Four Speed Skaters Receive Canada Games Fast Track Athlete Grants

Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (Sherbrooke, QC), Joel Collin-Demers (Cumberland, ON), Anne-Sophie Davreux (Montréal, QC) and Jill Gilday (Yellowknife, NWT) are four of the 47 recipients of this year’s Canada Games Fast Track Athlete Grants, each worth $2,000.

These grants have been awarded yearly since 2005 to Canada Games level athletes who are targeted and on the pathway to excellence at the national, international and Olympic team level.

The grants were administered based on specific criteria whereby recipients were identified using past performances over the last two competitive seasons. National Sport Organizations gave input to the selection committee to help rank athletes in their respective sports.

The program was designed to fill a void in Canada’s sport system and support Canada Games level athletes who are targeted and on the pathway to excellence. “The Canada Games Movement is committed to inspiring dreams and building champions in our nation’s youth,” says Sue Hylland, President and CEO, Canada Games Council. “The number of quality applications we received this year increased and we are happy to support the next generation of Canada’s champions in between the Canada Games”.

Jill Gilday and Joel Collin-Demers were both at the 2007 Canada Winter Games, where Gilday ranked 8th overall, her best result being a surprising 5th place in the 3000m, and Collin-Demers finished 10th in the overall standings.

Alex Boisvert-Lacroix

Alex is a very perseverant and determined athlete. Despite an injury plagued season in 2004/2005, Alex fought hard to put himself back among the top skaters in Canada. In 2000/2001, while competing as a Juvenile, Alex became Quebec champion, Canadian champion, and North American champion in the 500m. He held the Canadian juvenile record in the 500m for 2 years, and continues to hold the North American 500m long track record in the Junior category.

Joel Collin-Demers

Joel could barely skate when he began speed skating at the age of 11. As he improved, his passion for the sport increased. In 2006, Joel placed 2nd at the Ontario Winter Games, and also placed 2nd at the Ontario ST Age Class Championships. Later in the year, Joel attended the Canadian ST Age Class Championships where he finished 7th. He plans to attend school in Montreal next year where he will continue his skating with hopes of making it to the Olympics in the near future.

Jill Gilday

Jill has always been heavily involved in her school, playing sports and joining numerous clubs. Outside of school, she has been involved in her community, volunteering to coach “Learn-to-Skate” to younger kids. In 2006, Jill competed at the Edmonton Fall Classic, placing 2nd, and qualifying to compete at the Canadian Junior Nationals. At Nationals, Jill placed 13th. Jill is currently enrolled in a Kinesiology and Bachelor of Education Program, and upon graduating, plans to move to Calgary to further her skating career.