Dear Friends of The Olympic Oval
We hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy. This past season has been a challenging time for our community and the world. Together we have faced the many setbacks that have accompanied this pandemic. While COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our lives, our determination to support our athletes is now more vital than ever.
Spring is usually the time of year when our nearly 200 full-time short and long track speed skaters begin their off-ice training regimen to prepare for the season ahead. Many of them returned home when we entered lockdown in November 2020 and could not make a return to Calgary, choosing to continue training with the Oval coaching team remotely. With short-track Olympic qualifiers in August 2021, the coaches and athletes plan for an early start to the season. As vaccinations will begin over the coming months, we remain hopeful that we can make a return to sport for all our athletes. Now more than ever, our athletes need the support of our community to make a return to sport.
The Olympic Oval Athlete Bursary Fund alleviates some of the financial strains on Canadian high-performance athletes and their families. Equipment, training, competition, and travel all come at a price, and this is just a handful of expenditures that bursaries have covered for past recipients, allowing them to focus on and remain in the sport of speed skating. With our world-class reputation, many speed skaters move to Calgary specifically to be part of the Olympic Oval’s Elite Athlete Pathway program. The skills they develop as high-performance athletes contribute, in turn, to our city’s larger sport community, talent pool, and economy.
Bursaries are awarded each season to skaters in need who demonstrate dedication and commitment to their sport. And now is a great time to help. The University of Calgary is moving forward with its Giving Day 2021 initiative. This program will match all contributions, dollar for dollar, up to $2,500 between April 1st and April 22nd. This initiative includes contributions made to the Olympic Oval Athlete Bursary Fund. All contributions will be issued a tax receipt. Please note that the matching dollars run out quickly once the Giving program is open to donations. If you can donate, we would ask that you do so as soon as possible from April 1st onwards.
We understand that these are uncertain times, and many are facing financial hardship. If you are in a position to support others or you know of anyone interested in doubling their impact to the Olympic Oval Athlete Bursary Fund, please click via the link below or share within your network.
It really means a lot to me especially this year with COVID-19, the restrictions that have been happening in Alberta, and the fact that my hours at work have been reduced. This bursary is really going to make it possible for me to go out and get some much needed sharpening equipment so that I can make sure my skates are as fast as possible for when we get back to racing.