Sprinter Khamica Bingham qualifies for the Sport Canada-administered athlete assistance federal program that provides financial assistance and tuition support to the country’s high performance athletes.
The funding, also known as carding, however, is insufficient for the teenager who is aiming to compete at several international meets in the next few years, including the 2015 Pan Am Games in the Golden Horseshoe and the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
The 19-year-old two-time Canadian junior champion has launched a campaign to raise $5,000 in the next two months.
“The carding assistance can only go so far,” Bingham told Share before heading to St. Kitts last Thursday for a two-week training camp. “This trip alone costs about $1,500. If I could reach my target, I will then be able to focus on training and performing at meets without financial stress. This means I would have money to travel outside of Canada to compete in the United States and Europe for higher quality meets with tougher competitions so that I could improve and get faster.”
Bingham, who competed in gymnastics for five years before quitting at age 14 to concentrate on sprinting, plans to attend the 15th World Indoor Championships in Poland from March 7-9, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland from July 23 to August 3 and the Under-23 North, Central American & Caribbean championship in Kamloops, British Columbia from August 8-10.
Interested donors can go to https://fundraise.athleticsontario.ca/e/kbingham, click donate now and fill out personal and credit card information. Donations can be made anonymously.
A six-time Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) champion in the 100 and 200-metre events while attending Heart Lake Secondary School in Brampton, Bingham was the recipient of the 2013 Ken Giles award presented to the top amateur athlete in Brampton.
As a freshman at the University of Toronto where she’s enrolled in the Humanities program, Bingham captured the Ontario University Athletics (OAU) and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) 60-metre title in a personal best 7.41 secs. and 7.47 secs. respectively and was a member of the OAU and CIS winning 4 x 200-metre relay teams.
Last summer, she won the 100-metre dash at the World University Games in Russia and double gold in the sprints at the national junior track and field championship in Ste. Therese, Quebec.
A member of the Brampton Track Club since 2010, Bingham is in St. Kitts training with a small group of Canadian athletes at the Silver Jubilee Stadium which was upgraded last year with equipment donation from Athletics Canada.
Since 2008, Kittitian-born Desai Williams, who won a bronze medal for Canada in the sprint relay at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics, has been taking national athletes to train at least twice a year in St. Kitts.
Two-time Canadian Coach of the Year, Anthony McCleary, who runs the Elite Edge Club in Pickering with Williams, is in the Caribbean island with the athletes.