Board of Directors

2019-2020
Dasha Peregoudova, Taekwondo - President
Pierre-Luc Laliberté, Canoe/Kayak
Jillian Drouin, Athletics
Bo Hedges, Wheelchair Basketball
Allison Forsyth, Alpine Skiing
Liam Smedley, Canoe/Kayak
Mercedes Nicoll, Snowboard
Hollie Duncan, Curling
Michael Linklater, Basketball
Celina Toth, Diving

PAST PRESIDENTS AND CHAIRS
PAST BOARD MEMBERS

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. Dasha was elected to the AthletesCAN board of directors in 2013, and became President in 2017. She has also served as board member of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada from 2013-2019.

Dasha is a lawyer at Aird & Berlis LLP in Toronto. Her practice focuses on labour and employment, civil litigation and sport law. She advises a number of sports and arts organizations, with a focus on governance. She is an avid supporter of the arts, and has a passion for theatre in particular.

Click here for the 2018-2019 President's Report. 

PierreLPierre-Luc Laliberté, Canoe/Kayak

Pierre-Luc Laliberté is a retired Canadian sprint canoe kayak national team member who specialized 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). He is now a registered member of the Maskwa Aquatic Club, in Halifax. 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 results are a silver medal in C2 200m in 2013 with Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny at the Poznań World Cup, in Poland and a silver medal in C4 200m in 2016 at the Racice World Cup in the Czech Republic.

Off the water, Pierre-Luc has been involved with CanoeKayak Canada as an athlete representative since 2012, and has recently been appointed as the Athlete Representative on the CanoeKayak Canada Board of Directors.
 
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. Since 2016, Pierre-Luc has been working in Halifax as a Consultant in Strategy & Operations for Deloitte.     

As a board member of AthletesCAN, Pierre-Luc hopes to increase the perceived value of athlete representation and work towards achieving better working conditions for all athletes across Canada.

Jillian Drouin, Athletics

Jillian is a four-time national champion and has represented Canada as a heptathlete and high jumper on numerous National Teams since 2003, including the Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games and World University Games. She has been a part of Athletics Canada’s Athletes’ Council since 2013, is the current Female Athlete Director on the Board and also sits on the Board of Directors for AthletesCAN.

As a practicing chiropractor, Jillian has a passion for promoting health and fitness within her community through volunteering and youth engagement and believes athletes make the best leaders for this movement in Canada.
 

 

Robert 'Bo' Hedges, Wheelchair Basketball

Robert 'Bo' Hedges is an active member of the Canadian Men's Wheelchair Basketball team, first making the team in 2007. Since then, Bo has competed in three Para Pan American Games in 2007, 2011 and 2015, winning a bronze and two silver medals; and three Paralympic Games winning gold in London 2012 and silver in Beijing 2008.

He began playing competitively in 1996 and competed for Canada in 1997, winning the first of two gold medals with the Canadian Junior Mens team. Two Canada Winter Games experiences while playing for British Columbia in 1999 and 2003 helped prepare Bo for the next stage of his international career.

Attending the University of Northern British Columbia, Bo completed a Bachelor of Commerce Marketing. In preparation for the London 2012 Games, he moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama and began training at the University of Alabama where he received a Masters in Sport Management.

In addition to the AthletesCAN board, he is currently serving as chair on the board of directors for the BC Wheelchair Basketball Society, where he has been a director since 2007.

Allison Forsyth, Alpine Skiing

Born and raised on Vancouver Island B.C., Allison began her competitive ski career at 5 years of age. Progressing quickly up the ranks and qualifying for the National Team at 17, she then competed exclusively on the World Cup Circuit of Alpine for 11 years. She is an 8 time Canadian Champion, has 5 World Cup podiums, and earned a bronze medal at the World Championships in 2003.

After retiring in 2008 after her second Olympics, and due to injury, Allison worked for lululemon in the field of brand and marketing for 10 years. Her passion for athletics and athlete advocacy has now launched her in to a career of training, coaching, and brand consulting in Toronto, Ont. Most recently Allison has come forward to speak up about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her National Team coach, and is committed to being instrumental in seeing change in the realm of athlete safety in sport so all athletes have a safe, healthy sport environment as they strive to achieve their goals.

Liam Smedley, Canoe/Kayak

Liam Smedley is an active national team athlete in the sport of Canoe-Kayak Slalom. He first started racing at the Canadian National Championships from the age of 10 representing his home club, the Ottawa River Runners. He joined the Junior National Team in 2011, and moved up the ranks to the Senior National Team in 2013. He trains and competes with his brother Cameron, on their home river in the Ottawa Valley.    

Liam competed at the Junior World Championships in Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia, in 20013 where he finished 23rd in C1 Men. After qualifying for the Senior Team later that year, Liam competed at World Cups and Pan American Championships, with a top result of 1st place in the 2015 Oceania Open. He is most proud of his 2017 Canadian National Championship title in the C2-Mixed Team Run event. Liam continues to compete on the World Cup and World Championship circuits with his sights set on Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024.

