Paul Cotter (Chairman)
Originally known as the Athlete’s Trust Fund, the Skaters’ Trust Fund emerged under the current name in November, 1988. Over the past 23 years, Skate Canada – Central Ontario has provided over $748,000 in direct athlete funding ($270,000 in the past 5 years alone), primarily in the form of bursaries and athlete-related expenses.
Through direct contributions to this Fund and the support of Skate Canada – Central Ontario, recreational and competitive skaters from all member clubs have an opportunity to be their very best.
We are proud this year to continue the Standing Ovation Award in recognition of Margaret Garrison. Margaret was a long time Section Vice President and ultimate volunteer who lost her courageous battle with cancer in 2009. In Margaret’s memory a skater who shares Margaret’s passion for figure skating, will receive an award of $1,000. This award continues thanks to a very generous and anonymous contributor.
In 2009, COS introduced the Future Champions Program, designed to recognize and financially reward the combined success of designated section competitors at Summer Skate, Octoberfest and Sectional Championships. In 2010, we modified the name of the program to Team Elite.
In 2000, Skate Canada – Central Ontario reaffirmed its commitment to this Fund by donating 50 percent of the net revenue generated from our annual Fun Competition with Team COS skaters being asked to donate their time and energy at this event. Since that decision, the Fun Competition has raised more than $185,000 for the Fund. In recent years, this amount has also been supplemented by the net proceeds golf tournaments, hosting grants for national events; ice shows and support from the organization’s general fund.
Commencing in 2007, Skate Canada - Central Ontario participated in the Ontario Skaters’ Lottery with 100% of net proceeds being directed to the Fund. This fundraiser has been a wonderful success, with net proceeds in excess of $165,000 to date, including approximately $30,015 raised for the Skaters’ Trust Fund for the current year.
In 2006, the Executive Committee of the Skaters’ Trust Fund examined how the funds were to be disbursed. Adhering to our motto that “excellence will be rewarded,” the Skate Canada – Central Ontario Board of Directors approved a refinement of the disbursement policy by ensuring that the mandate provides only for direct athlete funding while any additional financial support, should it be the payment of entry fees, cost of travel or the purchase of team outfits, be allocated from the organization’s general fund. Moreover, the Board of Directors again approved bursaries for gold, silver and bronze medallists at various Olympic, International Skating Union, Skate Canada and Skate Ontario events such as, but not limited to the Canadian Figure Skating Championships, Junior Nationals and the Canadian Synchronized Championships. Consequently, skaters who reach the podium will be financially rewarded for their success. For our skaters who accept ISU international assignments, Skate Canada – Central Ontario is pleased to provide varying degrees of financial support for their participation and placement.
Skate Canada – Central Ontario continues to annually present the Elvis Stojko Awards and the Ruth Phillips Memorial Awards, the latter named after a former President of the Section. We are proud to honour these two individuals who contributed so much to our Section and athletes.
We wish to also thank the Scarboro and Georgina Skating Clubs for their generous contributions to this fund through the Ursula Lehming Scarboro Skate Awards and the Georgina Skate Awards. These clubs have generously supported athlete development in our section for many years through events that they hold annually.
In an age where government funding for amateur sport is constantly redefined and, in many instances reduced, it is important for all skating stakeholders to play an active role in ensuring the strong continuity of our sport. The future of our sport and our athletes continue to be significantly enhanced through the Skaters’ Trust Fund.