Welcome to the CAN Fund Athlete Blog!
This is where Canadian Athletes will be posting as they train and prepare to represent Canada on the World Stage! Keep up to date on when and where our athletes are training and competing!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

BEN HAYWARD – Canoe/Kayak Slalom

It took a full two days to get from Canada to Union de Tula.  I drove from Whistler Friday evening to get on a plane going from Vancouver to Puerto Vallarta on Saturday morning.  We had to wait for a police escort to take us through the winding Mexican mountain roads to reach Union de Tula Sunday evening.  I think all of us on the team were feeling nervous from all the security and unsure of what to expect of the river.

Though the town of Union de Tula is very small we were warmly greeted with the most impressive opening ceremonies I have ever attended.  The streets were filled with thousands of cheering locals.  We were swarmed by kids asking for autographs and pictures which is an experience you just don’t get in kayaking.  The medal ceremonies and closing banquet were equally spectacular.  I was very impressed with the organization of the race and the work of the volunteers, especially for a town that had never held a race of that scale before. 

Canada had an impressive showing at this year’s Pan-Ams.  Out of the five gold medals to be won, Canada took home three with the United States claiming the remaining two.  Jessica Groeneveld of Alberta took home two gold’s from the disciplines of K1 Women and C1 Women.  The Purcell Brothers, also from Alberta took home the gold in the C2 class.  I took home a Silver medal in the K1 class.  It feels great to start the new year off with a podium finish.  Though it is not the gold I was hoping for I am happy with how I raced and I am looking forward to the next races to come in New Zealand and Australia. 

The new Mexican course is proving to be a great training site.  Apart from some problems with the gate system collapsing, the river is very good to paddle on.  I think this will turn into a frequent winter training site for Canadians as it is warm year round and reasonably cheap to get to.  After the experience I had in Mexico, I am eager to come back next year for more great racing. 


Friday, January 28, 2011

CAN Fund Athlete Holiday Drive!- ROSANNA CRAWFORD

I would like to ask a favour. If you could take a few minutes to read about a great organization I believe in.  As you know I am proud to be training to represent Canada in the sport of Biathlon. It is my dream to be able to compete against the best in the World and be on the podium while doing it.
Myself and 650 of Canada's elite athletes recently applied to the Canadian Athletes Now Fund.  CAN Fund is a non profit that raises direct financial support for athletes across Canada. Each Athlete is eligible to receive $12 000 annually.  The majority of athletes in Canada rely on CAN Fund so they can have better equipment, coaches, cover travel expenses and afford proper nutrition.
A great feature about CAN Fund is with each donation  you find out the name of the athlete you supported and receive a tax receipt! 
I first applied for the CAN fund so I could attend important training camps, it has helped me get to where I am today. 
The CAN Fund has raised $13 million for Canadian athletes and supported 80% of the Canadian Team that competed in Vancouver 2010.
This past July celebrating 2 years leading up to the London 2012 Games the CAN Fund gave over 1 million dollars to athletes.   Right now the  Athlete Holiday Drive is on until January 31, 2011 and each donation is getting matched dollar for dollar.   I respect this organization and hope you can visit their website to learn more about them: 

Thanking you in advance for considering this invitation to support all Canadian athletes.
Athlete Holiday Drive Link: 

Facts about the Canadian athletes and the CAN Fund:
1. With every donation you receive the name of the athlete supported and receive a tax receipt.
2. 35 medalists from Vancouver re-applied to CAN Fund for financial support
3. Top level athletes receive $1500 a month from the government to live (rent, food, gas, etc)
4. On July 27th, 2010 CAN Fund handed out 1.1 million dollars to our Canadian athletes
5. CAN Fund supported 80% of the athletes who competed for Canada at the Vancouver Games
6. A record 545 applications from athletes across Canada seeking direct financial support were received for the last CAN Fund athlete application
7. Of the 386 summer athletes who applied, over 1/3 are not only the best in the Canada but they are the best in the world (ranked in the top 10)
8. 58% of these summer athletes who have a world ranking of 1-10 have negative net incomes. 

Help Canada Own the Podium in 2012 in London and 2014 in Sochi!

Shouldice "Airs" his Support for Athlete Fund

Calgary, Alta, January 28, 2011Veteran Canadian aerialist Warren Shouldice will use his skis to raise awareness of the CAN Fund, an organization that provides direct financial support to Canada’s elite athletes, this weekend at the Canada Post Freestyle Grand Prix at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.

