Canadian Olympian and 11-time national boxing champion Mandy Bujold shared some interesting thoughts on athlete funding and community support on Sunday’s edition of the TKO Countdown Show.
Bujold, 32, who trains in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, shared her perspective on how the funding worked for her as he prepares for Tokyo. Specifically, she is preparing for Olympic qualification which has been moved to 2021 along with the Games themselves.
“I will receive no funding from Boxing Canada,” Bujold explained. “Because of the rule of … They’ve now created this centralized system where they want of all the athletes to be centralized in Montreal and training in their facility .. In our contracts on the national team it tells us that if you if you do not live in Montreal and train with the team, you will receive zero funding. So that takes away your carding, which is like your normal living expense funding that also takes away the ‘Own the Podium’ funding.
“It’s huge because that would pay for tournaments and pay for some of your expenses as far as massage therapy and psyphio and strength and conditioning and all those other things,” Bujold continued. “That was a big thing for me and that was a big decision I had to make, whether I was going to move and join this program or stay home. For me I decided at the stage I’m at in my career and having a little girl there really was no … I obviously had to be home with my family and my family couldn’t move there because of my husband’s work. That was not really a big conversation it was just where I had to be.
“But I’m also very fortunate. Coming from a smaller town like Kitchener-Waterloo, this community is absolutely amazing. They’ve supported me from Day One. Even if you were receiving funding from Boxing Canada, it’s not a whole lot that you’re getting. So they’ve always continued to support me. About five or six months ago we did a huge fundraiser. There was about 150 businesspeople from the community that came out. We had different silent auctions, live auctions. It was overwhelming to see the support that I’ve been able to receive. I’m pretty fortunate in that sense. I know that some athletes maybe wouldn’t get that kind of support or haven’t quite built up that network yet. That’s definitely saved me big time over the years. And then now with Boxing Ontario, because I’m not carded , I was able to apply for Quest for Gold, through (Boxing) Ontario. It’s kind of a silly process but I was able to receive that funding, which is a provincial funding.
“I feel like when you work hard for something and really have to go out and be creative on how you’re going to get there, it makes it that much sweeter when you win.”
Bujold’s entire interview can be watched at TKO Countdown on the Barnburner Media Network.