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Karol-Ann Canuel Awarded HBC Athlete Bursary – Program Provides Direct Support to Athletes

release by the Canadian Olympic Team

June 02, 2016 – On June 1, the HBC Foundation and the Canadian Olympic Foundation (COF) announced an exciting new program that is making a marked difference in the lives of Canadian high-performance athletes. The HBC Athlete Bursary Program will award 50 Canadian athletes $10,000 annually.

Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) competes at the Richmond 2015 World Championships  ©  Cor Vos
Beginning in 2016, it’s a $2.5 million investment that provides bursary recipients with sustainable funding over the next five years. Athletes can invest the dollars toward activities that will benefit their development such as international competition, sport science support, daily training programs, new equipment, coaching and nutrition. Athletes can also use the bursary to offset personal expenses, like rent and transportation, that can be challenging as full-time training rarely leaves room for full-time employment.

Thirteen bursary recipients were on hand at the Hudson’s Bay 15th annual Charity Golf Tournament to celebrate the announcement.

Over 500 athletes applied to be part of the program. The 50 selected hail from across the country, and are a mix of Olympic hopefuls and veterans, representing 31 sports. There are 22 men and 28 women that are part of the program.

“The HBC Athlete Bursary Program is an incredible initiative and provides substantial support to the selected athletes,” says Leanne Nicolle, Executive Director, Canadian Olympic Foundation. “The group is an exciting mix of Olympic medalists and veterans, and up and coming talent. We are so excited to see the things that they can accomplish with the help of these funds.”

The Canadian Olympic Foundation worked with the HBC Foundation on a call for applications that went out to all National Sports Federations (NSF).  A selection committee consisting of representatives from the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), the Canadian Olympic Foundation (COF) and HBC Foundation was faced with the daunting task of reviewing over 500 applications and selecting the final 50.

“I am honoured and grateful to be a part of the HBC Athlete Bursary Program,” says Ivanie Blondin, Sochi 2014 Olympian and 2016 women’s speed skating mass start world champion. “On behalf of the other 50 athletes in the program, thank you to the HBC Foundation and Canadian Olympic Foundation for the opportunity. This financial help will go a long way toward helping us achieve our athletic goals.”

The funds, which were dispersed in January, have already had a positive impact on the recipients.

“Field hockey cleats are sport specific – we can’t just wear an astro-turf cleat. The shoes are expensive, and we go through a few pairs every season. Thanks to the HBC athlete bursary program, I’ve been able to order new shoes,” says Matthew Sarmento, Canadian men’s field hockey athlete and bursary recipient. “Since receiving the funds, I’ve also been able to buy more nutritious groceries and I’ve purchased a bike for commuting to and from training. In speaking with other athletes who are part of the program, we all agree that this money makes a world of difference in our lives.”

Since 2005, HBC has raised $42 million through fundraising programs like the Red Mittens, an ongoing annual initiative that is symbolic of HBC’s commitment to Canadian athletes.

HBC Foundation and the Canadian Olympic Foundation are proud to announce the 50 successful bursary candidates for 2016:

  • Jennifer Abel, Diving
  • Meghan Agosta, Ice Hockey
  • Heather Bansley, Beach Volleyball
  • Khamica Bingham, Athletics
  • Melissa Bishop, Athletics
  • Ellie Black, Artistic Gymnastics
  • Ivanie Blondin, Long Track Speed Skating
  • Jamie Broder, Beach Volleyball
  • Mandy Bujold, Boxing
  • Karol-Ann Canuel, Road Cycling
  • Ryan Cochrane, Swimming
  • Nicolas Constantin-Bicari, Water Polo
  • Dustin Cook, Alpine Skiing
  • Charle Cournoyer, Short Track Speed Skating
  • Simon d’Artois, Freestyle Skiing – Halfpipe
  • Justine Dufour-Lapointe, Freestyle Skiing – Moguls
  • Philippe Gagné, Diving
  • Travis Gerrits, Freestyle Skiing – Aerials
  • Samuel Girard, Short Track Speed Skating
  • Magali Harvey, Rugby
  • Taylor Henrich, Ski Jumping
  • Gilmore Junio, Long Track Speed Skating
  • Mikaël Kingsbury, Freestyle Skiing – Moguls
  • Melissa Lotholz, Bobsleigh
  • Conlin McCabe, Rowing
  • Kimberley McRae, Luge
  • Erin Mielzynski, Alpine Skiing
  • Christabel Nettey, Athletics
  • Nam Nguyen, Figure Skating
  • Emily Overholt, Swimming
  • Joseph Polossifakis, Fencing
  • Taylor Ruck, Swimming
  • Ben Russell, Canoe/Kayak Sprint
  • Matthew Sarmento, Field Hockey
  • Chaim Schalk, Beach Volleyball
  • Kelsey Serwa, Ski Cross
  • Darcy Sharpe, Snowboard
  • Jacqueline Simoneau, Synchronized Swimming
  • Cameron Smedley, Canoe/Kayak Slalom
  • Nathan Smith, Biathlon
  • Kirsten Sweetland, Triathlon
  • Marielle Thompson, Ski Cross
  • Benjamin Thorne, Athletics
  • Yuki Tsubota, Freestyle Skiing – Slopestyle
  • Antoine Valois-Fortier, Judo
  • Chantal Van Landeghem, Swimming
  • Elisabeth Vathje, Skeleton
  • Rudy Verhoeff, Volleyball
  • Erica Wiebe, Wrestling
  • Carling Zeeman, Rowing

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