Newly-Named Canadian Luge Squad Teams Up With Calgary Board of Education to Launch Children’s Luge Book
CALGARY— Canada’s newly named World Cup Luge Team added another chapter to its national For Sale campaign by teaming up with the Calgary Board of Education to launch a children’s luge book that will impact more than 15,000 students across the Stampede City.
Created with the goal of encouraging youth literacy, educating readers on the sport of luge, and inspiring children and their parents to enjoy active lifestyles, Lucy Tries Luge is the first book in a Kids Love Sports series envisioned by high-profile sports media personality, and now Calgary-based author, Lisa Bowes.
“My vision for “Lucy Tries Luge” was to create a series of books that will connect Canada’s Olympic role models with our nation’s youth,” said Bowes, who officially released the book with Canada’s luge athletes at Olympic Heights School on Tuesday. “I chose luge as the first book in the series because sliding on our backs down snowy hills is one of the first recreational activities we all enjoy in the winter as children. And being a mom, I know how much kids love speed!”
Illustrated by Canada’s James Hearne, Lucy Tries Luge is an original and unique concept in education that will enrich the lives of early readers and their families. With her parents support, the main character, Lucy, overcomes her fear of sliding when she jumps on her new sled for a speedy adventure.
“James and I created a fresh, engaging character that encourages active lifestyles as she explores this Olympic sport,” added Bowes. “Through this book, Lucy connects CBE students to luge and the Canadian Team that will wear the maple leaf at the 2014 Games and beyond.”
A total of 1,500 copies of the unique children’s sports book will be distributed to all Kindergarten and Grade 1 classes in the Calgary Board of Education (CBE). Bowes will also send a copy of the book to all CBE elementary school libraries and learning commons, while additional copies will be included in the CBE’s annual Book Bags for Kids campaign for students in need.
After the life-size cut-out of Lucy was unveiled by two-time Olympians Alex Gough and Sam Edney, it was also revealed that Lucy will wear her sponsor, Olympia Trust Company’s logo in the book.
“It is no secret the roll corporate Canada plays in driving success for all of Canada’s high-performance sport programs, and Olympia Trust Company’s support of Lucy is no different,” said Bowes, who is donating the books to the CBE schools, and has an ultimate goal of enticing a publisher to join Lucy on her Olympic adventures so the books could be sold across Canada, which would then deliver additional funds back to the luge program.
“Thanks to their support today, thousands of children have been introduced to luge and Olympic sport. We are extremely grateful to Olympia Trust for sharing our vision, and supporting early literacy.”
Unlike Lucy, Gough, Edney and their World Cup mates, who were officially introduced to the students during the book launch, will begin competing for Canada during the highly anticipated Olympic year, without a title corporate partner.
After losing their corporate partner this summer the team officially put themselves up FOR SALE earlier this month, just minutes before taking their first on-ice training sessions of the season on the Olympic Track in Calgary. Replacing corporate logos with FOR SALE decals on their race helmets to officially announce the team is on the market, Canada’s luge athletes also took their first descents down their home track in Calgary with a FOR SALE sign erected above the start handles.
“Many believe luge is obscure in Canada, but I would argue more Canadians actually participate in the grassroots of our sport than hockey or skiing, and this children’s book is a great example of that,” said Tristan Walker, one of Canada’s top luge athletes destined for his second Olympic appearance in Sochi.
“As we see from the main character, Lucy, the roots of our sport start in playgrounds and communities across the country where millions of Canadians enjoy the simple thrill of sliding on all kinds of sleds each winter. It is on these hills that spark the Olympic dream in all of us.”
The luge program’s For Sale stunt initially worked in 2009 when it secured the program its first-ever title partner. Similarly, it began to attract immediate attention this time around when Alberta ranchers – The Barnert Family who own and operate Pin to Point Gelbvieh in the Alberta foothills – were the first to respond by contributing 600 lbs of high-end Alberta beef to each of the six luge athletes, including Walker, that finished in the top-10 at the 2012 World Championships.
“We are keen to find unique opportunities with a group of partners to accomplish our goals. This book is another example of the impact, and reach, our team has with different age groups and industries across the country,” added Walker. “We are not looking for millions or freebies, but really would like to establish a close relationship with a company, or group of partners, that can slide into communities with us across Canada, and ultimately onto the podium in 2014 and beyond.”
Walker, Gough, Edney and six other athletes who have combined to win 19 World Cup and four World Championship medals over the last four years will put their financial struggles aside when they head off to Europe later this week for the start of the World Cup season.
Canada will field four women’s singles sleds, three men’s singles sleds and one doubles team for the 2013-14 World Cup. Two-time Olympian and multiple World Cup medallist, Alex Gough, will lead three Calgary women on the national team. The 26-year-old Gough will be joined by Arianne Jones, 23, Calgary’s Jordan Smith, and 21-year-old Kim McRae. The veteran of the Canadian luge program, Sam Edney, 29, will be joined by 18-year-old World Cup rookies, John Fennell and Mitchel Malyk. Canada’s most successful doubles tandem of Tristan Walker, of Cochrane, Alta., and Calgary’s Justin Snith, will round the national team’s charge for the podium. The 22-year-old Olympians finished fourth in the last three races of 2013 including the World Championships and the Sochi test event.
The World Cup begins, November 13-17, 2013 in Lillehammer, Norway.
To follow Lucy’s progress on Twitter @LucyTriesLuge.
For more information on the Canadian Luge Association’s FOR SALE campaign, please contact SBEFNYR@yhtr.pn.
The Canadian Luge Association is a not-for-profit organization governing the sport of luge across the country. With support from the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, the Canadian Luge Association safely recruits and develops the nation’s current and future high-performance luge athletes with the goal of regularly climbing onto the international podium. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at www.luge.ca on the Internet.