As a Sport Leader, Liam joined Canoe-Kayak Canada and Whitewater Ontario as an athlete representative for both the National and Provincial governing bodies and sat on the Canoe Kayak Canada athlete committee from 2015 to 2017. Liam has also spoken for True Sport and engaged in True Sport Play Days to inspire more kids to pursue value based sport.

As a board member of AthletesCAN, Liam hopes to create a cohesive athlete body for the organization to reach its potential and activate its full voice. Together we have no limits.

Mercedes Nicoll, Snowboard

Mercedes Nicoll is the most decorated rider of the Canadian women’s halfpipe team, Mercedes has represented Canada at four Olympic Winter Games ; Turin 2006, Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018. In front of a home crowd in 2010 Nicoll rose to the occasion finishing in sixth place – Canada’s best result in halfpipe for both sexes in 2010.

After a long recovery from a crash a the Sochi 2014 Olympics Winter Games where Mercedes suffered a concussion leaving her out of sport for 2 years, she is back on her board winning her 5th National Halfpipe title March 2016. That paved her way to representing Team Canada at her fourth Olympic Winter Games in Korea in 2018. 

Mercedes is currently on the board of Canada Snowboard as athlete representative. She works with Whistler Blackcomb as part of the Ski or Ride with an Olympian program, guiding and coaching guest on hill around her backyard at Whistler Blackcomb. You can also find her in front of the camera hosting such events like the World Ski and Snowboard Festival.

Hollie Duncan, Curling

Hollie Duncan is a two-time Canadian University (CIS now USPORTS) national curling champion and silver medalist at the 2009 World University Games. Her team won the 2018 provincials and represented Ontario at the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. She continues to compete on the World Curling Tour and is the skip of Team Duncan, a team that represents the Royal Canadian Curling Club in Toronto.

Off the ice, Hollie completed her Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology at Wilfrid Laurier University and her law degree at Western University. She is currently a Decision Writer at the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario.

Hollie has volunteered with various charity curling bonspiels, clinics and camps. In addition to the AthletesCAN board, she is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Wilfrid Laurier Hall of Fame.

Michael Linklater, Basketball

 Michael Linklater is a proud Nehiyaw (Cree) descending from the Thunderchild First Nation, located in Treaty 6 Territory. Although recently retired, Michael was ranked among the top 3x3 basketball players in the world for many years. Michael's career milestones include 17 FIBA 3X3 World Tour appearances, 7 3x3 World Tour seasons, a 6th place finish in the 2018 3X3 World Cup, and most recently the 2019 Championship in the inaugural season of the CEBL.

Michael is the founder of Boys with Braids, an international campaign that brings awareness and creates an understanding of the cultural significance of why Indigenous boys and men wear a braid. He owns Prime Basketball Development which teaches players how to become champions on and off the court. Michael is a also certified yoga instructor. 

Michael is an international keynote speaker and has been recognized on and off the court with a number of honours including Indspire, 3x3 World Tour Most Spectacular Player, the Saskatchewan CBC future 40 under 40, the Chief of Police Award for Community Service, the Circle of Honour award, the National Tom Longboat Award, the Kinsmen Saskatchewan Athlete of the year, and the 2019 Canadian Sport Award for Inclusion: Breaking Barriers in Sport.

Most importantly, Michael is a proud father who understands the significance of his culture and passing it down to his children.

Celina Toth, Diving

Celina Toth began diving at the age of 12 after retiring from competitive gymnastics. Her transition from one sport to the next occurred in only a handful of days – she quickly found herself at the pool five times a week.

A national team member for the last decade, Toth won her first international medal in 2015, when she finished 3rd in the 10m at the FINA Grand Prix in Madrid. Since then, the Ontario native contributed in qualifying a second Rio 2016 Olympic berth for the country when she finished 4th in the semifinal and wrote her ticket to the final.

She also excelled at many FISU Games, winning gold in the 10m synchro with Carol-Ann Ware at the 2015 Games in Gwangju, South Korea and winning a bronze medal in the 10m event at the 2017 Games in Taipei, Taiwan. Toth also won a medal at each games in the team event, contributing to 4 medals won at the FISU World University Championships. This 2018-2019 season, Celina won her first international competition at the 2019 FINA Rostock Grand Prix in Germany. She has added her name to the many diving greats who have won this prestigious event.

Along with pursuing her athletic goals, Toth recently graduated June 2019 after nine years of completing an undergraduate degree in psychology. She wishes to pursue a career in child and sport psychology when her athletic career is complete.

As a leader in sport, Celina joined Diving Canada’s Athletes Committee in 2016 and attended her first AthletesCAN Forum which sparked her passion to create a better environment in sport and ensure that future generations of athletes have wonderful experiences in sport. Toth attended FISU’s Volunteer Leaders Academy in the summer of 2018 and was a top ten leader of many participants from across the world. Her dedication to improve sport and inspire athletes reaches all corners of the world and she wishes to continue to push her reach by joining the AthletesCAN board members.