At the Ontario Para Network we understand that funding can be a challenge and a major barrier for athletes with a disability. Not only can specialized sport equipment be expensive, but so can the cost of equipment maintenance, tools, registration fees, as well as transportation & travel, competitions, clinics, etc. Costs can be especially prohibitive due to the very nature of parasport and the fewer number of programs, clubs, and athletes compared to able-bodied sport.
Luckily, there are a number of funding sources and opportunities available for athletes, coaches, and clubs/programs to access in order to help reduce some of these financial barriers.
Canadian Paralympic Committee
Paralympic Sport Development Fund
The Canadian Paralympic Committee recognizes the importance of strong sport development programming to support a sustainable sport system as well as podium performances. The Paralympic Sport Development Fund targets initiatives designed to enhance support for development initiatives in areas such as athlete recruitment, coaching, competition, daily training environments and equipment.
Funding amounts of between $5,000 and $10,000 will be available.
Canadian Women & Sport
WISE Fund Grant
A lack of funding dedicated to creating equitable opportunities for women and girls to participate and lead in the sport system is a barrier to achieving gender equity in Canada.
Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF)
CAF Annual Grant Program
Our mission is to serve people with physical disabilities through sport and fitness with meaningful grants. Over the last 27 years, we have given over 30,000 grants to individuals with permanent physical disabilities worldwide. Challenged Athletes Foundation’s flagship grant program aims to remove the barriers that exist between adaptive athletes and their pursuit of sport and fitness.
Individuals worldwide with permanent physical disabilities are eligible to apply for the CAF grant. Teams, organizations, etc. are not eligible to apply. Medical documentation of disability is required. For more information on eligible expenses and application details please visit the CAF Grants webpage.
Coaches Association of Ontario (CAO)
NCCP Coach Bursary Program
Up to a maximum of $500 per individual in the fiscal year (April 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022) will be available to cover up to 75% of eligible course registration fees (workshop training) and up to 90% for completion of certification process (portfolio + evaluation).
Return to Coaching Community Grant
The Return to Coaching Community Grant, supported by Hydro One, aims to support Ontario coaches and participants with the tools they need to get back on the playing field, while keeping safety top of mind. Sport plays a vital role in our communities, and has been sorely missed over the past year. While we are very excited at the prospect of resuming play, we also recognize that there will be new costs (including: PPE, individual equipment, and more) that many coaches will be responsible for in order to keep themselves and their athletes safe. This fund aims to offset some of these expenses for coaches so that a safe return to sport remains accessible for all Ontarians.
GoodLife Kids Foundation
For kids and youth with special needs, the path to getting active isn’t always as simple as joining the local sports team or signing up for lessons around the corner. The GoodLife Kids Foundation Grant Program has been able to help by providing funding to support ongoing physical activity and fitness opportunities through local, provincial and national registered charities across Canada. The Grant Program is currently on hold and will not be accepting applications for funding.
Sport Relief Fund
In the final months of 2020, we helped nearly 700 organizations, impacting over 70,000 kids from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Thanks to a generous gift of $12 million from Canadian Tire Corporation to our Sport Relief Fund, we are able to continue to provide much needed financial support to sport organizations to help build back sport and play through 2021.
The Jumpstart Sport Relief Fund has two funding streams – Operational Support and Programming Support. Qualified organizations may apply for either stream or both within each period, however, the requests must be clearly justified, and funding will be dependent on overall demand.
For more information on eligibility and funding details visit the Jumpstart Sport Relief Fund application webpage.
Individual Child Grants
Sometimes, families need financial assistance to get their kids into a sport or physical activity. We’re committed to helping all families access a range of activities, from boxing to bowling and skating to skiing, and more. Jumpstart funds more than 70 activities related to physical activity for children aged 4-18 years old.
For more information on eligibility and funding details visit the Jumpstart Individual Child Grants webpage.
KidSport Ontario provides grants to kids from families facing financial barriers so they can participate in registered sport programs and experience the lifelong benefits of a season of sport. KidSport provides grants of up to $250 per eligible kid, per year (January 1st – December 31st) towards sport registration fees; travel and competitions are not eligible for funding.
For more information on eligibility and application details please visit the KidSport Ontario Grant webpage.
Petro-Canada FACE Program
Every year, we select 55 up-and-coming athletes and their coaches from across Canada to receive a FACE™, or Fuelling Athlete and Coaching Excellence, grant. We give the grants to athletes when they need it the most – when they are striving to represent Canada at the Paralympic or Olympic Games but don’t yet qualify for government funding.
The National Sport Federations nominate candidates across Canada who would benefit the most from a grant. Then, a committee made up of representatives from Petro‑Canada™, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and the Coaching Association of Canada choose the recipients.
Potential Canadian Olympic athletes and Paralympic athletes are awarded a $10,000 FACE grant to help them along their journey, with $5,000 going directly to the athlete and $5,000 to the athlete’s coach. These grants are often used for training, equipment, coach education and travel expenses for competitions.
‘Quest for Gold’ Ontario Athlete Assistance Program (OAAP)
The Quest for Gold Program was established to provide additional support to athletes from Ontario and to increase the performance and number of Ontario athletes competing at the highest national and international levels, thereby contributing to the improved performance of Canada at international competitions. Direct financial assistance is provided to eligible Ontario athletes to offset living, training, and competition costs.
ONPARA is the Provincial Sport Organization responsible for administering the Quest For Gold program athlete carding in wheelchair athletics, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, and wheelchair tennis. For more information on eligibility and application details, please visit our Quest For Gold webpage.
Wheelchair Basketball Canada
Special Project Funding
Wheelchair Basketball Canada is committed to providing ample opportunities and support for all clubs and provincial sport organizations (PSOs) across Canada. In order to provide leadership and resources to increase measurable growth in the participation base, as well as develop opportunities that will encourage appropriate and relevant participation and competition, the organization dedicates financial resources for Special Project Funding that clubs and PSOs can apply for annually.
Wheelchair Rugby Canada
Podium Club is a new, innovative program designed by Wheelchair Rugby Canada to support the development of wheelchair rugby clubs across Canada. Clubs that take advantage of the program will be rewarded for their planning and development strategies and will be funded according to their success in targeted areas, such as Athlete Support, Talent Identification & Development, Competition, Coach Education, etc.
Additional Funding Opportunities
In the past, some of our athletes have used the following resources when looking to purchase their own equipment or fund their training:
- Local service organizations such as: Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, Optimist Clubs, Kinsmen Clubs, etc.
- Crowdfunding campaign such as GoFundMe or MAKEACHAMP
- Individual or community-run fundraising events
Athletes in need of sport equipment can also contact the Ontario Para Network and make use of our Wheelchair Loans Program. For a low monthly fee, ONPARA members can rent a sport wheelchair in order to try out a new sport or continue playing the sport they love! We want to make sure that the cost of equipment is never a barrier to participation in our sports.