By Gary Anderson

July 22 - canaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAs part of a new four year agreement with the Canada Games Council (CGC) the Canadian Olympic Foundation (COF) is providing $250,000 (£163,000/€190,000) of funding to the 2013 Canada Games which are due to take place in Sherbrooke from August 2 to 17.

A ceremonial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the COF and the CGC formalising the partnership was signed at the foot of Sherbrooke's historic City Hall, which will see the first time the summer Games have been staged in Quebec.

The investment, which also covers the 2015 and 2017 Games, is part of the COF's strategy to align Canada's sport system to ensure the development of future Olympians and to support and encourage young Canadian athletes at all stages of their career.

"Today is about supporting future Olympians and strengthening Canada's sport system at all levels, which is critical if we want to consistently raise our game to the top of the podium," said Marcel Aubut, chairman of the COF and President of the Canadian Olympic Committee.

"The Canada Games are an essential part of our country's sport system and our athletes' journey to the Olympic Games.

"That's why we are so proud to be making this announcement today in support of the young men and women who are the true future of Canadian sport."

More than 4,200 young athletes, coaches and managers from across Canada are expected to take part in the 24th staging of the Games, which are aimed at providing promising young athletes with the opportunity to compete in the largest multi-sport events in Canada.

London 2012 judo bronze medallist Antoine Valois Fortier second from right competed at the 2007 Canada Games winning goldLondon 2012 judo bronze medallist Antoine Valois Fortier, second from right, competed at the 2007 Canada Games winning gold

"As an athlete who has competed first at the Canada Games and then at the Olympic Games, I know how critical support of this kind can be," said London 2012 judo bronze medallist Antoine Valois-Fortier.

"That is why I am so happy and excited to see this partnership taking place.

"Olympians are not produced overnight; it takes dedication, resources and proper funding at all the pivotal stages of an athletes' career.

"This is great news for sport in Canada."

This year will see athletes taking part in 20 disciplines at 20 venues around Sherbrooke and the surrounding area.

Canada Games MoU July 22 2013Canadian Olympic Foundation chairman Marcel Aubut, and Canada Games Council chairman Tom Quinn sign the MoU watched by Sherbrooke 2013 mascot ZigZag the Hummingbird

"This is fantastic news for our young aspiring athletes, the Canada Games and the entire sporting system in our country," said Tom Quinn, Canada Games Council chairman.

"For decades, this competition has seen and helped produce some of Canada's greatest athletes.

"It is reaffirming to see this level of investment being made because it signals that our system is in good shape and has a tremendous amount of potential."

The Canada Games are held every two years and alternate between Summer and Winter Games.

The 2015 Canada Winter Games are due toake take place in Prince George, British Columbia

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