Nicholas Bennett has served notice he will be a force to reckon with after a strong showing in his first international competition at the Parpan Ams in Lima Peru, where he won three gold medals and a silver. — Canadian Paralympic Committee photo

Parksville swimmer Bennett earns prestigious $10K grant

16-year-old won three gold medals at Parapan American Games

Nicholas Bennett continues to make a splash even outside the pool.

The Parksville swimmer was named as one of 55 young Canadian athletes from both summer and winter sports selected by Petro-Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee to receive a Fuelling Athletes and Coaching Excellence Program grant.

These athletes and their coaches are awarded a $10,000 FACE grant to help them with their journey — $5,000 directly to the athlete and $5,000 to their coach. FACE grants are often used for training, equipment and travel expenses.

The 16-year-old Bennett is coming off a successful international debut at the recent Parapan American Games where he took home three gold medals and a silver. In his final race, he set a Canadian record in the men’s S14 200 metre individual medley with a time of 2:15.66.

RELATED: Parksville swimmer collects third golf medal at Parapan Games

Past FACE recipients include Natalie Wilkie (Para Cross Country ski), Mac Marcoux (Para Alpine Ski) and Rosie MacLennan (Gymnastics) – all who earned medals for Canada at the most recent Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Developed by Petro-Canada, COC and CPC, and facilitated by their National Sport partners, the FACE 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 government funding. Recipients are selected based on potential. The funding is courtesy of Petro Canada.

Since 1988, FACE grants have supported more than 3,000 athletes and coaches by providing more than $11,000,000 in financial support.

In addition to providing financial support, FACE athletes and coaches are invited to an annual summit to learn from Olympians and Paralympians, and receive advice on media training, public speaking, and personal-brand development.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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