Supporting B.C.’s Growing Champions

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Amid this flurry of activity and excitement, it’s important to step back and remember the support these athletes had long before they became Olympians.

Athletes like Miranda Miller, an 18- year-old competitive downhill mountain biker from Squamish, who spends 7 days a week training on her mountain bike and doing strength conditioning during race season, hoping her efforts will enable her to stand on the podium for Canada. Athletes like her need financial and emotional support from their families, coaches and the community to realize their dreams.

Thanks to an innovative program called Growing Champions, businesses and individuals can step in at the grassroots community level to provide financial assistance to B.C.’s most promising athletes.

“Growing Champions allowed me to connect with local businesses,” said Miranda who has been sponsored by Squamish Savings. “It has introduced me to people in my own town I had never met and who are showing such interest in my career. I am really grateful and pleased to be involved with such a supportive program.”

Through Growing Champions, businesses commit $5,000 annually for three years to a high-performance athlete of their choice. Three out of every four dollars contributed goes directly to the athlete for his or her training, equipment and competition costs; the remaining dollar supports future athlete development programming in B.C.

As Miranda’s level of competition rises, the costs related to travel, equipment and coaching also increase: “The funds will be a great help covering the cost of travel,” said Miranda, who will attend approximately 13 races in different locations around the world this summer.

While Growing Champions athletes compete at national and international levels, they do not yet qualify for financial assistance through national support systems.

Growing Champions is as an athlete sponsorship program for high-performance athletes in BC. The program gives businesses the opportunity to support the dreams and aspirations of these athletes. Three out of every four dollars provided by a business goes directly to the athletes, while the remaining dollar is allocated to support future athlete development programs and increase sport participation in BC.