Summerland Olympian Justin Kripps trains at the Olympic training centre in Calgary.

Fundraiser to benefit high school

Summerland Olympian Justin Kripps has teamed up with the Summerland Secondary School Athletics Department to hold a fundraiser

Justin Kripps, 2010 Olympian and 2014 Olympic hopeful, has teamed up with the Summerland Secondary School Athletics Department to hold a fundraiser which will benefit both the school’s athletic program and his quest for Sochi 2014.

As a member of Canada’s World Cup Bobsleigh team, Kripps receives significant quantities of merchandise from Adidas, one of their main sponsors.

It is common for sponsors to supply athletes with their products, but as Jon Montgomery (2010 gold medalist for skeleton) has said, “As athletes we often have to live hand to mouth, and the support we receive is usually not edible.”

Cash sponsorships enable athletes to purchase what they need to live and train and compete.

With ongoing financial restraints, athletic programs at Summerland Secondary School have seen funding  steadily erode so that now individual athletes have to come up with $300 to $500 for each team they want to play on each year.

“If it wasn’t for the school track team, I wouldn’t be where I am now,” Kripps said. “That is where my career started.”

To help Summerland athletes, Kripps will donate his excess Adidas gear to the athletic department for them to sell and split the profits.

Tom Brickenden, athletic director at the high school, is organizing the sale.

“We are happy Justin thought of us,” Brickenden said. “We are glad to be helping him on his Olympic journey. It is great to have one of our former students to watch at the Olympics.”

Items include jackets, workout pants, snow pants, gloves, toques, caps, shirts, track spikes and various other items.

“Of course Justin is now six feet and 220 lbs. of solid muscle, so this clothing is all on the large side,” Brickenden said. “It may be too big for most of our students, however we are hoping to attract a variety of people. Snowmobilers, snowboarders — in fact anyone who wants to help support our school and Justin, and have some good quality winter sports clothes at prices far less than retail.”

Some of the items are brand new still with tags on, others have been slightly worn.

The sale will take place Sunday, Sept. 8 from 1 to 3 p.m. near the main entrance of Summerland Secondary School.

Kripps has also donated a signed print of his 2010 Olympic bobsleigh four-man team in action.

The print is signed by all four team members  Pierre Lueders, Jesse Lumsden, Neville Wright and himself.

Brickenden intends to frame the photo and hopefully generate enough money from its sale to have a bursary for a 2014 grad pursuing athletics.