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Recipients of the "Fuelling Athletes and Coaching Excellence" Program Announced

September 9, 2014

50 athlete and coach parings receive $10,000 to help fuel their sport dreams

Toronto, Ontario – Today, Pentathlon Canada is proud to announce that Donna Vakalis, Mathea Stevens and coach John Hawes are recipients of Petro-Canada Fuelling Athletes and Coaching Excellence (FACE) funding. Suncor, proud owner of Petro-Canada, annually awards 50 athlete and coach pairings with funding to help fuel their sport dreams.

“The FACE program is the cornerstone of our Olympic and Paralympic legacy and we are excited to increase the funding for both coaches and athletes, fuelling their dream to compete on the international stage,” said Louis Côté, Director, Loyalty and Strategic Partnerships, Suncor. “The drive and discipline of the athletes and coaches chosen is astounding, congratulations on becoming this year’s FACE recipients.”

Working together with the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and their National Sport partners, the FACE program provides developing, pre-carded, Canadian athlete and coach pairings with $10,000 in grants. These resources help athletes achieve national carded status and coaches improve their skills over the long term.

Donna Vakalis: “The FACE program funding comes just in time: I will use my funding for lessons and equipment right now, which is the best time to invest so that I can be in peak form in time for Pan Am Games. I am very grateful to be selected.”

Mathea Stevens: “Thank you Petro-Canada! The FACE Grant will help me compete at my best by allowing me to access improved training and recovery opportunities, and reducing financial stress heading into the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto.”

John Hawes (coach): “I am grateful and honoured to be selected to receive the FACE grant. It couldn’t come at a better time as it is will help me deal with frequent expenses I incur while working in support of our national team athletes. Thank you very much to Petro Canada for their ongoing generous support of Canadian athletes and coaches.”

This year, Suncor increased the funding from $8,000 per athlete and coach pairing to $10,000, and boosted the total annual financial commitment from $400,000 to $500,000 for every year of the program going forward.

Beginning with the Petro-Canada Torch Scholarship Fund in 1988 and continuing through its re-launch as the FACE Program in 2007, the program has provided more 2,600 Canadian athletes and coaches with almost $9 million in direct financial support. Recipients of the 2014 program funding represent both summer and winter sports and represent Canada from coast to coast.

Previous FACE recipients have gone on to great success on the international stage, including at the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, reaching the podium 12 times. Medallists include: Mark Arendz (Para-Biathlon – Silver, Bronze), Jim Armstrong (Wheelchair Curling – Gold), Patrick Chan (Figure Skating – Silver, Silver), Mélodie Daoust (Ice Hockey – Gold), Kaitlyn Lawes (Curling – Gold), Mac Marcoux (Para-Alpine – Gold, Bronze, Bronze), Kevin Reynolds (Figure Skating – Silver), Marielle Thompson (Ski Cross – Gold).

For more a complete list of 2014 FACE recipients or additional information on the FACE program, visit www.facebook.com/dreambig.

Suncor Energy

Suncor Energy is Canada’s leading integrated energy company. Suncor’s operations include oil sands development and upgrading, conventional and offshore oil and gas production, petroleum refining, and product marketing under the Petro-Canada brand. A member of Dow Jones Sustainability indexes, FTSE4Good and CDP, Suncor is working to responsibly develop petroleum resources while also growing a renewable energy portfolio. Suncor is listed on the UN Global Compact 100 stock index and the Corporate Knights’ Global 100. Suncor’s common shares (symbol: SU) are listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges.
Petro-Canada, a Suncor Energy business, operates more than 1,450 retail stations and 250 Petro-Pass wholesale locations nationwide. Petro-Canada’s retail loyalty program, Petro-Points™, provides Canadians with the opportunity to earn and redeem rewards. Petro-Canada is proud to be a National Partner of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committees, supporting Canadian athletes, coaches and their families for more than 25 years. For more information, visit petro-canada.ca.

Canadian Olympic Committee

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) leads the achievement of the Canadian Olympic Team’s podium success and advances Olympic values in Canada. Independent and predominantly privately funded, the COC delivers resources that Canada’s elite athletes need to perform at their best and give their everything every day. The backbone of Canada’s Olympic movement, the COC works with National Sport Federations to prepare the Team for the Olympic, Youth Olympic and Pan American Games. By sharing our athletes’ stories, we inspire all Canadians through the power of sport: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Canadian Paralympic Committee

The Canadian Paralympic Committee is a non-profit, private organization with 25 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic Movement. The Canadian Paralympic Committee’s vision is to be the world’s leading Paralympic nation. Its mission is to lead the development of a sustainable Paralympic sport system in Canada to enable athletes to reach the podium at the Paralympic Games. By supporting Canadian high performance athletes with a disability and promoting their success, the Canadian Paralympic Committee inspires all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organizations. For more information, visit www.paralympic.ca.

Pentathlon Canada

Pentathlon Canada governs the sport of pentathlon in Canada, supporting our provincial associations and national team athletes in building a supportive environment for our sport. Pentathletes compete in five sports – fencing, swimming, equestrian riding, and a combined run and shoot – in a one-day competition.

Funded in part by:

  • Government of Canada
  • Canadian Olympic Committee
  • CI Investments
  • Dynamic Funds
  • Fidelity
  • National Bank Investments
  • Government of Ontario

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