CALGARY, AB – The Olympic Oval is very proud to congratulate the nine members of the Oval Program who have been awarded Oval Bursaries for the 2014-15 season. Congratulations go out to BJ Schmidt (Kamloops, BC), Marika Nadal (Canmore, AB), Carter Chambers (Winnipeg, MB), Sam Deckert (Winnipeg, MB), Isabelle Weidemann (Ottawa, ON), Ben Donnelly (Oshawa, ON), Tamara Oudenaarden (Edmonton, AB), Braden Cloutier (Dawson Creek, BC), and Hannah Clark (Yellowknife, NWT).
The Oval Athlete Bursary fund was created by Olympic Oval Liaison Catriona Le May Doan to help alleviate some of the financial strains put on Canadian high performance athletes. The fund supports deserving locally trained athletes in a variety of ways – helping to pay for competition travel, training, equipment, clothes, rent and food. Since its inception 10 years ago, the Oval Bursary Fund has supported 75 athletes in their quest for excellence in the sports of speed skating, cycling and female hockey.
“It’s always a difficult decision as so many of our high performance athletes are deserving of these bursaries.” said Le May Doan “The money raised is so important and through the continued success of our fundraising events we hope that we can one day build funding large enough to support all of our athletes.”
Funding for these bursaries is made possible by successful events such as the Oval Family Skate as well as the Legacy Gala. This year’s Legacy Gala helped to raise over $130,000 in support of amateur athletes. Past recipients of Oval Bursaries include former Oval Athletes and current National team athletes: Josie Spence, Heather McLean and Courtney Schmyr, as well as 3-time Olympian Brittany Schussler.