Former World Champion sprinter Ben Johnson is hoping to bring his international training expertise up to North Bay as a way to help support North Bay sprinter Nick Laporte.
Laporte had been training in Calgary to become a world-class sprinter.
See related story: A motivated local athlete pursuing an Olympic dream
The former hockey player ironically met hockey icon Ron MacLean at the airport in Toronto and the Hockey Night In Canada host gave Nick Ben Johnson’s contact information this summer.
Laporte has been working with Johnson since the fall, but financing the high profile training with one of the countries top sprint coaches is an economic challenge.
“I heard about Nick’s story a few months ago and I wanted to meet him and give him an opportunity to train with me to become an elite sprinter,” the former Olympian told BayToday.ca.
“His goal is the next Olympics. It is going to take a lot of hard work and dedication but if he continues to work hard, he has a chance to make that happen,” added Johnson who has trained NHLers such as P.K. Subban, Anthony Stewart, and David Clarkson.
Laporte, who has been training with Johnson six days a week, set up a GoFundme page and his part-time work has helped offset some of the costs.
However, Johnson has offered to do more to help the 28-year-old by running clinics or do motivational speaking for any sports organizations in North Bay.
“Money has been an issue, so basically he offered for me to find any teams or athletes in my hometown area or Calgary area, anywhere where I have lived, that would be interested in some training sessions with him,” said Laporte.
“Basically he said that any business I find for him in that regard, there would be a percentage that would go towards my costs of training with him and living here (Toronto).”
2 hour -Speed/Endurance/Power
Group Rate - $700.00
1 Hour - Individual Speed/Endurance/Power - $150.00
1 Hour Motivational Speaking/Questions
Group Rate - $700.00
Laporte feels flattered that Johnson would do this to help him out.
“I think it is a great opportunity for anyone who is involved in sports that wants to get to the next level to hear from a guy like that and hear his story, as well as experience some elite level workouts. So I think it is a great opportunity for people on that side of it and again knowing that they would be helping a local athlete would be pretty huge for me too,” said Laporte.
For more information or to schedule a session you can contact Nick at (403) 402-6048 or email firstname.lastname@example.org