Calling all Sport Executives to Hone their Leadership Skills

Published August 30, 2017

Sport Leaders Program November 29 – December 1, 2017

The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, the Sport Law & Strategy Group and Coaching for Excellence have launched a new initiative to help support sport executives looking to enhance their leadership skills through the offering of the Sport Leaders Program.  This Program was carefully designed with sport executives in mind. Piloted in April 2017 with 9 sport executives, the Program includes a world leading personality assessment, coaching conversations, a 2 day retreat and peer learning with other like-minded sport leaders.  Based on feedback from participants, we are now offering another session from November 29-December 1 and are inviting interested sport executives from national, multi-sport and provincial organizations to join.

“The Sport Leaders Program Retreat” led by Dina Bell-Laroche and Caroline Thibaudeau was a truly remarkable session that, as a leader in sport for several years, encouraged me to explore my strengths and understand my weaknesses all from an internal, reflective perspective. As leaders we are continually faced with challenges and opportunities. It is critical that at the end of the day we work to create an environment for the organization we lead, with its volunteers, staff and partners, to succeed. While we may not have all the answers, it is important we continually learn and improve through experience. The Sport Leaders Retreat in some ways pushed a reset button to remind me to utilize my strengths in a focused manner, acknowledge areas in need of strengthening and to commit to improve on a regular basis.   A powerful and valuable leadership program that I would recommend.” Casey Wade, CEO, Canoe Kayak Canada

What the Program offers:

Consider this a leadership development “boot camp”.   The intent is for sport leaders to gain access to new ways of relating to self, others, and the world around them. Leaders will:

  • Learn how to skillfully create an empowering, values driven culture
  • Develop insight into leadership strengths and blind spots, including how to manage using multiple intelligences
  • Develop an understanding of different leadership styles and ways to apply them
  • Adopt strategies to ingrain values/ethically based communication styles and practices
  • Increase awareness of different energy states to maximize human potential
  • Experience different approaches to address difficult conversations
  • Strengthen self-management & self-renewal to support productive, high-performing and enjoyable work environments

“It’s always difficult to break away from the urgent demands of the day-to-day business however I felt that the Sport Leaders Retreat was an excellent opportunity to slow down, reflect, learn more about myself, enhance my leadership skills and connect with other sport leaders is a very unique environment. I would definitely recommend this experience to other sport leaders and I am looking forward to part 2.” Penny Joyce, COO, Diving Canada

Importance of leadership development:

 A number of factors motivated us to offer this unique executive leadership program for sport leaders.  We share a belief that the complexities of managing in the 21st Century are requiring us to enrich and embody leadership skills that give rise to exceptional performance.  Many sport executives have expressed an interest in continuing to develop and hone their leadership skills. This retreat is an invitation for you to experience what it means to shift from reacting to responding … what it means to listen with all of your senses to explore possibilities … what it means to engage in collaborative conversations … and what it means to lead with integrity so that our shared experience in the sport system is enriched.

“Personal growth and continuous development through reflection, education and conversation should be a priority for all sport leaders. The Sport Leaders Program led by Caroline Thibaudeau and Dina Bell-Laroche provided a unique opportunity to engage with other sport leaders to accomplish just that. The immediate impact and gained insights from this interactive retreat will continue to help me grow as a sport leader.”  Natasha Johnston, E.D, Ringette Canada

Here’s what you need to know:

Location: The retreat will be held in the Laurentians approximately 2.5 hours from Ottawa. We have been very choiceful about the location and the venue as we know that this contributes significantly to the experience. To have a virtual tour, here’s the link:

Dates: Arrival time is by 2:00 p.m. on November 29 and a departure of noon on December 1.

Program Facilitators: Dina Bell-Laroche and Caroline Thibaudeau are both certified integral and ICF coaches and have partnered together to design and facilitate the Sport Leaders Program.

Participants: Any sport executive (E.D., CEO, COO) from NSO, MSOs or PSOs can apply for the Sport Leaders Program.

Investment: The cost is $2000 + HST which includes a NOVA PROFILE assessment; pre (1) and post (1) retreat individual coaching sessions; facilitated 2 day retreat; all nutritious meals; private  accommodation in a gorgeous log cabin; experiential activities; access to relevant leadership materials; and two peer learning group sessions. For those looking for financial assistance, the Ontario Job Grants Program may be a good choice.

“The Sport Leaders Retreat is a valuable opportunity to surround yourself with likeminded peers from your profession to professionally and personally enhance yourself.”  Ian Moss, COO, Gymnastics Canada

Next steps: Please confirm your interest by emailing Karri Dawson at by September 20, 2017. Please note there are only 10 spots available and spaces will be allocated on a first come, first to say ‘yes’ basis.

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