Local athletes are in luck as the Red Deer Games Foundation is now accepting applications for financial assistance for regional athletes. The Foundation aims to provide financial aid for individuals demonstrating an economic need as well as a high level of aptitude and dedication to their sport.
The way the financial assistance works is by divvying up a pool of money to all the chosen and qualifying athletes twice a year. The money doled out can be used in a wide assortment of ways including helping with travelling costs or even assisting with covering the costs of new sporting equipment.
Miles Kydd is the executive director of Alberta Sport Development Centre and is involved with the Red Deer Games Foundation. He said there are many ways the money can be spent. Kydd did stress that the one of the major goals of offering financial assistance is to help relieve some of the pressure associated with being an amateur athlete in any way possible.
“Anything we can do to help them. They have enough stress with the training and competition that they don’t need to add financial stuff to it. So anything we can do that way is a bonus,” said Kydd.
He added there is a wide assortment of sports the Foundation looks at when it comes time for funding. Previous recipients of the organizations financial assistance include Jeremy Wotherspoon who is an Olympic speed skater, Elliot Moskowy who competed in the 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Vancouver, as well as Regan Lauscher who is an Olympic luge competitor.
Kydd added the applicants sport of choice is usually not an issue, an applicants athletic ability and financial need hold more precedence over the sport itself. “There’s no limitation to anybody and any sport can certainly apply. It’s not necessarily what sport you’re playing but how good you are and what your need is.”
Kydd explained the purpose of the financial assistance is to ensure athletes are receiving support. He explained despite the importance of youth involvement with sports, a child’s love for athletics must start at home.
Kydd added the purpose of the Foundation is to assist the athletes once they start attempting to take the sport seriously instead of focusing on getting Red Deer’s youth involved.
“I think the influence for kids to join sports and stay in sports starts at home, in the schools, and with club sports. I think Red Deer Games just wants to come along beside those athletes that are just starting to get good and help them with their training.”
The deadline for the application is May 25th and those interested in learning more about the Red Deer Games Foundation can check out the Alberta Sports Development Centre’s web site at www.asdccentral.ca.