Team Canada unveils fifth edition OLY Canada Legacy Grant recipients
TORONTO (February 8, 2024) – On Thursday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) unveiled 15 Olympian-led projects that will receive the OLY Canada Legacy Grant, now in its fifth edition.
This edition awarded a total of $100,000 across the 15 Olympian-led not-for-profit initiatives, each of which focuses on access to sport, safe sport, or sustainability in their communities. This brings the total funding that the grant has provided since its inception in 2019 to $345,000.
The OLY Canada Legacy Grant is designed to reflect the three pillars of the Team Canada Impact Agenda – the COC’s commitment to making sport safe, inclusive and barrier-free so more young people can play and stay in sport.
The selected projects fall into three categories:
- Podium – helps to strengthen the sport system and support the athlete journey
- Play — improves accessibility, encourages inclusivity 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 Legacy Grant are:
Carol Huynh OLY – Wrestling – Beijing 2008, London 2012
Taking Down Barriers empowers the development of female wrestling coaches through panels, workshops and camps to promote diversity in the sport and create a safer environment for female athletes.
Jill Moffatt OLY – Rowing – Tokyo 2020
MOMentum supports elite Canadian female athletes with any family planning needs during their preparation and recovery from national team events through grants, education, mentorship from fellow athletes, and legal resources. The project is 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
Jessica Tudos’ FLIP IT hosts an educational retreat for female and female-identifying leaders in the gymnastics community. The event facilitates conversations around the promotion of allyship and the adoption of actions, behaviours, and practices in support of a more ethical and safe journey in the sport.
Caroline Ouellette,OLY – Ice Hockey – Salt Lake City 2002, Turin 2006, Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014
Girls Hockey Celebration is a four-day event in Montreal that connects Olympic and national team women’s hockey players with the next generation to inspire more young girls to play hockey and help them to discover opportunities in the sport.
Brandon McBride OLY – Athletics – Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020
McBride Youth United Association’s Mentorship Program is an eight-week mentorship program helping underrecognized, racialized youth cultivate a growth-oriented mindset and increase representation at the podium in various fields of play.
Phil Monckton OLY – Rowing – Montreal 1976, Los Angeles 1984
The David and Mary Thomson HS Rowing Program introduces rowing to new Canadian youth, 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 swimming basics 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
Glissez vers l’Integration welcomes newcomers to the province of Quebec with an introductory skating course focused on community building and fun against the backdrop of the iconic Place Bell in Laval.
Laura Stacey OLY – Ice Hockey – PyeongChang 2018, Beijing 2022
LS7 Sticks In For Charity Road Hockey Tournament is an annual event that engages the local community in a road hockey tournament, raising funds for charities that will help underrecognized 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 mentorship programs for female coaches with the goal of retaining female cross-country skiing athletes at higher levels. The program is shaped by the values of cohesion, sharing, mutual aid, and audacity.
Liam Gill OLY – Snowboard – Beijing 2022
Liam & 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 from residential schools, cultural barriers, and a lack of opportunity – that affect access to sport. Youth will be provided safe opportunities to socialize and have fun while developing leadership skills.
Ariane Bonhomme OLY – Track Cycling – Tokyo 2020
Pathfinders Project takes a decolonial approach to sport in order to boost the representation of Indigenous people in elite and grassroots cycling. By showcasing Indigenous talent at the elite level, Pathfinders hopes to offer the sporting community an alternative framework to nurture 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, underserved communities along the Gatineau River with the sport of field hockey. The two weekends of programming will remove barriers to sporting infrastructure and create a safe environment to learn and participate in field hockey, with the aim of inspiring a love of sport and the Olympic Movement.
Kelleigh Ryan OLY – Fencing – Tokyo 2020
In collaboration with fencing clubs throughout Alberta, Eliminating Fences for Fencers will support Indigenous communities and young girls with the financial costs of introductory fencing programs to encourage physical fitness and skill development.
Julie-Anne Staehli OLY – Athletics – Tokyo 2020
Inspired by the idea of giving running shoes another life, The ReRUN Shoe Project removes barriers to a more active lifestyle by distributing lightly used shoes that would otherwise be thrown away to under-resourced youth.
Marion Thénault OLY – Freestyle Skiing – Beijing 2022
Small Footprint, Big Jumps creates guidelines for individual athletes to become carbon-neutral in their sporting activities while also pushing event organizers to apply those guidelines, starting with the FIS Freestyle World Cup for aerials in Le Relais.
The OLY Canada Legacy Grant is a part of the OLY Canada alumni initiative that was launched in 2017 by the COC’s Athlete Marketing and Olympian Legacy team. The program was created to complement the global initiative started by the World Olympians Association that gives Olympians post-nominal letters (OLY) in recognition of their years of hard work, dedication and promotion of Olympic values. For more information on the fifth edition OLY Canada 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 all that Canadian Olympians are doing to make a real impact in their communities. The depth and breadth of these programs illustrate the many ways that sport can help make the world a better place. We are proud to extend the funding to our largest group of recipients to date and look forward to seeing the effects of their programs for Canadians and their communities.”
– David Shoemaker, COC Chief Executive Officer and Secretary General
“We are thrilled to support this year’s recipients of the OLY Canada Legacy Grant, such an important part of the Team Canada Impact Agenda. For five years now we’ve seen how large an impact these programs can have on their communities and the country as a whole. This edition, we’re proud to support more Olympian-led projects than ever, all of which are nothing short of inspiring.”
– Jacqueline Ryan, Canadian Olympic Foundation CEO and COC Chief Brand and Commercial Officer
“I am honored to receive the generous grant from the Canadian Olympic Committee for the event ‘Slide into Integration’, where skating becomes the common thread of a sports experience rooted in our culture. Through graceful movement on the ice, we aim to welcome newcomers, foster familial bonds, and promote integration, as sport transcends borders, uniting our communities through shared passion.”
— Charles Hamelin OLY, Five-time Olympian in speed skating, OLY Legacy Grant recipient (fifth edition)
“It feels amazing to receive the OLY Legacy Grant. This grant empowers us to effect tangible change for current athletes, by addressing a crucial resource gap in the realm of family planning. We’ve come together across different sports and with differing experiences regarding motherhood, so it is exciting to pool our creativity, curiosity, and passion, together to create something special”
— Jill Moffat OLY, Olympian in rowing, OLY Legacy Grant recipient (fifth edition)
About OLY Canada
OLY Canada is an alumni initiative that was launched in 2017 by the Canadian Olympic Committee. The program was created to complement the global initiative started by the World Olympians Association that gives Olympians post-nominal letters (OLY) in recognition of their years of hard work, dedication and promotion of Olympic values.
Program Manager, Public Relations