On Sunday, July 25, Canadians everywhere are invited to participate in the BE EPIC virtual run to support female athletes who are training to compete on the world stage. The event is part of the CAN Fund #150Women campaign, which provides financial assistance to elite and up-and-coming female athletes who dream of competing for Canada at international competitions.
About CAN Fund
CAN Fund is a not-for-profit that raises funds for Canadian athletes (both male and female). It was founded by Jane Roos, a former heptathlete who, after a tragic car accident ended her track career, started the foundation from her hospital room. They officially became a charity in 2003, and since then the majority of athletes who compete for Canada are CAN Fund recipients.
The CAN Fund #150Women campaign began in 2017, when Roos noticed that many of their donors were predominantly male. As a female entrepreneur and mother of two daughters, she wanted to build a community of women supporting women. CAN Fund #150Women is a campaign inviting women to donate $150 or more, with that money specifically going to female athletes who are training to compete on the world stage. Since the launch over 1000 women coast to coast have donated supporting to date 350 female athletes with $6000 each (the amount every athlete from CAN Fund receives).
“We had 850 athletes apply to the charity, and our goal is to fund as many of them as we can,” says Roos. “CAN Fund is unique because every donor receives a tax receipt and the name of the athlete they’re supporting. We don’t get any government funding, so we really rely on Canadians and corporate Canada to donate.”
The CAN Fund #150Women campaign is growing. Their goal is to have 10,000 women donate and they want the BE EPIC Run to be their biggest fundraiser yet, Roos shared every woman who donates is helping a female athlete get better nutrition, have regular physiotherapy, buy new equipment, attend training camps and do whatever else is necessary to allow them to train at their best. “People think that once you become an athlete in Canada it’s all taken care of,” she says, “what they don’t realize is many athletes go into debt.”
The BE EPIC Run
The BE EPIC Run is set to take place on Sunday, July 25. Women are encouraged to rally their families and friends to join them in running or walking a distance of their choice. There is no registration fee, but participants are asked to make a donation to the CAN Fund #150Women campaign. On Wednesday, July 28 there will be a post-run virtual reception where participants will get the chance to hear from some of the female athletes they’re supporting.
Participants can join a team with one of the athlete recipients, like Canadian marathon champion Dayna Pidhoresky or sprinter Khamica Bingham. Roos says her goal for the event is to raise a minimum $150,000. Other past and present CAN Fund recipients include Melissa Bishop-Nriagu, Malindi Elmore, Natasha Wodak, Regan Yee, Phylicia George and Genvieve Lalonde.
“If you’re a Canadian athlete competing on the world stage, you’re pretty much relying on CAN Fund at some point in your journey,” says Roos. “Especially for women, I feel like if we want women to succeed at a world-class level we need to back them, and CAN Fund #150Women does this.”
For more information on how you can participate in the BE EPIC Run head on over to the event website, or to learn more about the CAN Fund organization, click here. If you have any questions, you can also call Roos at 1-866-937-2012.