OTTAWA, Dec. 2, 2014 /CNW/ - Sport giving is in the spotlight this year on Giving Tuesday as the Canadian Paralympic Committee officially launches its "From Playground to Podium" fundraising campaign, inviting Canadians to give a tax-deductible gift of sport.
Funds raised through the campaign will support programs and activities that have a lasting impact at the initial point of contact with aspiring athletes. To contribute, please visit Paralympic.ca/donate.
"Only a very small percentage of Canadians with a disability are active in organized sport, compared to the general population, and that is a fact we are working hard to improve," said CEO Karen O'Neill. "To have a podium full of Canadian athletes, we need a playground full of participants."
Funds raised will help the Canadian Paralympic Committee enhance its world-leading programs, which range from introductory "get involved" awareness programs, to school resources, to adapted sports equipment purchases and many more. A full list is at Paralympic.ca/programs-and-resources.
Top athletes and corporations are already on board, including Sochi 2014 para-alpine skiing gold medallist Josh Dueck, as well as four-time Paralympic swimmer and Toronto 2015 Chef de Mission Elisabeth Walker-Young. Corporate partners Canadian Tire Corporations, Petro-Canada and Pfizer Canada have each pledged to collectively match donations up to $30,000.
"I am who I am due to how I was raised and through my participation in Paralympic sport," said Walker-Young. "I may have medals to my name, have stood on international podiums, but it wouldn't have happened had I not climbed monkey bars with my sister or played in gym class. It's about being active. Not everyone will be a Paralympian, but everyone deserves to be able to dream to be one."
"This campaign is important to me," added Dueck, "as the CPC has played a significant role in my personal development as an athlete, since I was first injured 10 years ago. Through my journey, the power of sport has helped me to transcend many perceived barriers, both physical and emotional. Because of the opportunities created through sport, my story is one of inspiration, rather than tragedy."
The Canadian Paralympic Committee's quest to be at the top of Paralympic podiums is fueled by a belief that outstanding performances by high performance athletes with a disability will change attitudes and inspire greater levels of physical activity for people with disabilities in Canada.
The From Playground to Podium campaign will create opportunity, provide leadership and inspire excellence. It's also timely, as tomorrow, Dec. 3, is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
"This is an investment that all Canadians can take pride in," said O'Neill. "A gift of sport may be just what is needed to nurture a future potential Paralympic champion. Our sincere thanks to all our supporters."
The campaign runs until Dec. 31, 2014.
About the Canadian Paralympic Committee
The Canadian Paralympic Committee is a non-profit, private organization with 25 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic Movement. The Canadian Paralympic Committee's vision is to be the world's leading Paralympic nation. Its mission is to lead the development of a sustainable Paralympic sport system in Canada to enable athletes to reach the podium at the Paralympic Games. By supporting Canadian high performance athletes with a disability and promoting their success, the Canadian Paralympic Committee inspires all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organizations. For more information, visit www.paralympic.ca
Image with caption: "Calgary, AB - June 5 2014 - Josh Dueck speaks to the students of Douglasdale School during the Celebration of Excellence Heroes Tour in Calgary (CNW Group/Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141202_C7554_PHOTO_EN_8835.jpg
Image with caption: "Phillip Kujawa is featured in a photoshoot for the Canadian Paralympic Committee Recruitment Ad Campaign entitled "It's More Than Sport" (CNW Group/Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141202_C7554_PHOTO_EN_8836.jpg
SOURCE: Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)
For further information: Alison Korn, Senior Manager, Media Relations and Communications, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Phone: 613-569-4333 ext. 243, Cell: 613-298-4927, firstname.lastname@example.org; Martin Richard, Executive Director, Communications and Marketing, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Tel: 613-569-4333 ext. 224, Cell: 613-725-4339, email@example.com