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skateboy
12-27-2011, 07:49 AM
How does Patrick's piano playing compare to that of Mira Leung? lmao By the way, what is mira up to these days?

I've wondered about Mira myself. You've inspired me to start a new thread!

aftershocks
12-27-2011, 09:58 AM
...
2. Figure Skating has a friend in the entertainment industry, Johnny Weir. Weir is their “guy”. The entertainment industry historically always does well in nasty economic times and therefore is an excellent potential source of future funding.
...

:lol: Interesting analysis ... but what do you mean exactly? FS will be rescued by jumping onto Johnny's fashionable skirt-tails/ stylish trendiness and smooth moves (even moreso than some in fs have been doing already), and beseeching him for introductions and phone numbers? Pardon me for laughing at that scenario/ image -- not because I think it's ridiculous or unlikely, it's just the abundant irony. "We love you, we need you Johnny ... for your moneybucks entertainment friends, if not for your substantial fan following."

Seems to me that Johnny's many friends/ contacts in the entertainment industry love him for the very same reasons he is/ was/ will always be disliked by many in the skating community. But yeah, Johnny's the bomb and he definitely rocked in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and in the MAC Cosmetics ads. Ha ha, Johnny is indeed the "Winter Warrior" (term he coined for his glam MAC ad look).

Oh, but, pardon me for breathing and tripping out about Johnny in here ... I forgot this is a Patrick Chan thread... and so quickly I shall depart before the self-styled "Chan Gang" piles on with the aggressive name-calling, admonishing, enforcing. Yes, I know things have calmed down as the thread has grown and meandered a bit, so my comments might seem to some even further OT/ out of context.
(Phew, okay, before departing: Chan is not at fault in any way whatsoever for anything, and I never said he was -- witness my polite defending of him way up thread -- and excuse me for not being that into Patrick or his skating, and for thinking that his development and growth as a skater is being stunted by the overly high marks he's consistently given for subpar skates. Yeah, sure Patrick's blades are "the gift that keep on giving." Oh well, enjoy the love fest and the judges' gift-giving, and the IJS excuse-making, but please no aggressive name-calling simply because everyone is not all that charmed by PC's skating or cowed by his vociferous and loyal fans). :slinkaway or I should probably :scream: before being :kickass:

NorthernDancers
01-04-2012, 03:57 AM
My point was you seem to be distinguishing those from tax monies, and I'm trying to show those *are* tax monies. Why? Because you're basically taking money that would otherwise go to the government in the form of taxes, and allowing individuals and corporations to redirect that to sports. That's really no different than the government directly funding sports via tax payer monies. It's the same principle and would have the same effect. The more money diverted to sports, whatever the mechanism, means less public monies available for other things (including infrastructure, housing, healthcare, education, etc.). That simply how it works.

That's typically why government leaves sports funding up to individuals--if they have extra money they want to throw at that, fine. But it cannot come at the expense of current government funding because there are too many other things that require proper funding. Government simply cannot pay for everything. I'll leave my thoughts on public subsidies for religious education out of this :shuffle:. Skating for the vast majority of people is a fun extra curricular activity. Government would go broke financing every extracurricular under the sun. And let's be honest--at the beginning levels, skating expenses aren't nearly as onerous as they become in elite skating. But at the elite skating level, you can have people spending over a 100,000/year. You said earlier that all training expenses should be covered at this level by the government. I'm saying that's just not realistic, nor is it good public policy. Should the Canadian public, who in the majority make less than $30,000/year, be forced to contribute to an ice dancer's Vera Wang costume one season? Should that person making $25,000/year be forced to subsidize someone's personal trainer?

Doesn't that strike you as incredibly off?

So does building model rockets, skateboarding, playing video games, and a whole lot of other activities. Skating isn't exactly unique in that way. But that doesn't mean skating should be getting special tax payer subsidies unlike all those many other activities. Some skaters in the US are pulled out of school just so they can skate. Technically they are home-schooled, but sometimes their schooling takes place in name only. Nicole Bobek anyone? Do you have any evidence to back that up? I ask because for the vast majority of people, sports are enjoyed by watching it on TV. In the case of figure skating, fans either watch on tv, on their computers, or by sitting for hours on end at a skating venue. Those are hardly physical strenuous activities. Arguably, televising sports leads to further sedentary behaviors rather than more activity. If you look in the stands at figure skating events, the prime demographic tends to be older women that aren't exactly fitness buffs. So I don't know on what basis you could say watching figure skating leads to greater levels of physical activity. I've yet to see any evidence of that.

Happy New Year, Everyone! Just getting back online after the Christmas break, and wanted to answer to the questions, since they are good ones. I got a little carried away, but I think this is an important discussion for the sport. If we don't figure out a better funding model, we will lose the sport entirely in a few years.

I think the best way to describe the idea around including competitive sports as registered charities is by using an example:

Let's take ACME Company. They have a budget of $100,000 per year to spend on charitable causes. They want to spend exactly that much, since it allows them to give back to their community while maximizing their tax deductions for charitable activities. It's the right balance between giving back while getting a return. Traditionally, ACME gives about $50,000 to cancer research, about $20,000 to the local hospital association, about $10,000 to political activities, and reserve $20,000 for other smaller local charitable activities.

Now imagine if a local athlete makes a splash on the provincial, national or international level. Maybe a coach or a club contacts ACME to inform them of this athlete with some potential who would benefit with some support. ACME would like to donate $5,000 to this athlete's expenses from their local charity budget. They can't do so and claim the expense. Sports don't qualify as charity. As a result, that $5,000 ends up going to a local political foundation instead.

