Supporting Canadian Athletes

Board of Directors

2016-2017
Josh Vander Vies, Boccia – President
Dasha Peregoudova, Taekwondo – Vice President
Thea Culley, Field Hockey – Treasurer
Pierre-Luc Laliberte, Canoe/Kayak – Secretary
Maria Samson, Rugby
Jillian Drouin, Athletics
Robin Randall, Water Polo

Web - Josh-4463-2Josh Vander Vies, Boccia – PresidentJosh Vander Vies is an active Canadian national team boccia player, 2004  Paralympian, 2011 Parapan American Games individual bronze medalist and 2012  Paralympic doubles bronze medalist. As a professional speaker, he brings to  corporate, government and community audiences the message that any obstacle can be shattered.

In 2006, the boccia players of the world elected Josh to the International Boccia  Committee as Athlete Representative. He acted as Athlete Council Representation  on the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) Board of Directors, and chaired the  CPC Athletes’ Council from 2008 – 2012. Josh holds an honours double major in  Political Science and French from the University of Western Ontario and is  currently completing law school at the University of British Columbia.

Josh believes in the power of sport, and that Canada can be a major player in elite international competition. To ensure excellent results, and for society to benefit most from sport, he emphasizes that elite athletes should be empowered to meaningfully contribute to policy and performance decisions in the Canadian sport system. As a board member of AthletesCAN, Josh hopes to help unlock the potential of Canada’s national team heroes.

Dasha Peregoudova, Taekwondo

Dasha Peregoudova was Taekwondo national team member between 2003 and 2011, when she retired from competing. Some of her best results include two-time Pan Am Championship gold in 2006 and 2008, a Pan Am Championship silver in 2010, a 5th place finish at the 2007 World Championship, a 2010 German Open gold, and a 2007 US Open gold.

From 2007-2015, Dasha was on the board of directors of Taekwondo Canada. In 2010, Dasha started the Taekwondo Athlete Council Canada as the inaugural president. She has also served as director of the SDRCC since 2013. Dasha recently completed her law degree at Western University. She has worked as a legal intern for the National Basketball Association in New York, and will commence her articles at Gardiner Roberts LLP in August 2016. She is an avid supporter of the arts, and has a passion for theatre in particular.

In recent years, Dasha has volunteered extensively with the Olive Branch for Children, fundraising in Canada, but also travelling to Tanzania in December 2014 to lead an artistic development and empowerment camp. Her work in Tanzania earned her Humanitarian Honourable Recognition Award at Western University.

web - Thea-4429-2Thea Culley, Field Hockey 

Thea Culley is an active member of the Women’s National Field Hockey Team. Thea grew up in Rossland, BC and after high school graduation attended the University of Victoria. While at UVic, Thea played three varsity seasons for the Vikes winning three CIS Silver medals and was named as a CIS Tournament All-Star twice (2004 & 2006). She was also named a CIS Academic All-Canadian and was awarded the Hallam Achievement Award given to students who demonstrate outstanding commitment to the pursuit of excellence in their endeavours.

Thea was a member of the Junior National Field Hockey team from 2004 to 2005 and competed in both the Junior Pan American Cup and Junior World Cup. In 2006 Thea was named to the Women’s National Team and in 2007, she moved to Vancouver to centralize with the team. Since then, Thea has represented Canada at the Commonwealth Games (2014 & 2010) the Pan American Games (2011) World Cup and Olympic Qualifiers (2012 & 2010) and two Pan American Cups (2013 & 2009). 2013 was an extremely successful year which included winning a Bronze at the 2013 Pan American Cup and being the Women’s National Team Top Goal Scorer. Thea is currently the most capped active women’s player representing Canada in over 115 matches.

Thea completed a Bachelor of Human Kinetics at the University of British Columbia and currently works full time as Program Coordinator for both Karate BC and Judo BC. She has been a member of the Field Hockey Canada Board of directors since 2009 in the elected position of Female Athlete Representative.

Away from the field of play, Thea has volunteered with Beauty Night Society helping to execute the Womyn’s Gym program for marginalized women in Vancouver. She also volunteered with a stroke patient walking group as a part of G.F. Strong and Vancouver Coastal Health.

web - Maria Flag-3Maria Samson, Rugby

Maria holds a Bachelor of Engineering with a Minor in Management from McGill University. She graduated with distinction, receiving the Governor General’s Medal, awarded to the graduating student who obtains the highest academic standing in a Bachelor degree program. Maria played rugby for two years at McGill, captaining the Martlets in 2007 and winning the team’s most valuable player award.

