Nextgen extended ‘NextGen’ funding
TORONTO — The federal government has extended its financial commitment to athletes who are expected to reach their peak performances in 2022 and beyond.
The $5 million per year earmarked specifically for athletes known as “NextGen” is no longer limited to the initial four-year term pledged in the 2016 federal budget, but is now an ongoing, annual commitment.
Minister of Sport Carla Qualtrough made the announcement Friday in Toronto.
The federal government money came on the condition that Own The Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee collectively match the $5 million via their own corporate fundraising and thus double the money going to NextGen athletes.
COC chief executive officer Chris Overholt said Friday the Royal Bank of Canada is contributing to the matching funds.
“This new funding means that truly promising athletes, whatever their means or background, can find the financial support they need to pursue their Olympic dreams,” Overholt said.
“The Next Generation Initiative funding program is an opportunity for all Canadians, from our corporate partners to private citizens, to step up and invest in Canada’s future podium success.
“RBC is the first company to announce their support for the NextGen program to the Canadian Olympic Foundation.”
One of the conclusions of a sport report released in June by the Department of Heritage — Sport Canada falls under its umbrella — was that not enough money was going to athletes five to eight years from their peak performances.
“We cannot sustain this level of success and this level of podium results — given that the field is increasingly competitive — without looking a little further down the pipe to make sure we have athletes to keep generating those results for us,” Qualtrough said when that report was made public.