| Nov 06, 2008

Nov 6/08 - Sydenham Supports Athletes

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Feature Article - November 6, 2008 Sydenham Legion proposes “SYDENHAM SupPORTS”By Julie Druker

Derrick Anderson, vice president of Sydenham Legion, recently proposed to the Legion executive that a fund be created to help young local athletes who may require financial assistance while pursuing their athletic aspirations.

Anderson realized the need for such a fund when he worked years ago as Vice Commodore (VC) for the Sydenham Lake Canoe Club (SLCC) and witnessed cases of young, talented athletes with long-term aspirations being limited by financial needs.

Anderson recalls one athlete in particular, Natasha Ostopovich, who won a silver medal at the Nationals while a canoeist at the SLCC. She eventually changed her sport to kayaking and then to rowing. She has since won a scholarship to Washington State University, where she currently rows on the Varsity team. She is aspiring to make the Canadian Olympic team in four years’ time.

Scott Takala (photo left) is another Sydenham athlete who has serious long-term aspirations. He won the men’s 20-24 triathlon world championships in Vancouver this past summer in Vancouver and has his sights set on the 2010 Olympic Games in London.

With the specific athletes in mind, Anderson approached John Pickernell, president of the Sydenham Legion, who was 100% on board with the idea of setting up a fund to support all serious local athletes who may require financial assistance to reach their goals.

The two men approached the Legion executive and put forward a four-year proposal called “SYDENHAM SupPORTS”, which will entail a number of fundraising events. The executive was supportive and the plan is now in its very early stages.

Anderson explains his motivations, “It’s great for the community to have athletes of this caliber and with this kind of ambition, and it would be great if we as a community could support them in their endeavors.”

He says, “If you want to see Sydenham represented on the international stage….join us in a four-year commitment to support our hopefuls during this long training session.“

Sydenham Legion Branch 496 invites the business and social communities around Sydenham to join them in sponsoring the youth in the area in their athletic endeavours.

Anyone interested in donating or helping with the fundraising can contact Derrick Anderson at 613-376-3739.

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