After finishing University, Maria moved from Pine Hill, Quebec to Calgary, Alberta to join her eventual husband, Mozac, in the West. While juggling training and a full-time job, Maria joined the National Team in June 2011, earning her first Senior Women’s cap in August 2011 versus South Africa. Even though she was a late comer to the international scene, Maria was named as the top female rugby player in Canada in 2012 and went on to win the Canadian Rugby Foundation Colette McAuley Award in 2013 for giving back to the sport in the true spirit of the game.

Maria has played for Canada close to 20 times, most recently winning a Silver Medal at the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Paris, France in August 2014 – Canada’s best finish to date. She has been an active leader on the National team, being a member of the Rugby Canada Player’s Committee since 2012. Maria is also heavily involved in the Dog River Howlers Rugby Club – a philanthropic organization that operates under the saying “It’s more than a game, it’s a way of life”.

Maria is committed to using her sporting experience to inspire youth to persevere through less than ideal situations. She is an Athlete Ambassador with Right to Play and Fast and Female, and is a frequent guest coach at many Calgary clubs and institutions.

JillJillian Drouin, Athletics

Jillian is an active track and field athlete who has competed at an elite level in the heptathlon and high jump since 2003. She has represented Canada at a number of international competitions including the Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games, World University Games, World Youth Championships and NACAC Under-23 Championships where she won both the heptathlon and open high jump and was awarded the Top Female Athlete of the Championships. Jillian is also a two-time National Champion in the high jump and heptathlon.

In 2008, Jillian graduated Magna Cum Laude from Syracuse University with a degree in Health and Exercise Science with a minor in Nutrition. During her undergrad, Jillian was twice named team captain, became an All-American in the heptathlon, earned Academic All-American honours three times, named Big East Top Graduating Student-Athlete, an NCAA Woman of the Year Finalist and given the Syracuse University Soladay Award for volunteer, athletic and academic excellence. She then went on to complete her Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College graduating Cum Laude and with Clinic Honours.

Since 2013, Jillian has been a member of Athletics Canada’s Athlete Council and is the current Female Athlete Director (Rep) for her NSO. She sits on the board for Athletics Canada, as well as some of their operational committees. As a practicing chiropractor, Jillian has a passion for promoting health and fitness within her community through volunteering and youth engagement and she believes athletes make the best leaders for this movement in Canada. She is excited to work with and continue to learn from other amazing athletes while bringing her unique perspective to the AthletesCAN board.

Robin Randall, Water Polo

Robin has spent the past five years representing the athletes of Water Polo Canada to the Board of Directors, first as a Board Member and then as the first Chair of the Water Polo Canada Athletes’ Council.

He began playing water polo in 1987 at the age of seven. Since then he has represented Canada at the youth, junior, university, and senior level for a total of 20 years, and has competed at five World Championships, three Pan American Games and one Olympic Games. He is now the Team Manager for the Men’s National Team.

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work with such great Canadian athlete leaders toward a better sport life for all athletes,” Randall says.

 

PierreLPierre-Luc Laliberte, Canoe/Kayak

Pierre-Luc Laliberté is an active Canadian sprint Canoe Kayak national team member specializing in C1 200m. Pierre-Luc started paddling when we was nine years old at the Otterburn Boating Club, and moved on to the Pointe-Claire Canoe Club in 2006 to train with Thomas Hall (2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist). As the oldest of five boys, Pierre-Luc was raised in a large family where sport played a center role.

Pierre-Luc competed at the Junior World Championships in Szeged, Hungary, in 2005 where he finished 8th and 10th, in C4 1000m and C4 500m respectively. After making the transition to the Senior Level, Pierre-Luc competed at World Cups and Pan American Championships, racing to multiple top-5 finishes. His top result is a silver medal in C2 200m in 2013 with Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny at the Poznań World Cup, in Poland.

Pierre-Luc holds a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Mathematics from Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), as well as an MBA from Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University.

Off the water, Pierre-Luc has been involved with CanoeKayak Canada as an athlete representative since 2012, and has recently been elected onto the Sprint Racing Council. He is currently involved in the creation of CanoeKayak Canada’s first Athlete Council. As a board member of AthletesCAN, Pierre-Luc hopes to increase the perceived value of athlete representation and work towards better treatment for athletes, regardless of sport, everywhere in Canada.


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