AthletesNOW – Winter 2018 Edition


Happy New Year from AthletesCAN!

As we look to kick off 2018, our mission remains acutely focused to ensure that the collective voice of Canadian athletes influences our sport system to empower our athletes to achieve their full potential on the field of play and beyond. We would also like to take the opportunity to look back at 2017 and celebrate some proud moments. We have reached the midpoint of our four-year strategic plan and have ambitious goals before us to ensure that we continue to champion the voice of our #CDNAthleteLeaders.  

In 2017, AthletesCAN celebrated its 25th anniversary, a milestone that we are extremely proud to reach. Through the course of the year, we took every opportunity to ensure the collective athlete voice was a central part of decision making in the Canadian sport system. Here are some of the 2017 highlights.

Government provides direct athlete funding increase through AAP

United with our partners - Sport Matters Group, COC Athletes’ Commission and CPC Athletes’ Council - AthletesCAN successfully fought for an 18% increase to AAP, the first increase of its kind in direct athlete funding since 2004.  AthletesCAN will continue to work in this area to ensure athletes have adequate financial support as they train at home and represent Canada on the international stage. Read More...

AthletesCAN signs Universal Declaration of Player Rights in Washington, D.C  

The world’s leading player association executives collectively represent more than 85,000 players and athletes signed a Universal Declaration of Player Rights (UDPR) in Washington, D.C., December 14, 2017. It is the first ever framework ever to explicitly articulate the internationally recognized human rights for athletes globally.  AthletesCAN will work with sport stakeholders to implement the framework in Canada to facilitate the respect, protection of athletes rights, and remedy any breaches of those rights. Read More...

AthletesCAN hosts first-ever joint NSO/Athlete Forum to discuss Athlete Representation

For the first-time ever, AthletesCAN hosted both Canadian athlete leaders and NSO leaders in joint sessions to discuss athlete representation and athlete agreements. These are two crucial topics that form the foundation of the NSO / Athlete relationship. Over 30 NSO leaders and 80 athletes from more than 50 sports worked in collaboration to effect positive change in these areas. 

AthletesCAN Board of Directors welcomes new board member and elects new Leadership Team

Outgoing President Josh Vander Vies finished his three-year term as our steadfast leader and passed the torch to Dasha Peregoudova. Dasha who has been serving on the AthletesCAN board since 2013, and as an executive officer for the last three years. We also welcomed new board member, Wheelchair Basketball Paralympian Bo Hedges who brings a wealth of experience from his 10 years on the national team and 3 Paralympic Games. Read More...

Looking Ahead
As athletes, we intimately understand that our members hold themselves to the highest standards both on the field of play and beyond. As the collective #AthleteVoice of Canada’s national team athletes, we will continue to hold ourselves accountable to that same level in supporting their best interests and standing up for athlete rights.  As we step into 2018, the year of Games, we can feel the athlete rights movement building.  This year, AthletesCAN has a number of initiatives coming to fruition with the athletes at the center,  such as the revival of the Canadian Sport Awards, standardized athlete agreements, separate commercial athlete agreements, a new membership structure and platform, new representation resources and support for both athletes and their NSOs, research in the area of holistic athlete support, and more.   

In 2018, join #TheCollective and #BetheChange. We are stronger together.

AthletesCAN to revive Canadian Sport Awards in partnership with CBC Sports in 2018

On September 20, 2018, AthletesCAN will host the Canadian Sport Awards in Ottawa, ON. This iconic awards show was first established 45 years ago to showcase excellence in Canadian sport and quickly evolved to become the premier event for national sport achievement and leadership recognition.

“As part of our mandate, AthletesCAN is excited to celebrate and acknowledge the impact of the achievements our athletes and sport leaders have on society. Their contribution deserves national and formal acknowledgement”, said Dasha Peregoudova, President of AthletesCAN. “This act of appreciation is integral to recognizing that the role our athletes play is centrally important to the Canadian collective on and off the field of play. The Canadian Sport Awards will once again provide that platform to share the stories of greatness, determination, selflessness, and persistence in the face of grueling obstacles that sport can create. We hope that the rest of Canada will join us in celebrating our love for the power of sport.”

AthletesCAN will breathe new life into this black-tie event, last held in 2012, with the help of industry leading media partner, CBC Sports.

"CBC Sports is honoured to play a small role in helping bring back the Canadian Sport Awards and partner with AthletesCAN to ensure that sport leaders and athletic achievements across Canada are able to be properly celebrated and recognized. As Canada's Olympic and Paralympic Network and now the home of high performance sport in this country, CBC Sports amplifies the power of sport to unite a nation across all platforms and we look forward to supporting these awards in the future," commented Greg Stremlaw, Head of CBC Sports and General Manager, Olympics & CBC/Radio-Canada Chef de Mission for PyeongChang 2018.

The awards will bring together members of the sport, media and corporate communities to honour nominees in the following categories: Sport Performance, Influencers, Corporate Support and the newly added People’s Choice. Staple awards of past editions of the Canadian Sport Awards will be preserved, while a fresh set of new awards will be unveiled to honour today’s diverse sport leadership landscape.

You can expect the 2018 Canadian Sport Awards to recognize its rich history of past recipients, including Canadian sport icons Donovan Bailey, Chantal Petitclerc, Hayley Wickenheiser, Mark Tewksbury, Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir, Simon Whitfield, and Catriona Le May Doan, among others. The 2018 edition will also embody the spirit and dedicated work of the event’s modern day co-founders; True Sport, Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, Canada Games Council, Commonwealth Games Canada and the current host, AthletesCAN.

