BC Wheelchair Sports Athletes win bursaries from Investors Group Inc.

April 26, 2001 - Wheelchair basketball Paralympians Marni Abbott and Jaimie Borisoff (both of Vancouver) have received bursaries through the Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund. The Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund provides 20 senior national team athletes with bursaries of $5,000 each. This is the second year of the program and is the only corporately funded bursary program for senior national team athletes.

"This bursary is going to allow me to train without having so much financial stress," says Abbott, who now works for the Coaches Association of BC. "It will also allow me to train more and work less."

Abbott recently won BC Wheelchair Sports Association's Female Athlete of the Millennium and was a member of the gold medal winning basketball team at the Paralympics in Australia.

Investors Group is working with Athletes CAN, a non-profit organization representing Canada's Paralympic, Pan American, Commonwealth, Olympic and national team athletes, and the Spirit of Sport Foundation, a charitable organization responsible for the promotion of fair and ethical sport.

A selection committee of active and retired national team members, along with officials from Investors Group and Athletes CAN, reviewed the bursary applications and selected the recipients. About 321 athletes applied for bursaries in 2001.

"I'm not a sponsored athlete," adds Borisoff. "Our wheelchairs are expensive. The bursary will help me buy and maintain the equipment I have. It eases the financial burden. Last year I had a lot of medical expenses with physiotherapy treatments. There are so many expenses that we have that people don't realize."

Named BC's Disabled Athlete of the year for 1999, Borisoff is doing his studies in spinal cord development and regeneration. He also holds a degree in Engineering Physics from the University of British Columbia and is a Ph.D. Student in Neuroscience at UBC. He was also a member of the men's gold medal winning team at the Paralympics.

For more information contact Judy Joseph at 604.739.9850.