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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.

Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing some helpful information about the program to give you all the details you need to know.

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. 

Stay tuned for our next post to learn more about the specific funding available for you!

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.

We will cover your NSO’s involvement and some caveats in the next post!

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! Our final tips still to come in our last post!

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.

Government of Canada provides update and announces action on safe sport

MONTRÉAL – The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, accompanied by sport leaders and athlete representatives, provided an update on and announced measures for safe sport.

First, the Minister followed up on the roundtables launched on March 31, when an initial emergency meeting with various leaders of the sport system was convened to start a dialogue to identify collective solutions.

She noted that several observations clearly emerged from this period of consultation, including the need to improve organizations’ accountability, the need to promote better governance practices within organizations, and the need to increase the representation and voice of athletes in our system.

Second, the Minister took the opportunity to announce new measures that fall within her jurisdiction and will be led by Sport Canada.

Responsibility, Accountability and Governance: Effective April 1, 2023, Sport Canada will make changes to contribution agreements with organizations that will meet the new eligibility requirements of the Sport Funding and Accountability Framework. The goal is to ensure that sport organizations receiving federal funding meet specific governance, accountability and safe sport standards. Over the next few months, Sport Canada will work to develop new requirements and standards to achieve this objective.

Sport Canada Athlete Advisory Committee: This committee will be created to increase the representation of athletes in the sport system and to allow Sport Canada to obtain advice and guidance that reflect the realities of athletes in Canada.

The Minister also stressed the importance of the creation of the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC), which will become operational on June 20. She noted that this independent mechanism will gradually become mandatory for all national sport organizations. She described the establishment of the OSIC as an important step to challenge the culture of silence and to provide a clear and reliable way for all participants in sport to report abuse and mistreatment and to be heard and supported. Budget 2022 proposed an investment of $16 million over three years to support the OSIC.

Finally, Minister St-Onge committed to continuing the work, noting that these new measures are only part of the solution, which is that responsibility must be shared by all leaders in the field. She concluded by noting the importance of the consultations for the renewal of the Canadian Sport Policy in the current context and expressed her support for a constructive dialogue with provincial and territorial partners, which is essential to achieve a change in sport culture.

The Government and its sport partners will continue to work together to ensure that we collectively create a safe and inclusive sport environment for all Canadians.

AthletesCAN, Western Law announce new incoming Program Managers to Sport Solution

AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes and the Faculty of Law at Western University are pleased to announce the appointment of Samuel Gan, Safiya Nanji and Laura Wade as incoming Program Managers with Sport Solution.

Gan, Nanji and Wade – who are all entering their second year at Western Law in London, Ont. – began their respective terms on May 2 and will be with the program for the next two years.

“We are excited to welcome Samuel, Safiya and Laura to the Sport Solution team," said Amanda Fowler, Sport Solution’s Supervising Lawyer, and an Adjunct Professor with Western Law specializing in representing professional and high-performance athletes “They have already produced excellent work, and we are confident they will make a positive impact in the lives of AthletesCAN members with our unique collaboration.”

Sport Solution was founded in 1996, when AthletesCAN joined forces with the Sports Law Centre, the Faculty of Law at Western, and the Dispute Resolution Centre to create a program that would help Canada’s national team athletes resolve and prevent legal conflicts in sport.  

The program is the only one of its kind in North America, and is available free for all members, providing relevant information, assistance and guidance on sport issues that may require legal counsel.

With these new appointments, AthletesCAN and Western Law thank outgoing Program Managers Brittany Bates, Greg Cherniak and Tyler Matthews, who have served Sport Solution since 2020 and will graduate from law school this spring. Hannah Dobie and Rheanna Geisel enter their second year with Sport Solution, continuing in their roles until Spring 2023.

“For over 25 years, Sport Solution has helped amplify the voices of Canada’s national team athletes. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Western Law with our new slate of program managers and help ensure athletes are heard in formal sport processes such as team selection, carding, safe sport, discipline disputes and anti-doping matters.”

Erin Willson - AthletesCAN President

2022-24 SPORT SOLUTION PROGRAM MANAGERS

Samuel Gan headshot

Samuel Gan is a second-year JD/MBA student at Western. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from St. Francis Xavier University before working for two years in a technology start-up. During Gan’s first year of law school, he volunteered with Project Consent for Pro Bono Students Canada, where he provided consent education to local high school students.

Gan recently completed his U SPORTS varsity athletics career with the Western Mustangs track and field team after initially competing with the St. Francis Xavier X-Men varsity football and track teams. With extensive experience in team and individual sports, Gan values the diversity of approaches to high-performance athletics and understands the challenges of balancing the pursuit of greatness in sport with the stresses of everyday responsibilities.

