I've applied for the Champions Fund from the Canada's Dairy Farmers: Fuelling Women Champions.
The Champions Fund was created by Canada’s dairy farmers to empower the female athletic community, to provide a resource that can help change the game for Canada’s young girls and women athletes.
There are 20 grants available, and athletes, teams and programs from all over Canada have applied. Once you apply, your profile is then (hopefully) accepted and posted on the website! From there, you can accumulate "hearts" via shares on Facebook or twitter.
You can check out my profile here and check out my answers to the questions!
The amount of space given to answer the questions on my profile was not enough long enough to explain what this $5000 grant would mean to me.
More importantly, it would give me a platform to be able to show female athletes that they can balance a career, a personal life and follow their sporting dreams! I feel like I owe this to all of the female athletes I idolized growing up, and even now. They showed me this. They let me know that you can have a whole, and fulfilling life, with high performance sport as a part of it.
Athlete does not define me. I am a woman, a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a girlfriend, an employee and a friend. As a figure skater (in my past life) I often felt like i was defined by being that. When it was gone....I didn't know who I was. This time around, I embrace skeleton as a large part of my life, but when I leave the track or gym, I make sure to leave that part of me in a different compartment and shift into a different mode.
This is essential to my sanity, but also to my performance in sport.
There are numerous athletes I looked up to, and continue to, showcasing that I can live a life outside of sport, but still be a high performance athlete. There are too many to list, and they come from all sorts of sports and activities.
I've looked at a lot of the other profiles for this grant and could probably pick 20 of those myself because the women that have applied have amazing thoughts and deserve the support.
On the other hand, I tend to discount my own accomplishments and often think that I don't deserve to even have my profile up on the website. I am very hard on myself, and think anything less than 9/10 is a failure. To me, excellence is mandatory. I go all in, and make sure that anything I produce is of a high quality.
This also leads me to be very hard on myself and scrutinize my success.
I want women to know that you should own your accomplishments, but still continue to be humble and work hard.
So what would I do with the $5000 grant? Why do I deserve it?
My parents are my only sponsor. I could not do what I do without them. My team fees are going to be $2000 to Alberta Skeleton this year. Along with that, I have to pay fees to enter races, and this depends upon how many races I get selected to do this year. NAC, EC & ICC are usually double races, meaning that you do official training runs, then go into back to back races on the last two days. For 4 minutes of competition (actually going down the track) this is usually $500 Canadian just to get on the ice!
The NAC circuit is 4 stops, meaning that would be another $2000 right there over the season.
This grant would allow me to cover this $4000, which basically just allows me to get on the track in Calgary and wherever I am racing.
On top of that, I obviously have to pay for travel, accommodation, food when I am away from home.
This grant would go to directly subsidizing that part. Last year, I bought a new sled and runners, but this year will more than likely not purchase any new equipment, as that could be another $10000 itself.
I have been working all summer in a remote position (from home) in my field, but that is going towards my living expenses. My fall work is TBD but I will be in a position that allows me to slide, and still work remote when needed.
I love what I do. I love working, I love sliding and this grant would subsidize just a small portion of my expenses directly related to my actual sliding.
What I love more is being able to be a female role model in sport. I want young girls and women to be able to look up to me and see that I made it work. That I stuck it out through those hard times when some would've quit. I want them to see someone who stuck it out when all odds were against her. When only a small few were behind her.
I managed to balance an undergraduate degree and training/sliding in the fall and winter, while maintaining a 3.34 GPA. Again, wish it could be higher and I could say I had a way better GPA, but I'm owning my accomplishment of this. I probably missed about 8 weeks of school for sliding from 2014-2016 when I started racing internationally.
Now, moving into being an athlete who also has a career, I want them to know it is possible. Even when people tell you you're crazy, show them it is possible.
That is how I, Grace Nicole Dafoe, will #ChampionHer
Please click on my profile and share with the heart at the top of my profile!