Coldstream’s Jacob Brayshaw has joined one of the most prestigious athletic clubs in Canada.
Brayshaw, 18, a swimmer who was born in Vernon and has a form of congenital muscular dystrophy called Ullrich Myopathy, was named as one of 55 up-and-coming Canadian athletes from both summer and winter sports selected by Petro-Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee and the Coaching Association of Canada to receive a Fuelling Athletes and Coaching Excellence (FACE) Program grant.
The program supports up-and-coming athletes when they need it most: when they are striving to represent Canada at the Olympic or Paralympic Games, but don’t yet qualify for full government funding. Recipients are selected based on potential. The funding is courtesy of Petro-Canada.
“It’s awesome, I’m super excited to get it,” said Brayshaw, a second-year engineering student at UBCO Okanagan.
The athletes and their coaches are awarded $10,000 ($5,000 directly to the athlete and $5,000 to their coach) to help with things athlete families often have to pay out-of-pocket, like equipment and competition travel expenses.
Vernon’s Renate Terpstra serves as coach for Brayshaw, a para swimmer with the Vernon Kokanee Swim Club, who won gold in the 50m breaststroke and silver in the 50m backstroke multi-class races at the 2019 Canadian Swimming Trials.
Brayshaw just missed out on representing Canada at this year’s Paralympics in Tokyo.
“I was 10 seconds faster than my best time and somebody beat me by two seconds,” said Brayshaw of his qualification attempt done because of COVID protocols at the Kamloops Canada Games pool, where he videotaped his swim, had timers, and sent the result into Swimming Canada. “It was a great night. There was nothing else I could do and someone else just beat me.
“I’ll still be watching the Paralympics, especially the swimming events because I have friends who made the team and we all know each other from the swim meets.”
Brayshaw, who only began swimming competitively five years ago, competed for Canada at the 2019 Para Pan American Games, reaching a pair of finals.
Hundreds of past FACE grant recipients have gone on to win medals for Canada at recent Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Since 1988, FACE grants have supported more than 3,000 athletes and coaches by providing more than $12 million in financial support.