Couchiching Connects: July 2014

In this Issue:

A Message from the President

The 2014 Summer Conference

Call for Nominations

Couchiching Conversations

The Couchiching Gala 2014

Marketing and Communications Committee

Our Members Write

Member Appointed

Couchiching Alumni in the News

Recommended Reading

Relevant Readings

Calling All Readers

A Message from the President Amanuel Melles

We are one month away from the opening of the Couchiching 2014 Summer Conference! With the line-up of amazing speakers, panelists, and keynotes, we are excited about providing conference participants with a superb and intellectually stimulating experience. Take time to check out conference details at and register to attend. Come prepared to also have fun participating in sport activities. Please bring a friend or a colleague along with you.

It's also Board governance renewal time at Couchiching. We are bidding farewell to several volunteers and welcoming new ones. The Institute thrives on the passion and dedication of many volunteers. I will be paying tribute to the many years of contribution of our departing volunteers at the 2014 Conference and, at the same time, welcoming the newcomers. Read about our board members in the September issue of Couchiching Connects.

I am looking forward to seeing you and your friends at the conference on August 7!

The 2014 Summer Conference

More than a Game: The Politics and Potential of Sport, August 7-10, Geneva Park, Ontario

Summer Conference Co-Chairs, Douglas Gibson and Heather Keachie

The Sweater. The FIFA World Cup. Eugenie Bouchard. The 2015 Pan Am and Parapan American Games. And fixing Toronto's sagging transportation infrastructure.

What do each of these things have in common?

They will all be part of the conversation at this year's Couchiching Summer Conference. Many of us pay close attention to two real sporting events in Canada...sports writ large and the politics that lies behind. Only one month away, this summer's conference will bring both to the forefront of public discussion.

Heather and Doug are working with the Program Committee to add the finishing touches to a very good-looking cast.

For example, in the opening session we're delighted to add Elisabeth Walker-Young, the distinguished Paralympian, to the program with Ken Dryden and the famous film of Roch Carrier's classic book, The Sweater.

We hope that Elizabeth Dowdeswell (a faithful Couchiching supporter over the years, and the newly-announced Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario) will successfully juggle her schedules as her life enters a very interesting new phase.

We're watching with delight the success of John Doyle in The Globe and Mail as he covers the World Cup so brilliantly that readers' letters express their appreciation daily. When he returns from Brazil, we're hoping to expand his role with us...once he has caught up on his sleep!

The Friday and Saturday afternoon sessions will be very different this year, since we plan to encourage everyone to get outside and join in the games we're organizing. Watch this space for exciting developments that include Goalball and two of the national team's outstanding players. (Hint: sighted participants play blind-folded.)

And right at the end we're changing things around. Instead of the usual Sunday afternoon session (always tricky, since everyone has checked out), we'll have the summing-up speeches delivered at lunch. Joining Bruce Dowbiggin, the outspoken sports columnist, we're very pleased to have Akaash Maharaj, who wears many hats. He's a former Olympian, a member of our equestrian team, a sport administrator, and the respected executive director of the Ottawa-based Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, which is well aware of the international power of sports.

In total, a remarkable cast of speakers and moderators as you will see when you visit our website. It's going to be fun, stimulating, provocative, informative - all in the Couch tradition!


Meet nine more remarkable leaders who will speak at the 2014 Summer Conference.

Bob Elliott, CAE, was born in Hamilton, Ontario, and raised in Ottawa. He is a lifelong sports participant and fan. A bilingual graduate of the University of Waterloo's Kinesiology program, Bob's first job was at the Ottawa Athletic Club as an evening manager. This experience led him to his first foray on the national sports scene as executive director of Judo Canada, a position he held for four years. This was a stepping stone to becoming executive director of what is now called Kin Canada, the national association for Kinsmen and Kinette clubs, based in Cambridge, Ontario. Bob spent 11 years at the helm of this community service group, one that had over 1,000 clubs and 17,000 members.

Having earned a Certified Association Executive designation, Bob became the president of the Canadian Retail Hardware Association where he spent seven years leading an association of over 1,500 retail hardware stores.

In 2005, he decided to return to his roots in Ottawa to become president of the Canadian Printing Industries Association (CPIA) where he led a membership of some 600 printing companies for seven years.

During his time at the CPIA, Bob was instrumental in launching the Drive for the Podium golf tournament, which raises money for aspiring Olympic athletes. This reconnected Bob to the national sport scene and led to his return to sport as the Senior Leader of The Sport Matters Group (SMG) in January 2013. SMG brings together key players in the sport, physical activity, and recreation sectors to discuss the major issues that concern the sector, including providing advocacy expertise.