An agreement with the International Ski Federation (FIS) permits aerialists to display their personal sponsor’s logo on their skis.  Shouldice, who has no corporate sponsor, will sport the CAN Fund logo on his skis instead

CAN Fund is a not-for-profit organization that raises direct funding and awareness for Canada's elite level athletes.  The fund has raised more than
$13 million dollars to date and directly supported hundreds of athletes across Canada, including 80 per cent of the athletes who represented Canada at the Vancouver Games.  Eligible athletes can receive up to $12,000 per year, which they use to offset costs not covered by National Sport Organizations, such as equipment and basic living expenses.

Shouldice is a past recipient of the CAN Fund and sees this as an opportunity to give back to the Canadian sports community

“I decided to put CAN fund on my skis because I’m without a personal sponsor this year and I wanted to raise awareness of the fund and pay it forward to other athletes by donating the available advertising space on my skis,” said Shouldice.

“They’ve been so good to me in the past.  In 2009, I suffered a compression fracture in my back six weeks before World Championships.  Were it not for the support of the CAN Fund,
I would have never been able to pay for the treatments that allowed me to return to competition in time to compete and win a bronze medal at World Championships.”

Shouldice encourages anyone who would like to make a donation or is interested in learning more about the CAN Fund, to visit their website at
  <http://www.canadianathletesnow.ca/> .

To follow Warren’s high-flying exploits on the web, visit
<http://www.facebook.com/warrenshouldice> .

The Canada Post Freestyle Grand Prix kicks off today at the Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, AB, with mogul qualifications.  Aerial qualifications run January 28 and finals for both disciplines at this free event take place on Saturday, January 29, from 10 a.m. to 3p.m.  The events are free to the public. For more information, visit 

Saturday’s finals will be Live-Streamed on the web at:

The Canadian Freestyle Ski Association is the governing body in Canada for the sport of Freestyle Skiing. Our mission is to develop, in a safe, fun and ethical manner, Olympic and World Champions in all disciplines of the sport of Freestyle Skiing.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Happy Belated New Year!

Believe it or not... I sailed throughout the holidays at home in Vancouver. Some days were nice... Others not so much, for my hands especially. My first day in 2011 was on Jan 7th - a beautiful sunny westerly of 20-25knots. Super fun but quite cold, loved it nonetheless :)

Since arriving on the 9th of January to Miami, it's been all go with training. Plenty of warmer on the water hours coupled with my gym and cardio routine had me feeling pretty strong leading into this event. I had been training with a few of the top sailors and raced in the Alex Caviglia BlueWater Classic (a 3-day regatta) last weekend. Conditions were light to marginal (my toughest) and although I battled it out every day, I couldn't stay with the lead girls. I finished 6th overall - not a result I'm terribly stoked about - but a great warm-up regatta both physically and more importantly mentally as it really got my head back into racing.

The first World Cup of 2011 got underway here in the Bay of Biscayne, Miami today. We had 10-14 knots and fairly sunny skies. In the first race I didn't get off to the best start, quickly falling behind a girl that just got ahead of me and then once in bad air, I went downhill quick. I ended up tacking out to the right and trying making the best of my bad start. I ended up rounding the top mark in around 7th, then made some gains to close the gap on the girls ahead of me on the downwind, but then didn't have a great 2nd upwind and last leg (missed a windshift) to end up finishing 12th. Bummer. The second race, I had a mediocre start, worked hard to try to protect my lane - only to hit a plastic bag or something that went "thump" against my fin and slowed me to an almost complete stop. Luckily, it came off easily and was able to get back into the race quickly. I had some good speed, tacked in the right place and rounded the top mark in 5th. Throughout the race there were plenty of weeds... And I had to stop and clear them about 4 times - it happened to all, but if you got lucky you didn't hit them as many times. I got reeled in by a few girls on the next few legs to hold onto a 9th place finish for that race. Two races down with 9 more to go.... Lots can happen!

Check out the Miami OCR results by clicking here: Results <http://rmocr.ussailing.org/2011/Results.htm>

And I wouldn't be able to go fast without saying a huge THANK YOU to Chapman Land Surveying for helping me replace my older broken board with a new one that I'm racing here with, named: "The Little Engine That Could." Very happy to have a new board :))

Tomorrow's forecast calls for a bit more breeze than today... So let's keep our fingers crossed for great starts, super speed & smarts, and some great finishes for me!!!

