The Mark Lowry Memorial Sport Excellence Fund

“If we, as a country, wish to maintain a competitive edge in the world of amateur sport,
we must do what it takes to allow our athletes to have the very best
in all aspects of their training.” (Mark Lowry)

The Mark Lowry Memorial Sport Excellence Fund was established by his family as a tribute to Mark Lowry, the Canadian Olympic Committee's Executive Director of Sport, who passed away on October 22, 2005. Our goal is to continue Mark's dedication to the Canadian Olympic movement by providing donations towards the development of key high-performance initiatives.

Sport Excellence Fund Directs $16,200 to Gymnastics Canada

May 12, 2016 - Brendan and Jennifer Lowry are pleased to announce the most recent contribution of the Mark Lowry Memorial Sport Excellence Fund to support Canadian sport excellence. The Mark Lowry Memorial Sport Excellence Fund has contributed $16,200 to Gymnastics Canada to purchase technology that measures horizontal displacement of trampoline athletes.

The devices, which measure how far a gymnast travels away from the centre point of the trampoline on each of their ten skills (which results in score deductions), are cutting-edge technology which only three other countries in the world (Russia, China, and Canada), currently have at their disposal. Having an instant, visual representation of their skills will enable the athletes and coaches to make the required tweaks to their routines that will result in the maximum scores possible at competitions. Watch videos by coach Dave Ross and athletes Rosie MacLennan and Jason Burnett.

Funding for the devices, and the other projects that the Mark Lowry Memorial Sport Excellence Fund have been able to support over the years, were all made possible thanks to funds raised from the Drive for the Podium Golf Tournament which ran for 10 years in Ottawa. Funding decisions are made by the Lowry family based on recommendations from high performance sport technical experts from the Canadian Sport Review Panel and the Own the Podium program.

For the Lowry family, the ability to have a direct impact on Canada’s athletes, and to be able to see the funding in action is incredibly rewarding.
"As a family, we are strongly committed to fulfilling Mark's dream of helping Canadian athletes reach the podium at the Olympic Games,” says Jennifer Lowry, Mark’s wife. “This is what we hope to accomplish with the money raised over the years at the Drive for the Podium Golf Tournament”

Sports that have benefitted from the Sport Excellence Fund so far are:
Rowing Canada
Dive Calgary
Canoe-Kayak Canada
Canadian Curling Association
Cycling Canada
Swimming Natation Canada
Speed Skating Canada
Gymnastics Canada
Skate Canada

Skate Canada Biomechanics Lab

The Mark Lowry Memorial Sport Excellence Fund provided Skate Canada with a $20,000.00 investment towards the development of the Skate Canada Biomechanics Lab that will ensure Canada's figure skaters remain at the top of International podiums.

With this funding, Skate Canada purchased the XSENS - 3D Motion Tracking Technology. This system will enable skaters and coaches to analyse the minute details of their on-ice movements, leading to faster skill acquisition and consistent skill execution in competitive environments. This joint investment into the development of Canada's figure skaters ensures Canada continued dominance on the world stage.

“Skate Canada is very thankful for this generous gift from the Lowry Foundation. Mark Lowry was an exceptional leader in Canadian sport, and we are proud that this new technology which will help advance the performance of Canadian figure skaters will be part of his legacy of excellence.”

The first Mark Lowry Memorial Sport Excellence grant was given in 2006/07 to Rowing Canada Aviron. Rowing Canada Aviron used the funding towards the set-up and maintenance of the Mark Lowry Ergometer Centre, an indoor training facility in Victoria, B.C., which provides 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.


Mark Lowry Ergometer Centre

The 2007/08 grant was provided to Dive Calgary to establish the Mark Lowry Portable Dryland Training Area and has added much-needed dry-boards, trampolines, mats and resistance-training equipment to the training space currently on-site for some of Canada’s top divers at the Talisman Centre in Calgary.


Mark Lowry Portable Dryland Training Area

The 2008/09 grant of $31,500 was provided to Canoe/Kayak Canada to augment a training facility located in Ottawa, ON at the Rideau Canoe Club.

The Mark Lowry Fund provided support to purchase kayak and canoe ergometers, strength training equipment, a new national team motor boat and motor and a high definition video camera.

Rideau Canoe Club Commodore Hector Carranco accepted the cheque on behalf of the Club and spoke about how this contribution will help the athletes and coaches at the Club to train for their various competitions.

Three Sports Are Beneficiaries of $63,900 from the Mark Lowry Memorial Sport Excellence Fund in 2011

The Canadian Curling Association (CCA) received $28,900 to support the Mark Lowry Sweeping Laboratory and the Mark Lowry Mobile Sweeping Laboratory. Sweeping has long been a skill that requires strength, aerobic capacity and precise body position while moving along a sheet of curling ice. This missing performance-training element has been how to measure improvement. The Mark Lowry Fund will assist in developing a unique sweeping training tool as well as a mobile laboratory that would meet the challenge of training elite curling athletes who are spread across the country. The intent following the 2014 Sochi Olympics is to market the training tool internationally and donate a percentage of sales to the Mark Lowry Memorial Sport Excellence Fund. This was the first winter sport supported by the Mark Lowry Fund.

The Canadian Cycling Association received $15,000 towards special equipment to assist in training disabled cyclists at their Bromont QC and Calgary AB training centers. This was the first Paralympic sport supported by the Fund. Canadian Cycling Association CEO Greg Mathieu stated: “we are thrilled to be able to go forward with this significant project due to this support and recognition of the great strides being taken with para-cycling in Canada.” To see the CCA news release click here.

Swimming Natation Canada (SNC) received $20,000 towards the Mark Lowry Recovery Centre which is housed at the Vancouver National Swim Centre. The Recovery Centre will provide a designated area for athletes and service providers to offer services such as massage therapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic, nutrition and recovery protocols. In their proposal SNC stated that “to compete at the world level, Canadian swimmers need the continued support and care that is not only on par but superior to our competition. By providing a consistency of care and accessibility to recovery protocols our athletes will be receiving this support and care.”

Sport Excellence Fund 2013

In 2013, the Lowry Family was pleased to announce that $20,000 was directed to Speed Skating Canada to help fund the Mark Lowry Speed Skating Tech Shop at the Calgary Olympic Oval. The project will include specialized equipment used in the rockering of skate blades that allows speed skaters to optimize performance through precise tuning of their blades leading to enhanced power, control and balance.

"As a family, we are strongly committed to fulfilling Mark's dream of helping Canadian athletes reach the podium at the Olympic Games,” says Jennifer Lowry, Mark’s wife. “This is what we hope to accomplish with the money raised each year at the Drive for the Podium Golf Tournament”

The primary source of funds for the Mark Lowry Sport Excellence Fund is the Drive for the Podium Golf Tournament held in Ottawa each year. Over $200,000 has been raised by this tournament in the eight years that it has been held. Funding decisions are made by the Lowry family based on recommendations from high performance sport technical experts from the Canadian Sport Review Panel and the Own the Podium program.

You can make a donation directly to the fund by sending a cheque payable to the Canadian Olympic Committee (re the Mark Lowry Sport Excellence Fund) to:

Canadian Olympic Committee
21 St. Clair Avenue E., Suite 900
Toronto, ON
M4T 1L9

 
Drive for the Podium
info@driveforthepodium.com