TJ Flood is the Senior Vice-President of Marketing at Canadian Tire and is responsible for overseeing the business' iconic brand, as well as managing a broad portfolio that includes strategic marketing functions, and the Canadian Tire flyer. His team has successfully reinvigorated the Canadian Tire brand with the introduction of "Canada's Store" and the "We All Play for Canada" marketing campaigns.

Before becoming Senior Vice-President of Marketing, TJ held various positions at Canadian Tire, including Vice-President of Merchandising, where he ran the successful Living division. Prior to joining Canadian Tire, TJ acquired significant packaged goods experience by holding senior positions at Cadbury Adams USA.

TJ holds an Honours degree in business from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business. In his spare time, he coaches rep hockey and baseball.

Thomas Hall is an Olympic bronze medallist who retired from sprint canoeing in 2012 after 15 years on the national team. He won a medal at every major Games, including the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He is currently pursuing a Master of Journalism degree at Carleton University and researching Canada's high performance sport system. Thomas sits on the board of directors of Canoe Kayak Canada and AthletesCAN. He studied physical education at McGill University, but graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Mount Saint Vincent University. He works as an editor at Canadian Geographic Education. Every chance he gets, he's outside, preferably on the water.

Glen Hodgson is the senior vice-president and chief economist of the Conference Board of Canada, a non-profit organization that conducts research on economic trends, public policy, and organizational performance. He has published two books and over 225 articles and briefings. He has written extensively on Canadian tax reform and has co-authored with economist Mario Lefebvre a series on the economics of pro sports in Canada. The series is now available in book form and is entitled "Power Play: The Business Economics of Pro Sports". In particular, the book looks at the economics of the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, the Canadian Football League, and the National Basketball Association.Glen is leading a new Conference Board research initiative, the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care (CASHC), just as he led the creation of the Board's Global Commerce Centre. He is a regular contributor to the Conference Board's economics blogs and The Globe and Mail's Economy Lab.

Paul Jurbala has made a lifelong commitment to Canadian sport as a coach, educator, volunteer, and professional sport administrator. Prior to launching his own consulting business, communityactive, in 2005, he held senior management positions with several sport organizations including the Sport Alliance of Ontario. Since then he has worked with nearly 30 national, provincial, and community sport and recreation organizations to create strategic plans, evaluation processes, coach education programs, and athlete development plans. In his capacity as Senior Associate with the Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L) Leadership Team, Paul writes and presents extensively on aspects of CS4L in community and athlete development, and in 2012 launched the CS4L Leaders School program to develop a new generation of Canadian sport and physical activity leaders. He has also served on a number of boards and is currently volunteer Chair of Community Sport Councils Ontario.

Paul holds a Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and is a Ph.D. candidate in the Sport Management program at Brock University, where his research focuses on change and decision-making in sport organizations. An avid cyclist, he has taught in Sport Management programs at York University and Humber College in Toronto.

Lynne LeBlanc is Manager of Program Development at SportSansFrontières, a non-governmental organization based in France with satellite programs in the United Kingdom, Italy, Brazil, and Canada. Its mission focuses on re(construction), education, and prevention through sport to address today's societal challenges. A native of Moncton, New Brunswick, Lynne's passion for and belief in the power of sport and education has led her to develop and manage a number of sport and educational programs in Canada, East Africa, and the Middle East over the past 15 years. She has extensive experience in dealing with development issues including gender equality, health, youth and women's empowerment, people with a disability, refugees and displaced populations, and peace and conflict resolution. Organizations she has been involved with include Inuksuit International, World University Service of Canada, Generations for Peace, Right to Play, the Coaching Association of Canada, and Volleyball Canada.

Akaash Maharaj is Executive Director of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC), and leads the international alliance of democratically-elected parliamentarians in its work combatting corruption, strengthening good government, and upholding the rule of law.

GOPAC has 50 national chapters, and is present in every region of the world. In addition to his overall responsibilities, Akaash directs GOAPC's project on international prosecution of Crimes Against Humanity, its efforts on institution building in fragile states, and its work on reconciliation in conflict states.

A frequent contributor to international debate, his articles have been published by newspapers in every populated continent. He appeared as a broadcast essayist with TVOntario's "The Agenda", and Maclean's magazine named him as one of Canada's 50 "most well known and respected personalities".

