BOW VALLEY – Eight $1,000 bursaries were given to local athletes and coaches in support of their training and development as part of a new program from Bow Valley True Sport and Recreation Council.
The inaugural winners of the Bow Valley Sports Hall of Fame Athlete and Coach Assistance Program were announced this month, however plans to officially recognize the athletes were postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
“We’re excited to launch this program for athlete and coach assistance and I really think it’s going to help some young and aspiring athletes and coaches to reach the next level in their sport,” said Bill Fisher, chair of the Bow Valley True Sport and Recreation Council.
The eight recipients include seven athletes: Karly Coyne (biathlon), Laurence Dumais (cross-country skiing), Tabitha Williams (cross-country skiing), Alexa Vanier (climbing), Anika Villemaire (curling), Ellie Sucharda (gymnastics), Dane Menzies (snowboarding), and coach Tracey Gage (mountain biking).
Funding for the grants comes from a portion of the profits from the annual Bow Valley Sports Hall of Fame dinner every September, which honours the exceptional athletes, sport builders, and pioneers of this area.
“We wanted to make sure some of the money of that is going back to support up an coming athletes in the Bow Valley,” Fisher said.
Fisher added over 30 candidates of all ages applied for the assistance program's inaugural year and the council narrowed it down based on athletes on the verge of reaching the next step, whether it’s a provincial standout looking to hit the national stage, or a national level athlete nipping at the heels of international competition.
“Those are kind of things we’re looking at; the potential of moving forward,” Fisher said. "It's a wonderful way to help support them because it can be tough finding sponsors and every little bit helps."
For more information, contact the Bow Valley True Sport and Recreation Council at its website bowvalleysport.ca.