Own The Podium?
It’s more like Owe The Podium.
At least that’s the ongoing situation for Canadian beach volleyball players trying to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
“Absolutely nothing has happened,” said Conrad Leinemann, COO of CAN Fund in response to a Record inquiry of Volleyball Canada funding of our nation’s Olympic hopefuls – including Comox Valley’s Martin Reader and Maverick Hatch.
“Still all 20 athletes have received zero carding money (either $900-$1,500 per month) for the last six months. It is a complete joke.” Leinemann, from Kelowna, won gold in men’s beach volleyball at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg and represented Canada at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
“We did a fundraiser on our own since Volleyball Canada refused to help in any way. We have raised $80,000 so far. With the help of proud Canadians we were able to get the beach team to Russia and Italy for the last two Olympic qualifiers,” Leinemann told the Record.
“Follow us on Twitter @canfund, or any of the athletes. We will let everyone know what is going on,” Leinemann added. Other information on the Canadian Athletes Now Fund is available at www.MYCANFund.ca or by calling 1-866-937-2012. Reader noted tax receipts are available for those making donations, and all money donated to the fund goes directly to support the beach volleyball athletes.
With the Olympic clock counting down, the players say they have hit the limit of their personal credit cards and cannot afford plane tickets to the crucial Europe qualifying tournaments for the July 27 to Aug. 12 Games in London, England.
The carding money is on hold because seven-year veteran Rich VanHuizen is making an appeal after not being picked for the national squad this year.