Sport Canada Athlete Advisory Committee
Expression of interest for Canadian senior national team athletes
In June 2022, the Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport announced several new safe sport measures, including the creation of the Sport Canada Athlete Advisory Committee “to increase the representation of athletes in the sport system and to allow Sport Canada to obtain advice and guidance that reflect the realities of athletes in Canada.”
The Sport Canada Athlete Advisory Committee will provide advice and guidance to Sport Canada influenced through their lived experience as athletes in Canada. In turn, the Committee will encourage input from high performance athletes on topics important to them. This meaningful dialogue will inform Sport Canada’s policies and programs.
Over the last few months, Sport Canada has worked with a group of athlete representatives from AthletesCAN, the Canadian Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission and the Canadian Paralympic Committee Athletes’ Council to consider the details behind the new committee.
This call-out is seeking applications from Canadian senior national team athletes for at-large athlete members to the new Sport Canada Athlete Advisory Committee.
Athletes were invited to submit their application by March 12, 2023. The call for expression of interest is now closed.
Sport Canada is now accepting applications from Canadian high-performance athletes at the senior national team level to be considered for membership to the new Sport Canada Athlete Advisory Committee.
To be considered for one of the seven (7) at-large high-performance athlete positions, you must:
- be at least 18 years of age;
- be an active senior national team athlete (as an individual or on a team) or have retired from sport within the last eight years;
- be a member of a federally-funded National Sport Organization;
- not be convicted or otherwise sanctioned for:
- a doping offence pursuant to the World Anti-Doping Code or Canadian Anti-doping Program Rules; or
- any other offence or breach of any policies or agreements, including codes of conduct, with a National Sport Organization and/or the Athletes Assistance Program (if a carded athlete).
Sport Canada will be reviewing all the submissions in the coming days with the support of athlete representatives from AthletesCAN, the Canadian Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission and the Canadian Paralympic Committee Athletes’ Council.
Effort will be made in the selection of the Committee members to ensure the group reflects gender balance and Canada’s diversity with respect to its regions, languages, ethnicities, cultures, as well as the abilities and life experiences of the selected candidates.
We will only be following-up with the successful applicants.
We intend to confirm the full membership of the Sport Canada Athlete Advisory Committee in March 2023 with a first meeting soon thereafter.
Please refer to the information below to learn more about the Sport Canada Athlete Advisory Committee.
As the single-largest investor in the Canadian sport system, the Government of Canada (Sport Canada) continues to advocate for increased participation of athletes and the inclusion of their voice in the governance of the Canadian sport system.
Sport Canada officials will consult the Committee as one mechanism to incorporate the athlete perspective in the development and on-going evolution of Government of Canada programs and policy. Topics could include (but are not limited to) the Canadian Sport Policy, high performance strategy, funding programs including the Athlete Assistance Program, the Sport Support Program, the Hosting Program, Federal-Provincial/Territorial (F-P/T) Ministers meetings, athlete wellness and transition, efforts to foster greater equity, diversity and inclusion in the sport system and safe sport efforts to ensure a safe, harassment-free environment for all sport participants.
In turn, the Committee will encourage input from high-performance athletes on topics important to them, including (but are not limited to) sport system governance and accountabilities, funding, and normalizing athlete representation in decision-making across the system.
The Sport Canada Athlete Advisory Committee has the potential to be an intersection point for various athlete committees and athlete leaders.
The Committee may have up to maximum of 15 active members at any given time, including:
- Four (4) members from a core list of existing athlete entities:
- the President (or designate) of the AthletesCAN Board of Directors,
- the Chair (or designate) of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) Athletes’ Commission,
- the Chair (or designate) of the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) Athletes’ Council, and
- the Chair (or designate) of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC) Athlete Advocacy Committee.
- the Chair (or designate) of the CCES/AthletesCAN Anti-Doping Advisory Committee
- the Chair (or designate) of Own the Podium’s Athlete Advisory Committee
- Six (6) or Seven (7) at-large members from high-performance athletes at the senior national team level from Olympic, Paralympic and non-Olympic/Paralympic sports, and
- a maximum of three Sport Canada officials, including oversight for the secretariat function.
Effort will be made in recruitment to ensure Committee membership reflects gender balance and Canada’s diversity with respect to its regions, languages, ethnicities, cultures, as well as the abilities and life experiences of the selected candidates.
For the purposes of this committee, a high performance athlete is defined as follows:
- A member of a Senior National Team for one of the federally funded National Sport Organizations (as an individual or on a team);
- Their sport has a world championship competition (regardless of whether or not Canada sends a team); and,
- Are an active athlete or have retired within the last eight years.
Each at-large Committee member may serve for a period of three (3) years, with the opportunity to be considered for a second 3 year term. This will allow an opportunity for as many athletes as possible to be actively involved in the Committee.
Four (4) of the original at-large members will only serve two (2) year terms with no chance for renewal to create an initial offset to maintain knowledge management and peer-to-peer support for onboarding members.
Roles and Responsibilities
Committee members will:
- Consistently attend Committee meetings (in-person and virtual);
- Provide the athletes’ perspective and voice to the current or contemplated policies, programs, and decisions of Sport Canada;
- Act as a link between athletes and Sport Canada to convey the athletes’ views to Sport Canada. While an athlete will draw on their personal perspective based on their own experience, they should be leveraging their athlete networks to inform their contribution to committee discussions;
- Solicit the views of diverse groups of athletes in their respective circles, when appropriate;
- Prepare for and participate actively in policy input;
- Contribute to an atmosphere of openness and respect; and,
- Share space, speaking time and opportunities fairly and equitably.
The Committee will meet virtually via video calls a minimum of six times per year (i.e. every two months). There may be a need for committee members to review and/or provide input on in between meetings.
If necessary, the Committee will work to leverage annual opportunities such as the AthletesCAN Forum, the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif Conference and/or COC/CPC sessions for any in-person meetings.
In between meetings, it is important to continue the engagement of the Committee as topics evolve and/or if their insight is needed to consider a timely question or issue Sport Canada officials are working through. This will be done secretarially via email or via an online platform, as appropriate. If a specific deadline for feedback is required, Sport Canada will make every effort to ensure Committee members have as much time as possible with any relevant information to consider their perspective before the specific deadline.
Membership on the Committee does not constitute employment with the Government of Canada.
There will not be on-going remuneration of members for their participation on the Committee.
While it is expected that the majority of meetings will be virtual, the Government of Canada will cover appropriate travel and accommodation expenses for any in-person meetings according to the National Joint Council’s Directive on Travel.
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