A tagline created by Holly Micuda, a 13 year old Oakville girl who is trying to raise funds for Canadian athletes on the world stage. Grass roots initiatives like these have been popping up around Jane Roos’s Canadian Athletes Now Fund for the past 12 years. Her goal is simple, to see Canadians shine on the world stage and to give athletes the funds necessary to have a legitimate shot at making there. Her fund has raised over 10 million dollars during its life and she has given it directly to the athletes to cover the additional expense not covered by the athletes’ respective National Sporting Organizations. She wants athletes to know they are valued and are supported by the citizens of this great nation. Sport takes money to work well and if the Canadian public is to rally behind our athletes we can all take part as being one of , “Team Canada” in Vancouver .
The Canadian Athletes Now Fund is a charity that lets you know which athlete you have supported and also give you a tax receipt for your donation. I was a five time recipient of this fund and without a doubt in my mind part of the gold medal I have, is due to the support of this fund.
Athletes face many obstacles to be able to shine on the world stage. First and foremost there is having the physical ability to do a given sport. The next is a willingness to train and compete with no guarantees. These two qualities are what propel athletes on a daily basis no matter what else is around them. What comes next is a series of items that help the athlete achieve greater heights than they would ever be able to on their own. Such as coaching, equipment, specialized training facilities, performance services (massage/ physio), proper nutrition support and opportunities to compete in high level competitions. What differs between these components from the initial two is that they cost money. The more well developed these components are the greater the chance of an athlete succeeding.
Does money mean more medals? More success? Not always, but in my experience it definitely allows an athlete to have more consistent performances and greater ability to grow from each performance. What I want to explore is why, we as Canadian should stand up and show our support to see our great nation succeed in sport.
It is my guess that if we are proud of our nation and realize how lucky we are to be a part of its physical beauty, its people and its opportunities, that we would also want everyone within its walls to be as successful as they can be. Altruistic sure, but those that are not afraid to envision this, should be able to see that a completely unified nation supporting each other could be a great place to live.
My Idea is why not let sport be a rallying point for all Canadians to cheer, gather and embrace this great nation we live in. Sport is a unique aspect of human culture that is measureable, and with little explanation it is universally understood who is: “Higher, Faster and Stronger” . I believe each one of us at some point in our lives has had the dream of being the best at something, no matter how obscure/normal it may be. What is great about sport is that it allows us to reveal absolutely who is the best at something.
This is why sport can then provide a vehicle of motivation for the rest of us to achieve our bests in whatever we choose to put our energy in. It shows us there can be numerous paths to that desired success and if we can persevere through tough times, learn our mistakes and respect our competitors/friends/coaches/mentors we all might have a better shot at our lives.
For myself, the elation that comes with wining a sporting event is amazing; it is my hope that all Canadians at some point in their lives feel a similar rush. For some, these sorts of feelings are created in other avenues other than sport but what I find especially great about the Olympic games in Vancouver is that we can be first hand witness to others success at the highest levels.
Our athletes’ are doing everything they can to be this motivation, so the rest of Canada to look up to them and unite around this excellence. But there is this tiny little piece that is still missing; the absolute funding to do it. Currently there are still 100 athletes who are still on Jane Roos’ wait list for additional funding. This last minute funding will help cover bank loans used to purchase equipment, massage and physiotherapy bills, and the peace of mind of mind that a Canada is behind them in their quest of Gold. So to close my piece, I want to let you all know how to help our Canadian athletes succeed and to say “you” were a part of their success.
Go to http://www.canadianathletesnow.ca and donate Now!
Tax receipts are given and you will find out which athlete you have supported.