Gan is excited to be joining the Sport Solution Clinic as a Program Manager and eager to contribute to the important work of supporting Canadian athletes. Through his work, Gan hopes to remove obstacles and issues faced by athletes so they can focus on being the best that they can be.

Safiya Nanji headshotSafiya Nanji is a second-year law student at Western University. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University and a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University, where she specialized in human rights. Her thesis focused on the exploitation and abuse pertaining to restorative justice in international conflict zones. 

 Prior to law school, Nanji interned at Parliament and Physicians for Human Rights, where she gained valuable experience instituting change at both the grassroots and macro-policy levels. These transferable skills will be particularly beneficial in serving clients’ interests and communicating with large organizations.

During her first year of law school, Nanji worked with the Sport Solution Clinic as a caseworker and thoroughly enjoyed combining her passion for advocacy and sports. She has been particularly interested in the area of safe sport and ensuring that all athletes have a safe physical and mental training environment. Nanji is excited to be taking on the role of a Program Manager and is committed to upholding the Clinic’s high standard in serving and supporting Canadian athletes.

Laura Wade headshotLaura Wade is a second-year law student at Western. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and criminology from St. Thomas University (STU). Prior to attending law school, she worked in the field of corporate law policy and operations to which she gained transferable skills in research and promoting client’s interests.

During her undergraduate degree, Wade was involved in the athletics community and administration which sparked a passion for advocating for athletes. She was further involved in the Senate Committee at STU, where she represented the student population and advocated for more regard for students’ mental health in academic affairs.

Wade is quite excited to be involved with the Sport Solution Clinic as a Program Manager. She is committed to upholding the Clinic’s standard of excellence while supporting and advocating on behalf of athletes. This opportunity to utilize her skills combined with her legal education and passion for sports will allow her to empower athletes, which she is very much looking forward to.

About Sport Solution

Sport Solution is committed to supporting an athlete-centred sport system and strives to achieve this objective by counselling and advocating on behalf of Canada’s high performance athletes so their voices are well represented when resolving sport related issues that affect them. Follow us on Instagram @sportsolutionclinic or click here

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 Canadian national team athletes, AthletesCAN ensures an athlete-centered sport system by developing athlete leaders who influence sport policy and, as role models, inspire a strong sport culture. Follow us on social @AthletesCAN and Join #TheCollective today.

For more information, please contact: 

Alan Hudes
Manager, Communications and Sport Partnerships
AthletesCAN
613-526-4025 Ext. 224
ahudes@athletescan.ca

Ashley Wiseman
Communications Specialist
Western Law
519-661-2111 Ext. 82126
ashley.wiseman@uwo.ca

Statement: Bobsleigh / Skeleton Open Letter

TORONTO – AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, released the following statement in response to an open letter sent to Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton.

AthletesCAN has been made aware of an open letter sent to Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton by over 80 athletes from the sport. These athletes provided an overview of the mental, physical, emotional, and financial suffering they have endured over years from their own federation.

AthleteCAN fully supports the athletes’ call for an authentic independent investigation with its findings made public in a written report, while at the same time, when requested, protect the anonymity of the athlete(s). Furthermore, we fully endorse that the selection of any hearing body appointees or independent investigators must be agreed to by the athletes.

An environment that allows all Canadian national team athletes to feel safe and engages athletes in decision making processes is essential to the success and well being of all athletes.

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 Canadian national team athletes, AthletesCAN ensures an athlete-centered sport system by developing athlete leaders who influence sport policy and, as role models, inspire a strong sport culture. Follow us on social @AthletesCAN.

For more information, please contact: 

Alan Hudes

Manager, Communications & Sport Partnerships
AthletesCAN
Phone: 613-526-4025 Ext. 224
ahudes@athletescan.ca

Advisory Notice: AthletesCAN Job Scam

TO: ATHLETES, MEMBERS, AND STAKEHOLDERS

We have become aware of an active job scam targeting individuals who wish to interview for a position at AthletesCAN. Please be advised that there are currently no opportunities with AthletesCAN at this time. Any job openings available with AthletesCAN will be shared on our website, from our verified social media accounts, and job posting websites.

If you are contacted about a job with AthletesCAN from an unauthorized account, please do not share any personal information or engage with the sender. AthletesCAN will not ask you unsolicited to provide this information, or to purchase anything as part of any legitimate, verified hiring process through our organization.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and are actively addressing this situation including reporting to the appropriate authorities.

For more information please contact:
info@athletescan.ca
1-888-832-4222
613-526-4025