Athlete Assistance Program Education Series

Attention athletes!

Did you know you may be eligible for financial support for all your hard work representing our country? Sport Canada’s Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) provides direct financial assistance to Canadian high-performance athletes.

Did You Know?

Athletes that compete for AAP-eligible National Sport Organizations (NSOs) may be eligible for AAP funding if they meet the sport-specific AAP carding criteria and are nominated by their NSO. To check if you are eligible for AAP funding, click below for the list of sports that qualify for AthletesCAN membership and follow the links to each individual website for more detailed carding information where applicable. 

The Breakdown

For all eligible athletes, Sport Canada provides financial support for living, training, tuition expenses and more! Your carding status and level is determined based on meeting the AAP-approved, sport-specific carding criteria (which normally includes standards achieved at national and international competitions) and being nominated by your NSO. Tuition support up to $5,500 per carding cycle is available to eligible carded athletes and is capped at a lifetime maximum. Courses at Canadian universities or colleges that are publicly supported are eligible. Other Canadian educational institutions or courses leading to a degree, diploma or certificate may also qualify for support. Carded athletes who have been unable to attend a post-secondary institution due to their training and competition commitments, are able to claim eligible expenses through Deferred Tuition support!

Other forms of support offered include Excellence Living and Training Allowance, Child Dependent Allowance, Training and Competition Allowance for Paralympic athletes with high support needs, Relocation Assistance, Child Care Assistance and Retirement Assistance.

Athlete Agreement

Did you know that NSOs nominate annually all eligible athletes who have met the sport-specific carding criteria for the AAP, up to the maximum quota of cards that they have available to them? Furthermore, the NSO must have an agreement in place with you for you to receive your funding. However, as an athlete, you have the right to negotiate any of the clauses with the NSO. It is necessary to agree to the terms required by Sport Canada including NSO and athlete obligations related to the national team and the AAP requirements, for funding consideration.

If you have more questions about negotiating your contract, follow these simple steps:

1. Check out section 7 of the AAP Policies & Procedures for what’s required in an Athlete/NSO Agreement in order to receive funding.

2. Read into the AthletesCAN Athlete Agreement Template and feel free to suggest changes to your NSO

3. Can’t figure it out? Contact Sport Solution for support!

Final Considerations

Some final tips and tricks:

  • Sometimes, an important piece of an athlete’s agreement is the requirement to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). If you have any concerns about your NDA, please bring them forward to your NSO for clarification of expectations.
  • Occasionally, your sport might need to change the start of the annual carding cycle (which normally lasts 12 months), in order to better align with adjusted competition schedules for major international events. If your NSO is considering a possible change through negotiations with Sport Canada, Athlete representatives who are on their NSO’s High Performance Committee can potentially be involved in the discussions at the national level in order to remain informed. All athletes nominated for their NSO’s full carding cycle would be carded for a corresponding adjusted period of more or fewer than 12 months.
  • We hope this educational series gave you new knowledge about the AAP and reassured you about your rights! AthletesCAN and Sport Solution are always here to support you in any difficulties you are experiencing while performing the art of your favourite sport.