An added possibility: ACME highlights 5 local athletes who have expensive training costs and competition expenses, would benefit from support, have the right attitudes and behaviours, and have strong ties to the local community. They have a poll within the company to adopt one of these athletes. ACME agrees to match all employee contributions to this athlete's expenses up to $5,000. The company holds a variety of community events to support this athlete, stays in touch with the athlete, which results in more than just monetary support. It builds community. Both the employees and the company can claim their charitable giving, in same way that they can today for other charitable donations. The result is about $10,000 from the employees plus $5,000 from the company. That $15,000 would go a long way to a developing local athlete.


This is good illustration, since it captures a number of concerns raised on this thread.

- It shows that money is simply being redistributed. The amount will be spent and donated. It's a question of where the money will go. We are simply expanding the choices. I don't see there being a flood away from the big charitable causes like Cancer Research or the United Way. I do think kids and young adults who train 20 hours per week, achieve success in school, and give back to their community do deserve to be considered charities every bit as much as churches, political action foundations, and so on.

- It ensures the money has a greater chance of being well spent. Local communities are selecting local athletes, and retaining a greater degree of oversight and control over how their charitable money is being spent. I don't think they'd fund a Vera Wang costume or excessive luxury choices. I don't see a company choosing to support a recreational skater who is just out for some exercise. It's not about every recreational beginning skater. It's the developing athletes with $40K and $50K budgets for the year who have trouble staying in the sport that would benefit from this kind of support that companies are more likely to get behind. For the beginning skaters who can't afford the beginning levels, there are charitable organizations to help. Canadian Tire has one. Local municipalities often have their own funds. But these don't qualify if the child actually shows promise and starts to be successful. The message: child, learn the sport, but don't you dare excel at it. There just is no mechanism to fund you. Don't get your hopes up. How many great skaters do we lose just because of lack of money? How many don't bother starting because of the expense?

- If a community happens to have a high level athlete or team like a Virtue/Moir or Chan, then it is highly likely that more than 1 company will like to claim support for them. It's name recognition for them. Maybe allow the athletes to put the corporate symbols on the sleeves of their competition warm up jackets. It will show in the KnC. Between winnings from international events, national funding, and corporate sponsorship, there should be no reason that the face of the sport for the country aren't fully funded. They don't have to drive BMW's. But their real costs should be covered at the very top.

- If a company is adopting an athlete, the expense is less for the parents, and less for them to claim. There are ways for controlling how much can be claimed, and what kind of expenses. Parents already can claim $1000 in activities. Maybe fill that up first, which would take care of the rec skaters, and put some rules around the additional money. Let's also remember that claiming these expenses does not result in a dollar for dollar drop in revenue. It results in a percentage of expenses. The lion's share is still being borne by parents, and proportionately bigger the more successful the athlete, if there are no available corporate sponsors first. If parents today can claim expenses for very exclusive private schools, as well as religious schools, why not developing athletes?

- I'm sure there will always be examples of athletes who circumvent school. In Canada, that is highly unusual. Wing/Lowe earned masters degrees while competing. Virtue goes to university. So do Davis/White. Big cities often have special schools for arts and sports to accommodate schedules. Small towns make exceptions for elite participation in sports, since elite athletes tend to be achievers who still get their work done, even when they miss class. As for life lessons, it's the package deal - activity that builds the mind and spirit, hopefully encourages a life-long pattern of health and wellness, and shows kids how to be achievers. It's not the same as building rockets. Sorry.

- How are high achieving athletes used in their communities? They become promotional speakers at schools and corporate events, mentors, charity promoters, besides usually moving on to successful careers elsewhere. They absolutely inspire young peope to get involved. After Cindy Klassen hauled off with a whole pile of Olympic medals, speed skating saw a huge boost in membership. Same with women's hockey. Catrina LeMay-Doan has been retired from speed skating for quite some time, and still is the face of charity on TV this Christmas. You have to see lights on the wee little kids faces when a star like Joannie Rochette or Kurt Browning comes and sits beside them, even though they are just rec skaters. Scott Moir is a fabulous ambassador for the sport. Look around the country. There are big holes in the sport of ice dance at the pre-novice and novice level. But there are a whole lot of new teams at the beginning levels this year. I count 2 teams at Senior, none at Junior, 1 at Novice and 1 at Pre-Novice in Western Ontario Section, which is normally a lead section in ice dance. But there were 5 at Pre-Juvenile, and a whole lot more in development. Maybe between 12 and 15 teams in early development just in Western Ontario? How many of those kids were inspired by the leadership of Virtue/Moir and Weaver/Poje? How many teams with great potential will we lose due to lack of funds?

BOTTOM LINE:

If we do not fix the funding model for this sport, we will not produce the best athletes. Some great ones will find their way, but many more who could be even better with the right support and funding could be stars. I think it is a huge reason why the ladies in Canada do not have strong international competitors. We lose too many in development. They don't have the money to stay in the sport or invest in all the things that will bring success. If we want to expand the appeal of the sport, and win back audiences, we must not be an elite sport only for rich people. I've presented some ideas that some may agree or disagree with. That's fine. I think they will work and not break the Canadian national budget. Others may disagree. But the discussion should be centred on how do we expand the accessibility of the sport for more people, and how do we identify, fund, and grow the athletes with the biggest talent, work ethic and heart for the sport, which benefits the athletes, the sport, and broader society.