Photo by Jan de Wild/Athletes Canada
With a little help from his friends, Toshi Uchiage continues to reign as Canada’s kata champion.
Shortly after winning gold for the 14th consecutive year at karate nationals, Uchiage received a $5,000 Team Investor Group Amateur Athletes Fund Bursary. On top of helping the perennial gold medallist stay atop his game, it will also benefit future generations.
“I’m grateful for this support from Investors Group, which will help me continue to compete on the international stage,” says Uchiage. “The funds will be used towards covering travel costs to the many international competitions I compete in over the course of the year, and it will also be used to upgrade some of my training equipment. The upgrade in equipment will not only help me, but also the next generation of athletes as the athletes that train in my community will also have access to the new equipment I can now purchase.”
The bursary is one of 20 awarded annually to assist Canada’s elite amateur athletes with the costs of training and competition. Selection criteria includes athletic achievement, financial need and community involvement. Since being launched in 2000, the fund has provided $1.9 million to Canadian athletes. AthletesCAN administers the bursary on behalf of Investors Group.
“Investors Group is proud to support our nation’s elite athletes with these bursaries,” says Trevor Krahn, the company’s director of sponsorship and community engagement. “Athletes at this level are often living on a tight budget and juggling the demands of work and school with training and competition. We are pleased to be able to give some financial piece of mind to these committed individuals so they can better focus their efforts on their sport.”
“AthletesCAN is proud to partner with Investors Group, one of Canada’s leading corporate contributors of direct funding to our country’s top high performance athletes,” adds Ashley LaBrie, executive director of AthletesCAN. “For the last 19 years, the Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund has recognized the athletic accomplishments, financial need and community involvement of Canadian athletes. These bursaries continue to provide athletes with the financial confidence to focus on their pursuit of excellence as athletes, and as people. On behalf of Canadian athletes, AthletesCAN applauds Investors Group for their continued leadership and support where it is needed most.”