Langley’s Jack Kosterman is getting some new wheels.
The 16-year-old Fort Langley teen was selected as a recipient of the Petro-Canada Fueling Athlete and Coaching Excellence (FACE) program.
As one of the 50 athlete-coach pairings selected, each receives a grant of $5,000, which can be used for training, equipment or to cover travel costs.
Kosterman, a wheelchair basketball player who has represented Canada on the international stage at the U23 world championships, will use the money to purchase a new wheelchair as he is rapidly outgrowing his current one.
His coach is Marni Abbott-Peter.
The program is run through Suncor Energy, which owns Petro Canada, and is designed for non-carded developing Canadian athletes to provide them additional support in their pursuit of meeting Sport Canada’s carding criteria.
“The FACE program is the cornerstone of our Olympic and Paralympic legacy and we are excited to increase the funding for both coaches and athletes, fueling their dreams to compete on the international stage,” said Louis Cote, the director of loyalty and strategic partnerships for Suncor, in a press release announcing the recipients.
“The drive and discipline of the athletes and coaches chosen is astounding.”
Kosterman has avascular necrosis (AVN), a disease where there is cellular death of bone components due to the interruption of the blood supply. Without blood, the bone tissue dies and the bone collapses.
While Kosterman can walk without a wheelchair, he cannot do so for long periods and faces multiple hip replacements in his lifetime.
This past spring, he captained the Langley Gold Rush to a silver medal at the Division 2 (adult) championships, earning most valuable player honours.
He will also captain Team BC at the Canada Winter Games in Prince George in February.
Kosterman is working towards representing Canada at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil.
For a complete list of this year’s recipients, click here.