Lugers Tristan Walker and Justin Snith will back charities in races next year ©Luge Canada

Olympic luge medallists Tristan Walker and Justin Snith will race with charities on their sled when they compete on the World Cup circuit next year.

The Canadian doubles team lost their main personal sponsor amid the coronavirus pandemic, and have decided to back four good causes instead.

Luge Canada opted to skip the first four World Cups of the season in 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis, but hope to begin competing in 2021.

In Königssee in Germany on January 2 and 3 the duo will back STARS Air Ambulance, and they will then support the Kvisle Fund for GBM at another German track, Oberhof, on January 16 and 17.

The Cochrane & Area Humane Society will be backed in Innsbruck in Austria on January 23 and 24 before the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund is supported when the circuit returns to Königssee for the World Championships from January 29 to 31.

Walker and Snith were part of the Canadian team which won mixed relay silver at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics.

"We recognise this has been an unpredictable and challenging year for individual Canadians and businesses alike," said Walker. 

"Rather than trying to replace our primary sponsor, Justin and I felt the right thing to do this year was to use our platform to bring additional awareness to charities in this country that are doing important work in our communities.

Tristan Walker and Justin Snith won Olympic silver in the team relay at Pyeongchang 2018 ©Getty Images
Tristan Walker and Justin Snith won Olympic silver in the team relay at Pyeongchang 2018 ©Getty Images

"From the beginning of our sliding careers, we have had the generous support of Canadians and corporate partners through our national programme. 

"While we don't have the financial means to provide a lucrative gift to these organisations, this is one small way we can give back by putting the focus on how these charities are helping to strengthen our broader communities."

Walker and Snith each selected two charities they have personal connections to.

A close friend of Walker's was saved by STARS, and he is now aiming for his commercial helicopter licence.

His other choice, the Cochrane & Area Humane Society, helps animals in need.

Snith chose the Kvisle Fund which raises awareness about glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer diagnosis in Alberta.

He also chose the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund, which works to improve the lives of First Peoples in Canada.