country skiing – Beijing 2022
Feminaction organizes camps, trains ambassadors and creates mentoring programs for female coaches with the goal of retaining female cross-country ski athletes at higher levels. The program is shaped by the values of cohesion, sharing, mutual aid and daring.
Liam Gill OLY – Snowboard – Beijing 2022
Liam and his friends welcomes young participants from rural communities in Alberta and the Northwest Territories where many Indigenous athletes face barriers – poverty, isolation, health issues, intergenerational trauma caused by residential schools, cultural barriers and lack of opportunities – which affect access to sport. Youth will benefit from safe opportunities to socialize and have fun while developing their leadership skills.
Ariane Bonhomme OLY – Track cycling – Tokyo 2020
Scout Project takes a decolonial approach to sport to strengthen the representation of indigenous peoples in elite and grassroots cycling. By showcasing indigenous talent at the elite level, Explorers hopes to offer the sporting community an alternative framework to train elite athletes in a safer environment.
Mark Pearson OLY – Field hockey – Beijing 2008, Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020
Field of dreams is a summer series designed to engage rural and underserved communities along the Gatineau River in the sport of field hockey. The two weekends of programming will remove barriers to sports infrastructure and create a safe environment to learn and participate in field hockey, with the goal of inspiring a love of sport and the Olympic Movement.
Kelleigh Ryan OLY – Fencing – Tokyo 2020
In collaboration with fencing clubs across Alberta, Eliminate fences for fencers will support Indigenous communities and young girls with the financial costs of introductory fencing programs to encourage fitness and skill development.
Julie-Anne Staehli OLY – Athletics – Tokyo 2020
Inspired by the idea of another life running shoes, The ReRUN Shoe Project removes barriers to a more active lifestyle by distributing little-used shoes that would otherwise be thrown away to disadvantaged youth.
Marion Thénault OLY – Freestyle skiing – Beijing 2022
Small footprints, big leaps creates guidelines for individual athletes to become carbon neutral in their sporting activities while also pushing event organizers to implement these guidelines, starting with the FIS Freestyle World Cup for Relay jumps.
The OLY Canada Legacy Grant is part of the OLY Canada Alumni Initiative launched in 2017 by the COC Athlete Marketing and Olympic Legacy team. The program was created to complement the global initiative launched by the World Olympians Association which awards Olympians with post-nominal letters (OLYs) in recognition of their years of hard work, dedication and promotion of Olympic values. For more information on the OLY Canada Fifth Edition Legacy Grant process and selected projects, visit the OLY Canada website.
“After five editions of the OLY Canada Legacy Grant, I continue to be blown away by these incredible projects and everything Canadian Olympians are doing to make a real impact in their communities. The depth and breadth of these programs illustrate the many ways sport can help make the world a better place. We are proud to provide this funding to our largest group of recipients to date and look forward to seeing the impact of their programs on Canadians and their communities.
– David Shoemaker, COC President, CEO and Secretary General
“We are thrilled to support this year’s recipients of the OLY Canada Legacy Grant, such an important part of Team Canada’s impact program. For five years now, we have seen the magnitude of the impact these programs can have on their communities and the country as a whole. This edition, we are proud to support more Olympian-led projects than ever before, all of which are simply inspiring.
– Jacqueline Ryan, CEO of the Canadian Olympic Foundation and COC Head of Brand and Business Affairs
“I am honored to receive the generous grant from the Canadian Olympic Committee for the “Slide into Integration” event, where skating becomes the common thread of a sporting experience anchored in our culture. Through graceful movements on the ice, we aim to welcome newcomers, foster family connections and promote integration, as sport transcends borders, uniting our communities through a shared passion.
— Charles Hamelin OLY, five-time Olympian in speed skating, recipient of the OLY Legacy scholarship (fifth edition)
“It’s incredible to receive the OLY Legacy Grant. This grant allows us to make tangible changes for today’s athletes, filling a critical resource gap in the area of family planning. We came together across different sports and with different motherhood experiences, so it’s exciting to pool our creativity, curiosity and passion to create something special.
— Jill Moffat OLY, rowing Olympian, recipient of the OLY Legacy Grant (fifth edition)
About OLY Canada
OLY Canada is an alumni initiative launched in 2017 by the Canadian Olympic Committee. The program was created to complement the global initiative launched by the World Olympians Association which awards Olympians with post-nominal letters (OLYs) in recognition of their years of hard work, dedication and promotion of Olympic values.
Email: [email protected]
Program Manager, Public Relations
Email: [email protected]
“Web specialist. Social media ninja. Amateur food aficionado. Alcohol advocate. General creator. Beer guru.”