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‘On the brink of a crisis’: Canadian Olympic, Paralympic committees call for additional athlete funding | CBC Sports

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The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee requested an additional $104 million in federal funding on Monday.

The money would go directly to national sport organizations, whom COC president David Shoemaker described in a press release as being “on the brink of a crisis.”

“NSOs cannot continue on this trajectory. They can’t run deficits, and if nothing changes difficult decisions will have to be made,” he said.

There are 61 NSOs across the country, and they govern amateur sports. Citing a study on those organizations’ financial health from the accounting firm Deloitte, the COC and CPC said the entire sporting system in Canada would regress without increased support.

According to the release, 90 per cent of NSOs are reliant on funding to deliver their services.

Karen O’Neill, chief executive officer of the CPC, said the Paralympic movement in Canada could stall without an injection of money.

“The national sport organizations are critical to the development of Para sport across Canada, and in order to foster a healthy culture of excellence and provide more athletes with the opportunities and tools to succeed, it is clear more resources are needed,” she said.

The $104 million is comprised of $20 million to account for inflation since the last funding increase in 2005; $57 million to lock in short-term funding programs that support things such as gender equity and safe sport; and $27 million to address a growing deficit NSOs are running.

“Our day-to-day costs are increasing with inflation like every Canadian’s, but we also have an important role in ensuring sport is as safe and inclusive as possible,” said Canoe Kayak Canada CEO Casey Wade. “We cannot properly fulfill those duties without an increase in funding.”

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A new plan will see Canadian Paralympians receive as much money as Olympic athletes do when they reach the podium. The money will come from a combination of private grants and government funding.

The call for funding comes fewer than five months until the Paris Olympics begin, and about six months out from the opening ceremony of the Paralympics.

In January, the Paralympic Performance Recognition program was announced, which will reward Canada’s Paralympians with money for medals equal to Olympians. The program included an initial $2 million investment from the federal government.

The COC and CPC warned that “athletes at all levels will suffer” if their funding request is not met.

“Without an immediate injection of funds athletes will suffer in the next 12-18 months,” Shoemaker said. “These funds are necessary for the continued development of a safe and inclusive sport in Canada that will benefit all Canadians.”

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