It was a weekend of learning and celebration in the sport community as CSIO hosted its annual Ontario High Performance Sport Symposium on March 28th at the BMO Institute for Learning in Markham, ON, followed by a day of Coach Professional Development on March 29th at the Westin Prince Hotel in Toronto, ON.
Seize the Opportunity, the theme of the High Performance Sport Symposium, saw speakers from various perspectives discuss subject matter surrounding inspiring creativity, preparing for success, contingency planning & crisis management, and home team opportunities. With attendees ranging from sport administrators at provincial and national sport organizations to high performance coaches to municipal and provincial government personnel, the Symposium allowed for a day of networking and idea sharing with new and familiar faces.
The day began with an address from Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, followed by three-time Olympic Champion and athlete mentor, Marnie McBean, speaking about how to motivate athletes to not only start happy, but to finish happy too. After a quick break, Dr. Peter Jensen from Performance Coaching Inc. presented on how to inspire creativity in the heat of the battle and seize the opportunities that result.
The afternoon sessions saw Derek Kent, Chief Marketing Officer at the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), discuss the success of the COC’s #GiveYourEverything marketing campaign for London 2012 and their #WeAreWinter campaign for Sochi 2014. His inspirational presentation reinvigorated everyone’s Olympic spirit and made attendees excited to see how the COC will seize the opportunity to leverage the Canadian Olympic brand and showcase our athletes and coaches for the 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games and the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Mary Conibear of Calla Strategies led an interactive session on crisis and contingency planning, which saw Symposium attendees work through scenarios in small groups. The session got participants thinking about possible situations they may encounter and how to implement strategies and solutions to rectify these potential circumstances. The day capped off with Saad Rafi, CEO of TORONTO 2015 and Denis Haniault, VP Sport of TORONTO 2015 providing a Pan/Parapan Am Games update and information on volunteer recruitment. The informative session motivated attendees to seize the Home-Games opportunity.
On Saturday, coaches from across Ontario gathered for a day of professional development in one of three streams. One group of coaches were a part of The Inside Edge workshop led by Garry Watanabe from Performance Coaching Inc. The Inside Edge focuses on mastering the mental fitness toolkit used by elite athletes to excel under pressure and recover from set-backs. Another group of coaches participated in a series of professional development sessions including Dr. Beth McCharles speaking on performance anxiety, Dr. Rolf Wagschal discussing coaches assisting athletes through career transitions, and Mary Conibear talking about crisis and contingency planning. The final stream of coaches took part in the Advanced Coaching Diploma (ACD) team building module, for coaches already registered in the ACD program, led by Beth Barz.
The three streams congregated together over lunch to celebrate and congratulate the new graduates of the ACD program. Following lunch, the group dispersed back into their respective streams to complete their day of development, collaboration and learning.