Nova Scotia

Bridgewater gives boost to sprinter Jenna Martin

Bridgewater town council will spend $2,000 to help an athlete from the small South Shore town get to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Money needed to train for Olympics

Bridgewater town council will spend $2,000 to help an athlete from the small South Shore town get to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Mayor Carroll Publicover said councillors voted six to one Monday night to donate the money to help Jenna Martin, the Canadian champion in the women's 400-metre race.

"When you're an Olympian, you're representing your community, your family, your province, and your country She's also a very good role model for the younger kids. She's not just any athlete; she's an exemplary young lady who were all very proud of," Publicover said Tuesday.

"The message is it's a great thing for Bridgewater, it's a great thing for Lunenburg County and we're happy to stand behind her."

Martin, 23, has won races at the University of Kentucky, where she is a student, and also in Calgary and in Brazil — to name just a few. She also took part in the 2009 World Track and Field Championships.

Publicover said the town is already proud of her accomplishments, but going to the Olympics would be the icing on the cake.

"The frequency with which a town of 8,000 sees an Olympian in their midst is statistically very, very rare," he said.

Publicover said Martin will have to travel to events and training, and that will cost a lot.

"Whether she has a corporate sponsor or whether she doesn't, whether the federal government sponsors her to some extent or not, she still would have huge requirements financially for herself and her family," he said.

Martin plans to train in Florida through the winter as a lead up to the Olympics, at a cost of $100,000. ESPN and Disney Corporation are paying $20,000 of that bill.

Publicover said council's contribution represents less than two per cent of the money Martin's supporters are trying to raise, to help her qualify for Canada's Olympic team.