2nd Paralympic High Performance Athlete Development Advisor Appointed

Friday, November 8, 2013

OTTAWA, November 8, 2013 - The Canadian Paralympic Committee, in partnership with Own The Podium and Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, is pleased to announce the appointment of Daniel Absolon as Paralympic High Performance Athlete Development Advisor, based in Toronto, Ont., at the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario.

Absolon is the second Paralympic High Performance Athlete Development Advisor. His work will complement that of Jean-Francois Rapatel who was appointed to the same role in September 2013 and is based in Victoria, B.C. at the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific.

The first position of its kind in the country, the Paralympic High Performance Athlete Development Advisor role is designed to build on and enhance the current parasport system and ultimately boost Canada’s medal standing at future Paralympic Games.

Absolon and Rapatel will work with targeted Paralympic sports on developing gold medal profiles to identify athlete prospects for the Paralympic podium, along with developing clear pathways to get them there.

Originally from London, UK, Absolon holds a M.A. and B.A. from Sussex University. He is an experienced sports development manager with a proven track record of driving participation and developing athletes. Previously based in London, he was the Disability Development Manager for the Tennis Foundation from 2011 to 2013 and was Tennis Development Officer for the International Tennis Federation from 2008 to 2011.

A licensed tennis and soccer coach and volunteer guide runner, Absolon is also a member of the International Paralympic Committee’s Development Committee. He developed and managed wheelchair tennis development programmes in 35 countries, including Iraq, Kenya and Moldova through the ITF Tennis Wheelchair Development Fund. He also produced comprehensive coach education training materials and resources to support British tennis coaches in delivering tennis to people with a disability.

Absolon started in the role on Oct. 30.

“I’m very excited about this new role, the potential for innovation and the partnership between OTP, CPC and CSI Ontario,” said Absolon. “I’m looking forward to working with all three organizations in moving Paralympic sport forward to make Canada the world’s leading Paralympic nation.”

“With Jean-Francois in Victoria and Daniel now in Toronto, we look forward to their work contributing to the deepening of Canada’s competitive prospects internationally in Paralympic sport and ensuring that we continue to advance,” added Catherine Gosselin-Despres, Executive Director of Sport for the Canadian Paralympic Committee. “We’re thrilled to be working with our sport partners on this enhancement to the Paralympic sport system.”

“The quality and depth of competition at the Paralympic Summer and Winter Games has increased dramatically around the world over the last eight years and therefore, Canada cannot stand still if we want to continue being a world-leading sport nation,” said Anne Merklinger, chief executive officer, Own the Podium. “For Canada to remain competitive, we need to continue building the talent pool of athletes with a disability across the country in an effort to develop more athletes into podium contenders at future Paralympic Games. I commend the Canadian Paralympic Committee for its focus on this area. I know Daniel will be a significant asset in helping Canada achieve its future Paralympic performance goals.”

“This is a very important development for Canadian athletes with a disability,” said Debbie Low, Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Sport Institute Ontario. “The Paralympic High Performance Athlete Development Advisors will help ensure Canada’s Paralympians can compete and win against the best in the world.”

About the Canadian Paralympic Committee
The Canadian Paralympic Committee is a non-profit, private organization with 25 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic Movement. The Canadian Paralympic Committee’s vision is to be the world’s leading Paralympic nation. Its mission is to lead the development of a sustainable Paralympic sport system in Canada to enable athletes to reach the podium at the Paralympic Games. By supporting Canadian high performance athletes with a disability and promoting their success, the Canadian Paralympic Committee inspires all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organizations.

For more information, visit www.paralympic.ca

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