Nex­tgen ex­tended ‘Nex­tGen’ fund­ing

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

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.

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