Jumpstart gives NOC a COVID silver lining
Thanks to Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, the Niagara Olympic Club will be able to provide its athletes with one-stop training.
The charity, founded in 2005 to help kids overcome financial and accessibility barriers to sport and recreation in an effort to provide inclusive play for kids of all abilities, provided the NOC with a grant of $5,000. The club has used the money to purchase 300-square feet of non-slip rubber flooring, two half-squat racks, two 20-kilogram Olympic lifting barbells, two benches, two sets of 190 pounds worth of weights, a set of dumbbells and a set of kettle bells. The equipment has already been installed in the NOC’s clubhouse.
“Jumpstart offered grants to sports organizations to help deal with the restrictions COVID has placed on them. It is very, very difficult to access any gyms and the costs are phenomenal,” NOC president Sharon Stewart said. “We have our own training bubble under the Athletics Ontario guidelines and we don’t want to cross into the training bubble of any other groups. Being able to provide athletes with this opportunity, keeps them in our bubble.”
The grant is a big boost for the NOC.
“We are a non-profit club so corporate sponsorship for a project this big is very important. This became more important because of COVID,” Stewart said. “To be able to keep our athletes in a safe and healthy environment is crucial during this time. This is a little bit of a silver lining in the, big, black COVID cloud.”
It is not the first time the NOC has benefited from the support of Jumpstart.
“We have not gotten a grant as a club but some of our athletes have received funding from Jumpstart for the cost of their memberships,” Stewart said.
Sharing the equipment with the NOC will be Moore Training. Moore Training is run by Trevor Moore, who has been the sprinting and hurdles coach at the club for almost five years.
“It is a very generous partnership that I am able to do with the Niagara Olympic Club,” Moore said.
The partnership is great on both sides.
“It’s the expertise and the qualifications he brings to our club and our athletes and he is going to be coaching athletes from all different ages and all different sports,” Stewart said. “When they go through his program, there may be a chance that there’s a young athlete out there that want to try a new sport.”
Moore feels the new equipment will help NOC’s hurdles and throwers get a leg up on the competition.
“It is incredibly important just because strength and power relate to each other and compliment each other very well,” he said. “They get a lot of power from what we do on the track with sprinting and they can build strength using weights and different types of exercises.”
Niagara Olympic Club throwing coaching Randy McDougall is also delighted with the new equipment.
“The fitness equipment gives us more range for what we can do with our athletes,” he said. “From my perspective as it relates to jumps and throws, if you can’t generate force off the ground, you are not going to jump far or throw far because you throw from the ground up. You have to have an element of strength and mobility because it has to be all the elements of fitness that take them to the next level.”
McDougall feels the new equipment takes the NOC to the next level.
“We have always had great facilities, but this give us added stuff for our elite athletes. It is almost like a high performance centre,” he said.
And during COVID times, it gives NOC athletes access to key equipment.
“We don’t have to go to another gym, have everyone get a membership including myself so that I can go with them,” he said. “We have it right here and we can add it to the workouts they do outside.”
Getting the equipment did present challenges for the club.
“They are really hard to source during this COVID time because they are sold out everywhere. Everyone is trying to create their own gyms because you can’t go to gyms,” McDougall said. “We were lucky that we had contacts that got us really great prices. Trevor and I worked together to come up with a list of equipment that we felt would benefit our athletes.”