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Canadian athletes receive much needed funding

Toronto-August 13, 2003 -The one-year countdown to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens is enhanced today with a major investment in Canadian pride thanks to a $500,000 donation from MasterCard Canada.

The See You In Athens Fund launched its national campaign in February 2003; this contribution marks the “premiere” donation towards a $5 million financial goal.

" MasterCard Canada is extremely proud to sponsor the See You in Athens Fund," said Walt Macnee, President, MasterCard Canada. "MasterCard believes in rooting for the home team by investing sponsorship dollars in energetic, great Canadians who share the values of honesty, respect and spirit. We already support a variety of programs in hockey, figure skating and soccer. By sponsoring See You in Athens we can continue our focus on grassroots assistance to amateur athletes as they train to create priceless moments for all Canadians."

The See You in Athens Fund is a not-for profit fund established to directly support the training and development of Canada’s amateur athletes. Sadly, more than 70 per cent of Canada’s amateur athletes live below the poverty line. This fund eases the financial burdens placed on the athletes for their travel, equipment, coaching and nutritional expenses.

“ MasterCard has responded to a need. A need for corporate Canada to recognize the importance of directly supporting our athletes when the support is needed most,” says Jane Roos, Founder and Executive Director of the See You in Athens Fund. “This donation will provide Canadian athletes with the desperately needed funds in order for them to train and qualify for Athens. We are proud that MasterCard has joined us in support of our Canadian heroes.”

Since its inception in 1997, the fund has raised more than $600,000 to support hundreds of athletes including gold medallist wrestler Daniel Igali and the 2000 bronze medal synchronize swimming team.

“ As an athlete I can tell you first-hand how vital this donation is,” says World Champion rower and Olympic silver and bronze medallist Silken Laumann. “It takes years of preparation, practice and sheer determination before an athlete can live out their Olympic dream. With this donation, athletes can focus on their pursuit for gold, not managing a personal spreadsheet.”

The See You in Athens Fund will celebrate Canadian pride with an Opening Ceremonies Gala tonight at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto. The gala kicks off the one-year countdown to the Olympic Games in Athens and encourages other Canadian corporations to make an investment in Canadian pride.

About MasterCard International
MasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company that provides a broad variety of innovative services in support of its global members’ credit, deposit access, electronic cash, business-to-business and related payment programs. MasterCard International manages a family of well-known, widely accepted payment cards brands including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus® and serves financial institutions, consumers and businesses in over 210 countries and territories. The MasterCard award-winning Priceless® advertising campaign is now seen in 96 countries and in 45 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. For more information go to

About See You In Athens Fund
The See You In Athens Fund is a not-for-profit organization devoted solely to raising money and awareness for Canada’s amateur athletes. Since 1997, the Fund has helped Canada’s amateur athletes prepare for international summer and winter games. Monies donated to the fund go directly to Canadian athletes to support their training, coaching, nutrition and living expenses in preparation for international competition.

For more information please contact:

Jane Roos
Founder, Executive Director
See You in Athens Fund

Diane Medeiros
Account Coordinator
416-640-5525 Ext. 244

Nancy Evans
Senior Vice President
Environics Communications