The Momentum Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of physically disabled individuals by supporting their goals in sport and active living.  For all ages and abilities - if you have a goal we can help you reach it!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Momentum Foundation Board of Directors

I am happy to announce the Board Members of the Momentum Foundation.  As a volunteer organization we are only as good as our volunteers - Momentum is fortunate to have a great group of talented and energetic supporters on the Board.

In alphabetical order:

Jennifer Bendl - Jennifer is an experienced fund-raiser.  She has headed fund-raising efforts for the United Way of the Lower Mainland as well as for UBC.  Her expertise will be invaluable to Momentum as we look to raise funds to support our goals.

Brian Cowie - Brian has been involved in sport governance and blind sport organization for many years.  He is also an accomplished athlete - a national team cyclist that competed at the Paralympics in Athens.  Brian's experience as a visually impaired athlete and knowledge of sport governance will be valuable assets for Momentum.

Meyrick Jones - Meyrick is a national calibre disabled athlete in Triathlon and Nordic Skiing. He has represented Canada in Triathlon at two World Championships and is currently training for the 2010 Paralympics in Nordic Skiing. Outside of sport he is a businessman and father of three. As the founder of the Momentum Foundation, Meyrick is hoping to use his experience in business and sport to provide assistance and opportunity for disabled individuals pursuing their active living goals. 

Kari Kylo - Kari is the owner of Soma Solutions.  As a marketing professional, Kari has helped many organizations reach their target markets.  From luxury automobiles to sport teams, public festivals to big business Kari has great experience in creating marketing plans that work.  Momentum will be utilizing her skills to reach its communications objectives.

Kevin Parenteau - Kevin is an entrepreneur and avid triathlete.  In business Kevin has brought a fresh perspective to roles in sales and marketing.  His strengths are in creative thinking and energetic selling.  Kevin's ideas and energy are key factors in Momentum's concepts and strategies.

Kelly Smith - Kelly is one of Canada's most decorated disabled athletes.  As a wheelchair racer he has achieved dozens of high-profile victories in marathons and other races around the world.  He won a silver medal in the wheelchair marathon at the Paralympics in Athens.  Kelly's deep knowledge of wheelchair sport is a great asset to Momentum.

Advisory Board Member: Matt Young - Matt is an accomplished businessman - as the owner of Innovative Fitness, Matt was one of the winners of the Top 40 under 40 in 2007.  Matt's company has been supporting the physical goals of thousands of customers over the last 12 years.  His knowledge of business and energy for supporting people in reaching their goals are valuable assets to Momentum.

Athlete Granting Program

The Athlete Granting Program is designed to assist individuals with the high cost of pursuing sporting goals.  

A running prosthesis can cost more than $15,000 and a racing wheelchair can easily reach costs of $10,000+.  Disabled athletes are faced with many costs that able-bodied athletes do not have to contend with.  In many cases the costs are so great that the barriers to progression cannot be overcome without assistance.

The Momentum Foundation will make grants for equipment, coaching, competition fees and other applicable costs.  Grants will be tailored to the needs and goals of individual athletes.

As with all Momentum programs the Grants Program does not require that an athlete be "elite" - the requirements are that the athlete have clearly defined goals and clearly defined obstacles.  All ages and all abilities are eligible for grants.  Grant applicants must fall within the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) definition of Athlete with a Disability.

Goals Program

The Goals Program is an innovative way to encourage and support the dreams of disabled athletes.  We will seek to partner with corporate and individual donors to provide access and support for events in communities across Canada.

We believe that setting goals and challenging ourselves is one of the surest ways to guarantee positive development in life.  Encouraging this practice and providing access and support for our athletes is one of the cornerstones of the Momentum Foundation.

We will endeavour to list "Available Goals" on our website - these are events for which we have:

- A sponsor willing to cover the costs of access to the event (Registration Fees)
- A sponsor willing to provide a training program to help the athlete reach the goal
- Possible discounts and special offers at local equipment suppliers

Momentum athletes can "Set Goals" by selecting events from our website - we will provide the support both financially and with informational resources for them to succeed.

The type of "Goals" we hope to support range from running events, like the Sun Run in Vancouver to Little League registrations.  We will support goals tailored to all ages and all abilities.

By connecting sponsors to athletes with this program we hope to provide a very satisfying and rewarding donor experience.  The efforts of our athletes can provide inspiration to individuals and organizations.  Momentum will look to find ways to connect the athletes with sponsors for the benefit of both parties.

Sport Exposure Program

The Sport Exposure Program refers to efforts that Momentum will make to create opportunities for physically disabled individuals to try different sports.  We believe in the mental and physical benefits of an active life and will seek ways to create partnerships that will provide equipment, support and access to sport for those who may not have experienced it before.

An example of this is the GF Strong Bike Program.  This program was created by the Momentum Foundation to provide access to real bicycles for newly disabled individuals in rehab programs at GF Strong.  Patients can experience bicycling safely with their physiotherapists, first on a stationary trainer and, as their confidence develops, outdoors.  Thus cycling, and exercise becomes a part of the physiotherapy progression.

Momentum created the program by bringing on a local sponsor, the Bike Gallery.  The local sponsor procures equipment at a discount and shares in the successes of the program by becoming a valued and appreciated donor to the hospital community.  In the end the program is a win-win-win for all involved.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Charitable Registration Successful!

It is with great pleasure that I announce that the Momentum Foundation has received it's charitable number from the Government of Canada.  

This represents the culmination of two years of effort.  It hasn't been non-stop effort as this has been a part-time project for me - but it has been difficult at times.  There was the time I was told by a tax lawyer "I don't think this will get approved", there was/is still a battle with another lawyer over billing that is (in my opinion) ridiculous.

Finally, I was referred to Nicole Todosichuk at Legacy Tax + Trust Lawyers.  She kept things simple, billed fairly and got the job done with very little hassle.  If only I had met her earlier in the process....  oh well....  Thanks Nicole!

The end of this phase signals the beginning of the next phase.  The real BEGINNING.  We will be working on a launch plan for Momentum.  I hope to have an event planned to mark the birth of the foundation in the next few months.

Please subscribe (using the box at the top of the column on the left) to receive regular updates on progress and Momentum news of all sorts.

Thank you to everyone who has helped Momentum reach this point - it is just the beginning, but it took the efforts of many to get here.