2005 WISE Fund Recipients

Maya MacIsaac-Jones, Athabasca, Alberta, age 9
Category: Athlete
Sport: Cross country ski
Supported by: Cross Country Ski Canada

Maya is an up and coming cross country skier who has been racing in the Alberta Cup series for three years. Her dream is to win Olympic Gold and she has been spending time with National Team athletes in order to help her reach this lofty goal. The WISE Fund grant will help Maya in the next stage of her development as a skier with the purchase of roller skies that will be used for training in the off-season.


Kelvin High School, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Category: Organization
Sport: multi
Supported by: Volleyball Canada

Overwhelmed by the number of female students that are ineligible for graduation because they have not fulfilled their physical education credit, Kelvin High School Department Head, Melanie Charbonneau, has decided to address this issue through the creation of all-girls phys. ed classes. She has selected an off-site gymnasium and plans to work with various sport organizations from Sport Manitoba to develop the programming schedule. This new and unique program will include a variety of sports including kickboxing, soccer, self-defense, tennis, pilates and volleyball. The WISE Fund will be used for equipment, clinician fees and transportation for participants.

Laurel Alexander, Calgary, Alberta, age 23
Category: Coach
Sport: Synchronized Swimming
Supported by: Synchro Canada

A former national team athlete turned coach, Laurel is committed to her new role as a full-time coach with the Calgary Aquabelles Synchronized Swimming club, but lacks the formal education and training needed to excel. Although she has taken some coaching courses and attended various clinics since her retirement as an athlete in 2003, she will use the WISE Fund to help pay for her Level 3 courses that she is required to complete in order to coach at the national synchronized swimming championships.

Ontario Intercollegiate Women’s Fastpitch Association (OIWFA), Ontario
Category: Organization
Sport: Softball
Supported by: Softball Canada

Formed in 2002, the OIWFA promotes fastball to university-aged women in Ontario and encourages them to play for Canadian universities as opposed to seeking scholarships from American schools. The league has experienced tremendous growth with 12 teams in the 2004 season and an additional two schools expected to add teams in 2005. Since most of the participating universities do not adequately fund their teams, individual athletes pay to play in the league. The WISE Fund monies will help to offset the costs associated with the 2005 Championship tournament in order to reduce the expenses that the athletes would typically bear themselves.


Mae Palm, Garibaldi Heights, British Columbia, age 65
Category: Athlete
Sport: Triathlon and Athletics
Supported by: Triathlon Canada

Mae started running 25 years ago at the age of 40 and then took up swimming at the age of 58 and has never looked back. She has not only completed over 100 marathons, but also regularly racks up a 1st place finish! Known as “Marathon Mae”, Ms. Palm is not only a Canadian and North American record-holder, but is also an accomplished motivational speaker. Unfortunately, Mae finds the cost of entry fees for competitions prohibitive and in the past has had to pass up competing in events for which she has qualified due to the expense. She will use the WISE Fund for registration fees for upcoming competitions, including the World Ironman Championships in Hawaii.

Tammy Cains (Alberta Cerebral Palsy Sports Association), Edmonton, Alberta
Category: Coach
Sport: Swimming
Supported by: Swimming Canada

Tammy is a former Gold medallist Paralympian and world record holder who began coaching swimmers with a disability in 2003. On the pool deck, Tammy’s experience not only as an athlete, but also as a person with a disability, is a huge asset. In order to help Tammy hone her coaching skills the WISE Fund monies will be utilized to send Tammy to an upcoming coaching clinic where she can learn from other Paralympic national team coaches and share her expertise with her athletes.

Helene Simard, Charlesbourg, Quebec, age 38
Category: Athlete
Sport: Wheelchair Tennis
Supported by: Tennis Canada

A member of Canada’s Paralympic Team at three Paralympic Games (1992, 2000 and 2004), Helene won a gold medal as part of Canada’s wheelchair basketball team in Barcelona and now competes in wheelchair tennis. She plans to use the WISE grant towards the purchase of a new wheelchair that she will use at international competitions in 2005. The wheelchair, which costs almost $6000, is essential for Helene to be competitive against other athletes around the world. Since 1991 Helene has regularly donated her old chairs to children with disabilities so that they can experience the sport of wheelchair tennis and will do the same upon purchase of the new one.

Kugluktuk High School Athletics Association, Kugluktuk, Nunavut
Category: Organization
Sport: multi
Supported by: Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport

A not-for-profit organization that uses sport and recreation as an incentive for staying in school, Kugluktuk High School Athletics Association, has been recognized by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport as one of the four top sport models in Canada. Although they have several talented athletes, many drop out of school, turn to drugs and alcohol and make unhealthy choices. KHSAA tries to address this problem by offering a youth sport program that provides travel opportunities and access to skilled clinicians who are brought in from other provinces. KHSAA plans to use the WISE Fund monies to help its girls soccer teams improve their skills and also to send its basketball team to Yellowknife for competition in February.

Huntclub/Riverside Community Services Centre, Ottawa, Ontario
Category: Organization
Sport: swimming
Supported by: Swimming/Natation Canada

The Huntclub/Riverside Community Centre will use the WISE Fund grant to offer a monthly swimming program to Muslim females in their area. They will ensure that the girls and women have a private and isolated pool for their exclusive use so as not to violate their beliefs. The program will offer an opportunity for the women to enjoy physical activity in a safe environment and it will be the only recreational program in the area that offers such a specialized program.


Femmes de vent (Women in Wind), Sainte-Foy, Quebec
Category: Organization
Sport: Sailing
Supported by: Canadian Yachting Association

The women of the Quebec Yacht Club have formed a group called Women in Wind. Its mission is to promote the practice of women learning to skipper a keelboat and to get more women involved in the club’s nautical activities. During their first year of existence the group undertook many activities to foster more participation by women and hopes to triple the participation rate of women over the next year. The WISE Fund grant will be used towards a purchase of a new keelboat.


Zoë Erichsen-Meesters, Estey’s Bridge, NB
Category: Coach
Sport: Equestrian
Supported by: Equine Canada

As owner of Rohirrim Farm, Zoë teaches girls more than just how to ride a horse. Her students learn leadership skills, become better communicators and build their confidence. Her students, who range in age from 6 to 60, see that a woman can do anything – from hauling hay to bringing a foal into the world. Although Zoë now makes her living as a farmer and a coach, she is a former teacher who left the education field following a head injury sustained in a car accident. She now focuses on the farm and plans to use the WISE Fund to offset costs associated with completing her Level II coaching certification.

Jessie Cook, New Glasgow, NS, age 16
Category: Athlete
Sport: Figure Skating
Supported by: Skate Canada

Jessie is a competitive figure skater (5-time provincial champion and member of Nova Scotia’s Canada Games team) who is struggling to stay in the sport following the death of her mother last year. Jessie’s mom, who died of cancer, was her sole emotional and financial supporter. Jessie has been delivering papers for 5 years in order to pay for skates and ice fees, but is finding it increasingly difficult to continue in her sport. Jessie is in need of financial assistance and will use the WISE Fund grant to pay for a portion of her 2005 skating fees.