Oh...and you can follow the races with l
ive coverage every day, Jan. 24-29. Tweets from the racecourses, fans can ask questions, photos, videos, results – all day.http://rmocr.ussailing.org/Rolex_Miami_OCR.htm or direct to the live page


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

BENOIT HUOT- Para Swimming

Hey friends from the Canadian Athletes Now Fund! Thank you again for all your amazing support. I hope you all had a great holiday season!

I am back in Florida for a 3-4 week training camp getting ready for the Para Pan Pacific trials that will be held in Minneapolis in April 2011. Things are going great and we are swimming fast. The weather is awesome compare to all the snow we got in Montreal lately. This is really good for us for our training. We will be back in Canada in February.

Have a good week everyone and I will talk to you soon,


Saturday, January 15, 2011


Whistler X-Country Ski Camp

For years, there has been this divide that pit Canoe Slalom (formerly known as Whitewater) against Canoe Sprint (formerly known as Flatwater) athletes. Although the origin of this divide is still unknown, it likely stems from the good looks and charm present in us Canoe Slalom folk. 

Even though bread was broken in 2007, when Sprint and Slalom athletes joined forces to sell pumpkins prior to Halloween, not all had been forgiven. So, after three years of negotiations, and work, I am proud to announce that the final armistice happened last week. Yep, after joining forces with some of the National Canoe Sprint team members out in Whistler, BC at the Whistler Olympic Village, I am pleased to announce that trails of Callaghan Lake was the arena where fists turned into handshakes, which quickly turned into hugs. Yep guys, the conflict is over. 

Anyways, it was an incredible 7 days of XC-skiing at the host site of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. We could not have asked for better conditions; the snow was great, and we even lucked out with a little sun! It was a good group of guys, pushing one another on the trails, in the gym, and in the pool. I must admit that I was sad to leave yesterday “the best place on earth”, but with my winter training camps (i.e. trip to Mexico and Australia) approaching quickly, responsibility has kicked in, and I need to start TCB’ing (taking care of business) as I will be gone for 6-weeks! 

So, it will be a quick turnaround for me, I take off to Mexico on Saturday for 9 days. As it has been a solid month since I was last on the Whitewater, I will use my time in Mexico to work out the kinks, and get the dust off my boat. We will also race in the Pan American Championships in two weeks time. Can’t wait to get back on the water!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

SARAH BOUDENS- Canoe/Kayak - Slalom

Winter Training

Imagine this… It’s -11°C.  A lovely day for a x-country ski, a snowshoe, some skating or maybe just a nice walk outside…in a warm down jacket with your touque and mitts on.
Now imagine you’re outside in -11, you take your mitts off and decide to submerge your hands in freezing cold water….and you hold them there.  Then maybe you’ll take off your nice winter boots too and dip your feet in the ice cold water.  Doesn’t this sound CRAZY!??  Well folks, this is what it’s like for us whitewater paddlers training in the winter. 
Lucky or unlucky for us, whitewater doesn’t commonly freeze so we’re able to train long past the rowers and flatwater paddlers.  Long gone are the summer days of training in just a sports bra, spandex shorts, a neoprene spray deck and my lifejacket and helmet. These days I’m wearing, 3-4 thermal layers under a dry top, neoprene pants, 2 pairs of neoprene socks, a fleece touque and a neoprene hat under my helmet, a lifejacket and these things called poggies to cover my hands while allowing me to hold onto my paddle.  By the time I wrestle myself into all of this gear I feel like I’ve just put on 20 pounds!
So, now I’m dressed and ready to paddle.  Next comes getting into my boat.  When I go to pick it up, it feels like it’s put on 20 pounds as well!  The extra water that I couldn’t get out of my boat from yesterday’s training session has frozen and now I really can’t get it out.  On top of that, I then sit in my boat and have to put my feet on metal foot pegs.  It’s not a pleasant feeling. 
By the time I finish my session it feels like another 20 pounds when you add up the now frozen water on my boat, paddle and equipment.  Ugh!  If that wasn’t enough, my feet and hands are absolutely frozen that I can’t even manage to get my gear off when I’m finished the workout.  On the bright side, I’m training in England where there are warm change rooms for me to wait while I thaw.  Back in Ottawa, I used to drive home in my equipment once my feet had thawed enough to feel the clutch.
Doing an outdoor summer sport in the winter is not ideal…especially when it involves getting very wet in very cold water.  I can’t say I generally look forward to my paddling sessions these days but I know it will pay off and summer will inevitably return.  In the meantime us whitewater paddlers have bragging rights to being the most BAD ASS!!  Bring it on!