AthletesCAN to receive Government of Canada financial support to enhance the Athlete Voice

Minister of Sport Pascale St-Onge and AthletesCAN President Erin Willson speak with national team athletes. Below: AthletesCAN and Canada logos with "Funded by Government of Canada" acknowledgement underneath

TORONTO / OTTAWA – AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, is proud to announce the organization will be receiving $300,000 in financial support from the Government of Canada to enhance the athletes’ voice within the Canadian sport system.

The additional funding was revealed Thursday by The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, as part of a significant announcement regarding new measures to improve accountability and foster sustainable culture change in sport.

“Today’s announcement represents a crucial development in our continued advocacy as the elected representatives of over 6,000 current and recently-retired national team athletes. This will set the foundation for the fundamental changes we have been lobbying for at the federal level and give athletes the voice and opportunity as active partners in the Canadian Sport System. We are grateful to the Federal Government for this important additional funding and their confidence in us to empower and educate athletes as participants in moving towards a safe, welcoming and inclusive sport experience together with our sport and athlete representation partners.”

Erin Willson - AthletesCAN President

The investment will see $200,000 allocated towards collaboration on governance training opportunities for athletes, in order to help AthletesCAN strengthen its capacity and collaboration within the sport system to continue representing the collective voice of national team athletes. The remaining $100,000 will go towards collaboration with the existing Athletes’ Committees and Commissions to strengthen and unify the athletes’ voices across the sport system, thereby recognizing and amplifying their voice and power in decision making processes.

AthletesCAN, the Canadian Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission (COC AC) and the Canadian Paralympic Committee Athletes’ Council (CPC AC) all released a joint statement Thursday, strongly supporting the Minister’s announced reforms. Among the many new requirements, the updated regulations require National Sport Organizations to implement significant governance changes – including the adoption of language in AthletesCAN’s Athlete Agreement Templateprohibiting Non-Disclosure Agreements that conflict with Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS).

“Looking out for athletes’ well-being is my top priority as Minister of Sport. Sport can’t only be about medals and podiums and it is why athletes must have a greater voice at all level of decision-making. The concrete measures I have announced today are part of a long-term shift to turn the tide on a much-needed culture change in sport. The new mandatory requirements will increase the accountability of sport organizations, improve governance practices and prioritize athlete representation in decision-making structures. To help guide our next steps, I look forward to receiving the reports from the two parliamentary committees that have heard the voices of many across the sport community over the last few months.”

The Honourable Pascale St-Onge
Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

About AthletesCAN

AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, is the only fully independent and most inclusive athlete organization in the country and the first organization of its kind in the world.  As the voice of over 6,000 current and recently retired Canadian national team athletes, AthletesCAN membership spans 68 sports across the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan/Parapan American, and Commonwealth Games, and those currently funded by Sport Canada competing at Senior World Championships.

AthletesCAN ensures an athlete-centered sport system by developing athlete leaders who influence sport policy and, as role models, inspire a strong sport culture, through educational resources, support, training and professional development.  

Follow us on social @AthletesCAN and Join #TheCollective today.

For more information, please contact:

Alan Hudes
Manager, Communications and Sport Partnerships
613-526-4025 Ext. 224
[email protected]

Ariane Joazard-Bélizaire
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
[email protected]