"This funding today is a big emphasis on coaching," Sports Minister Stephen Owen said in Ottawa. "Sometimes milliseconds and centimeters can make the difference between a medal and not. Coaching and training and facilities are absolutely key to those sometimes very small incremental differences between a medal and not."
More than $10 million of the money will go to national sport organizations for coaching salaries, training and competition needs, with an eye toward better performances at future Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The federal government announced $30 million in new funding for Sport Canada in May. This weeks announcement is the final allocation of that money.
Owen also announced that $2.4 million will go toward supporting long-term initiatives to improve Canadas sports system, $1.35 million will go toward holding international sports events in Canada and $2.25 million will go toward developing athletes to compete in the 2005 Canada Summer Games in Regina.
Last month Owen announced that each of Canadas 1,435 carded athletes would receive an increase of $4,800 a year in tax-free stipends.
Athletes with developmental cards (those who are training to compete at the highest amateur levels) will increase to $900 a month from $500 a month, for an annual total to $10,800. Stipends for athletes with senior cards (those who compete at the highest amateur levels) will increase to $1,500 a month from $1,100, representing a 36-per-cent increase and bringing the annual total to $18,000.
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