The Canadian Olympic Committee has launched a fundraising drive ©COC

The Canadian Olympic Foundation, the official charitable organisation of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), has launched a new fundraising campaign called 5to8.

The initiative has been launched with the goal of helping the next generation of Canadian athletes, including those who are currently competing at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

It has been named 5to8 as the athletes who will benefit are said to be five to eight years away from the chance of a full Olympic podium.

Three Canadian Olympic medlalists have helped launched the fundraising drive - freestyle skier Alex Bilodeau, wrestler Carol Huynh and short track speed skater Kim Boutin.

There is extra incentive for donating as Canada's Federal Government has pledged to match all money raised until December 31, up to a value of CAD$4 million (£2.3 million/$3 million/€2.6 million).

Inspiration to launch 5to8 came after David and Ruth Asper pledged CAD$2.5 million (£1.4 million/$1.9 million/€1.6 million) to the Foundation, which will also be doubled by the Government under their Next Generation Initiative fund-matching programme.

"It is at this point in their careers that athletes have the greatest need of financial support for their training and development," a COC statement said.

"Donations to 5to8 will be directed where the money will have the most impact on many athletes, namely National Sport Federations and the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network."

More information can be found here.