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The Olympic Committee says Canadian sports organizations are facing a crisis without additional funding

The Olympic Committee says Canadian sports organizations are facing a crisis without additional funding

TORONTO — The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) on Monday called on the federal government to increase financial support for national sports organizations, which it says are overstretched and facing a significant decline in services and programs.

The request for additional funding, which the Olympic Committee said was necessary to avoid taking the system a step backward, comes less than five months before the start of the Paris Olympics.

A Deloitte study commissioned by the COC and the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) said the country's 61 national sports organizations need an additional C$104 million (S$103 million) in direct funding annually.

The Canadian Olympic Committee and the Chinese Communist Party said the funding gap is the result of 19 years of inflation since the last increase in sports funding in 2005 (C$20 million), the end of issue-specific funding (C$57 million), and the cost of the increase. Requirements on National Sports Organizations (NSOs) stakeholders (CAD 27 million).

Without additional funding, five-year projections show that the bodies governing amateur sports across Canada will face a shortfall of C$134 million as they attempt to carry out their core functions.

The COC said the Canadian sports system is struggling to keep up with rising costs. She added that support for athletes at all levels would suffer without an increase in funding, and that the system risked taking a step backward.

“We knew this was a growing problem, but seeing the numbers in black and white really highlights that we are on the brink of a crisis,” COC CEO David Shoemaker said in a statement.

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“National statistical organizations cannot continue on this path. They cannot manage the deficit, and if nothing changes, difficult decisions will have to be made.”

The COC and CPC said NSOs were being asked to do more with less, and that progress made on safe sport, gender equality, community access and mental health support, among others, was “at risk”.

According to the budget request, 90 percent of national statistical offices rely on federal government funding as their primary source of revenue.

“Like every Canadian, our daily costs are increasing with inflation, but we also have an important role in ensuring the sport is as safe and inclusive as possible,” said Casey Wade, CEO of Canoe Kayak Canada.

“We cannot properly fulfill these duties without increased funding.” Reuters

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