The 2018 Canadian Sport Awards will be hosted in Ottawa on Thursday, September 20, 2018 as part of the 26th annual AthletesCAN Forum. Please stay tuned to our social media channels for updates, calls for nominations, and ticket information.

2018 – #CDNAthleteLeaders take on the Year of the GAMES

A Message from your Chefs de Mission

"Before the Games, I want you to take a second to reflect. You have put in countless hours of training; countless days of sacrifice away from home and have dedicated years to perfecting your skills, becoming stronger, faster, more dexterous leaders in your chosen disciplines. You have spent week after long week fighting to shave off a second here, a millisecond there, all to attain a minute of glory. Whether these are your first Games or your fourth, enjoy this special time. You are about to make memories that will be as vivid to you in the years to come as they will be at the Closing Ceremonies. Whether you come home with hardware around your neck or an incredible memory of having competed on the most prestigious stage there is, remember that you are winners already. Your country is proud of you. You are amazing." Isabelle Charest, Team Canada Chef de Mission, 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games 

"With only weeks left until the opening of the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea the excitement is building for Canada and its athletes, coaches and mission staff. For some, this will be your first Games, for others this might be your last. As Chef de Mission for the Canadian Paralympic Team I can’t wait for the Games to begin. The years of hard work, determination and commitment will soon come to the Opening Ceremonies and the start of your event. Stay healthy and look forward to these Games with achievement and personal bests in mind. Know that you have a team and a nation behind you supporting you every step of the way."  –Todd Nicholson, Team Canada Chef de Mission, 2018 PyeongChang Paralympic Winter Games 

"The big event is almost here! May every Canadian athlete leave South Korea even stronger and wiser than they were when they arrived, and filled with spectacular memories that they will carry within themselves and retell for years to come. The theme for our team headed to the 2018 Commonwealth Games is #LivetheMoment, and it’s my hope for the 2018 Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Teams as well. Be present and enjoy it. Best wishes to fellow Chefs de Mission Isabelle Charest and Todd Nicholson as they lead the team to these Games. My family and I will be here at home cheering loudly for all of you."– Claire Carver Dias, Team Canada Chef de Mission, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games

SUPPORT AT THE GAMES: Meet your Ombudsperson

#CDNAthleteLeaders round out the three ombudspeople on the ground to support team members at each of the major Games where issues may arise.  The role of a team ombudsperson typically covers the contractual relationships between team members and your Games Organization (COC, CPC, CGC); assist with team interpersonal disputes; doping and field of play disputes and/or protests and even external legal issues.  It’s important to note however that this year’s set of ombudspeople aren’t just there to be reactive – they are accessible to all team members to provide guidance, act as a sounding board for any concerns or questions you may have, and if necessary, point you in the right direction to deal with any issues outside the scope of their role.   

"It is a true privilege for me to join the Canadian Olympic Team as the Ombudsperson for the PyeongChang Olympics. As a recently retired Olympic athlete myself, I look forward to connecting and helping the athletes, coaches and team leaders resolve any internal dispute and file any field of protest that may arise during the Games to ensure that our Canadian athletes perform at their absolute best on event day." – Andréanne Morin, Team Canada Ombudsperson, 2018 Olympic Winter Games 

Should you wish to contact Andréanne for any Games dispute-related matters prior to the games you can do so by email [email protected] and during the games by phone: +82 10 721 380 75.

"I am very excited to be the Legal Services Officer for Team Canada at the upcoming Paralympic Games. I competed for Canada at the 1984 Games and my desire to give back to the movement remains strong. I am glad I am able to do so by providing legal representation to Team Canada on matters that arise in PyeongChang. My role, while slightly different than the traditional ombudsperson, is to provide legal advice to the team and to find legal representation for athletes if the interests of the team and an individual athlete conflict."  – Robert Fenton, Team Canada Legal Services Officer, 2018 Paralymic Winter Games 

Should you wish to contact Robert for any games-related matters prior to the games you can do so by email [email protected].

"Professional legal support on the ground at a major games is a performance advantage Team Canada will have at the Commonwealth Games”, says AthletesCAN Past President Josh Vander Vies. “Now a retired athlete, I am excited to bring my experience as a two-time Paralympian and my skills as a lawyer to Canadian athletes, coaches and staff as they work together to make Canada proud in Gold Coast." – Josh Vander Vies, Team Canada Ombudsperson, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games 

Should you wish to contact Josh for any games-related matters prior to the games you can do so by email [email protected].

Health & Safety: Canadian Guidelines on Concussion in Sport

The Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC) is helping to promote the new Canadian Guidelines on Concussion in Sport. In the coming months you’ll see information about concussion prevention, detection and management in your social media feeds, but for now we thought it was important to ensure Canada’s athletes had the most up-to-date information as soon as possible.    

The reality of concussions is that, just like any other injury, the overwhelming majority of people fully recover when it is properly identified and managed. The biggest problem is a failure to recognize and treat a concussion injury as seriously as we do other injuries.   

Here are three things you can do to protect yourself and your teammates:  

  • Download Parachute Canada's Concussion Ed app, which teaches you how to prevent, recognize, manage and track concussions.
  • Check to see if your sport has concussion protocols. If they do, learn them. If they don't, ask why not?
  • Protect your teammates. You can't rely on a concussed person to realize they have a concussion. If one of your teammates has a suffered a significant blow to the head, neck, or body and you think they may have a concussion, tell someone. You could save their life

Click here for more details.

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