Canadian Paralympic Committee supports federal government's investment for summer sports excellence program



    OTTAWA, Feb. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)
expressed support for the federal government on Tuesday for including money in
the 2008 federal budget for a summer Olympic and Paralympic sports.
    Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in his third budget on February 26
approved $24 million over two years and $24 million per year ongoing to
support athletes for the Summer Olympics, falling short of the $30 million
annually the CPC was requesting over the next five years for the Road to
Excellence Program.
    "This is a significant step in the right direction towards ensuring
Canada's Paralympic summer athletes have the support to achieve success, be
role models for Canadians with disabilities, and help change the minds of all
Canadians of how they perceive disabilities", said CPC Chef Operating Officer,
Brian MacPherson.
    "CPC looks forward to continue working with the federal government
towards securing all the support requested by the Road to Excellence program
so Canada remains in the top 5 countries at the Paralympic Summer Games",
added MacPherson.
    The Road to Excellence Program is aimed at helping Canada's Olympic and
Paralympic summer athletes achieve international success. Specifically the
goal is to help Canada achieve a top five placing in the medal standing by
nation at the 2012 Paralympic Games and a top 12 finish at the 2012 Olympic
Games.
    "The money for the Road to Excellence program is necessary to ensure our
amateur athletes can reach their full potential at upcoming summer Paralympic
and Olympic Games," noted CPC President Carla Qualtrough. "This financial
support will be used to hire more full-time coaches and additional members of
performance enhancement teams, provide more opportunities for our athletes to
compete and do more research to ensure they have optimum training conditions
in the lead-up to the Games."
    In February, the Standing Committee on Finance recommended the Road to
Excellence money - an amount that is equivalent to about $1 per Canadian - be
included in the budget.

    About the Canadian Paralympic Committee

    The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) is a non-profit, charitable,
private organization that is recognized by the International Paralympic
Committee (IPC). The CPC delivers programs that strengthen the Paralympic
Movement in Canada, including sending Canadian teams to the Paralympic Games.
The CPC empowers persons with physical disabilities, through sport, at all
levels. For more information, visit www.paralympic.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Norma Reveler, media relations, Canadian
Paralympic Committee, (613) 569-4333, ext. 227, norma@paralympic.ca.


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