Tag Archives: Athlete Assistance Program

A dysfunctional sports system: amateur athletes forced to juggle jobs and training

The following story inadvertently raises the questions of priorities facing society. Toronto Blue Jays, owned by the Rogers monopoly, forked out $82 million to repatriate Canadian catcher Russell Martin in a five-year contract. Toronto City Council quietly handed over $500,000 to one of the richest sports monopolies in North America, MLSE, for stadium expansion. The Hamilton Tiger Cats received a basically free $145.7-million stadium from Ontario in a neo-liberal scheme. Meanwhile, athletes training for events like the 2015 Pan Am Games often work full- or part-time jobs to fund their training and struggle to make ends meet without a thin dime from the government. Youth participation in sport and recreation is declining. Yet Harper has a billion dollars for another war in Iraq and Syria. 

Canadian pentathlon athlete Kelly Fitzsimmmons is rarely caught standing still, as she juggles training and work seven days a week as she prepares for the Pan Am Games.

Canadian pentathlon athlete Kelly Fitzsimmmons is rarely caught standing still, as she juggles training and work seven days a week as she prepares for the Pan Am Games | VINCE TALOTTA / TORONTO STAR

LAUREN PELLY in Toronto Star

(Nov. 25) – Over lunch on a brisk Thursday in downtown Toronto, pentathlon competitor Kelly Fitzsimmons describes her day.

In between bites of steak, the 29-year-old Calgarian says she started with two hours of swim practice at 8:30 a.m., then went right into client meetings for her consulting business. Next came her interview with the Star, a timeslot doubling as Fitzsimmons’ lunch break. After that, she’d be working on consulting projects until the early evening, then heading to back-to-back training sessions — first a track workout, then fencing training, which wouldn’t end until around 10 p.m.

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