Harper Government Supports the Aileen Meagher International Track Classic

HALIFAX, July 8, 2012 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament (Central Nova), today announced the Government of Canada's contribution to Athletics Canada in support of the Aileen Meagher International Track Classic, part of the 2012 National Track League circuit. The event is being held today in Halifax.

"The Government of Canada, through Sport Canada's Hosting Program, is proud to provide support to Athletics Canada for the 2012 National Track League," said Minister of State Gosal. "I offer my best wishes to our athletes as they pursue excellence here at home in Canada."

"Our government is committed to ensuring that our athletes have opportunities to compete on home soil against the world's best," said Minister Mackay. "Hosting international sport events like this one, not only benefits Canadian athletes, but also has a positive impact on the local economy and the community."

"Athletics Canada is very grateful for the Government of Canada's financial support of the National Track League," said Rob Guy, Chief Executive Officer of Athletics Canada. "The National Track League supports and is helping drive three core pillars of our organization's strategic plan: athlete development, competitions, and organizational capacity. The homegrown international series also brings Canadian and international stars to local communities across Canada."

Athletics Canada is the governing body and franchise holder for athletics in Canada and is a member of the International Association of Athletics Federations. The National Track League is held every year and attracts more than 850 athletes from 21 countries. It offers Canadian high-performance athletes an opportunity to compete against elite athletes at home, while also providing breakthrough opportunities for our young, up-and-coming athletes.

The Government of Canada is the single largest contributor to sport in Canada and supports participation and excellence from playground to podium. Funding of $50,000 has been provided for this event through Sport Canada's Hosting Program. In 2011-2012, Athletics Canada received more than $4.6 million from the Sport Support Program, and almost $2 million was provided through the Athlete Assistance Program to support 162 athletes in various athletics disciplines with living and training expenses.

SOURCE Canadian Heritage

For further information:

For more information (media only), please contact:

Jenny Van Alstyne
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Bal Gosal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of State (Sport)

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

(This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Newsroom.)

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