Fuelling Women Champions expands grant program to support amateur female sport

Canada's dairy farmers accepting applications for the $150,000 fund

OTTAWA, June 27, 2017 /CNW/ - Sports are integral to maintaining health and building confidence, however the vast majority of Canadian females abandon sport as young adults. Canadian dairy farmers are helping break down barriers for amateur female athletes by launching the Champions Fund for the second year, and committing additional funding and grants to help even more young female athletes in 2017. Canada's dairy farmers are currently accepting applications for the $150,000 fund – up from $100,000 in 2016 – which will be distributed as 30 grants of $5,000 to help young female athletes pursue their sports dreams.

"The response in the first year of the Champions Fund was tremendous and stories that young female athletes shared in their applications highlighted their need for support as they face gender inequalities in their chosen sports," says Wally Smith, President of Dairy Farmers of Canada. "Canada's dairy farmers across the country are proud to help support healthy living through the Champions Fund grants and inspire females to achieve all they can in sport through the Fuelling Women Champions initiative."

In its first year, the Champions Fund received more than 2,500 applications for grants. Many of the first-year grant recipients have already used their funds to achieve more in their sport, including the following:

  • Team Canada Deaf Women Volleyball subsidized the costs of travel for team members to attend weekend training camps in preparation for the Deaflympics in Turkey this July.
  • Rower, Carly Zanatta, travelled to Burnaby, BC to compete in the National Rowing Championships and placed first in her age category, allowing her to receive carding for her sport and train at the National Team Centre in London, Ontario this year.
  • Baseball and hockey player, Brooklyn Childs, attended the National Team Development Camp for hockey in Cuba, which allowed her to excel in her games in Atlantic Canada and win Female Athlete of the year for the City of Corner Brook.

The Champions Fund is a nation-wide program, and an extension of the Fuelling Women Champions movement. In its second year, the fund is being expanded to $150,000 – up from $100,000 in 2016 – and will be distributed as 30 grants of $5,000 to female athletes, teams and organizations across Canada. The top 50-60 applicants are selected based on a scorecard and the merits of their applications. Then, the Champions Fund Committee, a board of 10 individuals comprised of dairy farmers and Fuelling Women Champions stakeholders, ambassadors and partners, will select the 30 final grant recipients, who will be announced in October 2017.

According to a 2016 study commissioned by Canada's dairy farmers, only 59 per cent of girls aged 3-17 and 16 per cent of adult women in Canada participate in sport. The Champions Fund, and the overarching initiative, Fuelling Women Champions, aims to inspire girls and women, regardless of age or ability, in local communities across Canada to realize the universal benefits of sport.

For more information, to apply for the Champions Fund, or to get involved in the initiative, visit www.womenchampions.ca. The application period runs from June 20 to September 20, 2017. Fund recipients will be announced in October 2017. Follow and join the movement online to #ChampionHer.

About Fuelling Women Champions
Fuelling Women Champions is a national, multi-year initiative spearheaded by Canada's dairy farmers and it is dedicated to the advancement of women in sport. Canada's dairy farmers are personally committing their time, energy and resources to this cause, and have partnered with several thought-leaders, celebrated athletes, and sports organizations.

SOURCE Dairy Farmers of Canada

For further information: Sybil Eastman / Paul-Mark Rendon, DDB PR, (416) 972-5844 / (416) 972-7784, sybil.eastman@can.ddbpr.com / paul-mark.rendon@can.ddbpr.com


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