Rowing Canada Aviron to Receive Inaugural Mark Lowry Memorial Sport Excellence Fund Grant

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the family of the late Mark Lowry announced today that Rowing Canada Aviron is the inaugural recipient of a $30,000 grant from the Mark Lowry Memorial Sport Excellence Fund. The Fund is a tribute to Lowry, the COC’s former Director of Sport, and is designed to help high-performance athletes and coaches achieve podium success at the Olympic Games.

“My son Brendan and I are delighted to be a part of the inaugural donation of the Mark Lowry Memorial Sport Excellence Fund to Rowing Canada Aviron,” said Jennifer Lowry, Mark’s wife of 26 years. “As a family, we are strongly committed to fulfilling Mark’s dream of helping Canadian athletes reach the podium at the Olympic Games. Our goal is to continue Mark’s dedication to the Canadian Olympic Movement by providing a donation each year towards the development of key high-performance initiatives. We celebrate with Rowing Canada and all those who were associated with Mark because celebrating Canadian sport was what Mark loved to do the most.”

The decision to award the first Mark Lowry Memorial Sport Excellence grant to Rowing Canada Aviron was based on a recommendation provided by the Canadian Sport Review Panel, a group of sport technical experts who assess the high-performance needs of Olympic sports and programs.

Throughout his career in Olympic sport, Mark had a long association with rowing and developed strong relationships with several national team members and volunteer leaders in the sport.

Rowing Canada Aviron will use the funding towards the set-up and maintenance of the Ergometer Centre, an indoor training facility in Victoria, B.C., which will give national team athletes and coaches access to a suitable indoor training facility to allow them to continue to train at an optimum level during the winter months in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

“Mark had such a focus on helping athletes and he had a particular bond with rowers,” said Ian Moss, Executive Director, Rowing Canada Aviron. “We are honoured to be the first recipient of the Mark Lowry Memorial Sport Excellence Fund and we are thrilled that this grant will go towards a project that directly helps the athletes reach their ultimate goal of Olympic gold.”

The Mark Lowry Memorial Sport Excellence Fund was established by the Lowry family and the COC in October 2005. The Fund is managed by the COC on the family’s behalf.

Mark was passionate about the sporting community and worked tirelessly to advance the cause of athletes and sport in Canada. His lasting legacy will be the successes of the many athletes and coaches who have benefited and will benefit from the high-performance programs which he helped to create. He passed away on October 21, 2005 following a valiant, two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

In June 2006, the inaugural Mark Lowry Memorial “Drive for the Podium” Golf Tournament was held at the Stonebridge Golf Course in Ottawa, Ont. The tournament is the primary fundraising source for the Mark Lowry Memorial Sport Excellence Fund. In 2007, the event will return to the Stonebridge Golf Course on June 25.