From 1998 to 2003, Akaash was the elected National Policy Chair of the Liberal Party of Canada and a member of the party's governing National Executive. In 2000, the then Prime Minister named him as one of seven people responsible for drafting the party platform.

Outside of his professional life, he is an international athlete, and was a triple gold medallist at the International Championships of Equestrian Skill-at-Arms. He also led the Canadian Equestrian Team and federation as CEO during the team's most successful Olympics, Paralympics, and World Equestrian Games of all time.

Akaash earned his Master of Arts from Oxford University, in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and was the first overseas student elected President of the student government in the history of the 900 year-old University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He has been decorated twice in Canada's national honours, for his work on peace in the Middle East and for his service to the integrity of Canadian and international sport. An active volunteer, Akaash has taught adult literacy, has served as a director on a range of international development and local community boards, and has been particularly involved with UNICEF's efforts on childhood and maternal welfare. He is fluent in English and French.

Akaash's personal web site is

The Honourable David Peterson served as the Premier of Ontario between 1985 and 1990, overseeing an active period of reform and playing a major role in Canada's constitutional discussions. He was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 1975.

David is currently chairman of Cassels Brock LLP, where he practices corporate/commercial law. In 2009, he was the chairman of the successful TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games Bid Committee, following on his work as a member on the 2008 Toronto Olympic Bid Committee.

In his four decades of public service, he has served on a number of private and public boards, as well as not-for-profit sport organizations, including St. Michael's Hospital, the Shaw Festival and the Toronto Community Foundation. He is the founding chairman of the Toronto Raptors Basketball Club Inc. and the chancellor emeritus of the University of Toronto.

David was also chairman of the Commonwealth Team observing the 1992 elections in Guyana and the chief federal negotiator for the devolution of the Northwest Territories.

He holds a BA from the University of Western Ontario, an LL.B from the University of Toronto, and studied at the University of Caen, France. Peterson also has honorary doctorates from the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario, the University of Ottawa, the University of Tel Aviv, and the American University of the Caribbean.

He is a Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honour of France and was summoned by Her Majesty to the Privy Council in 1992. In 2009, he was appointed to the Order of Ontario in recognition of his public and community service contributions.

Elisabeth Walker-Young was Canada's Assistant Chef de Mission for the London 2012 Paralympic Games and was recently named Chef de Mission for the Canadian Team for the Toronto 2015 ParaPanAm Games. Bringing an athlete-centred perspective to this core leadership role, Elisabeth contributes to the planning and delivery of operations in Toronto, proudly supporting all members of Team Canada both on and off the field of play.

Her contribution to promoting the Paralympic Movement was enormous. In London, Walker-Young did hundreds of media interviews and also served as CTV's English language commentator for the broadcasts of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, an opportunity she used to share her passion and expertise for parasport with Canadian audiences. In addition, Elisabeth acted as a liaison with the Canadian Paralympic Committee's (CPC) corporate and government partners during the Games. She is very active on social media, influencing and building connections with Canadians and the sport community.

As a result of her role for the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Elisabeth was named to the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport (CAAWS) Most Influential Women List and was also a recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal, recognized as an athlete and builder.

Elisabeth retired in 2005 as a 13-year member of the Canadian Paralympic Swim Team, having represented Canada at four Summer Paralympic Games from Barcelona 1992 through to Athens 2004. Throughout her swimming career, she broke numerous Canadian and world records, brining home six Paralympic medals (three gold, one silver, and two bronze) and was team captain for more than half of her career.

Following her athletics career, Elisabeth chose a career path in sport management. From the development, management, and evaluation of program and events, she continually challenges herself and others in raising the bar.

Personally, Elisabeth, a new mom, enjoys teaching spin classes and sharing her love and knowledge of an active healthy lifestyle with her class participants. She loves to cook, read, and be creative. A resident of Deep Cove in North Vancouver, she enjoys hiking, walking, running, and snowshoeing in the trails with her husband, Ian, her daughter Isla, and her dog, Joey.

See Speakers' Profiles as reported in previous issues of Couchiching Connects and on the website.

February 2014

Orlando Bowen is the executive director of One Voice One Team.

Guylaine Demers, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Physical Education of Laval University.

Ken Dryden is a Canadian politician, lawyer, businessman, author, and former NHL goaltender.

March 2014

Pierre Lafontaine is the CEO of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS).

Nancy Lee has held leadership roles in Canadian broadcasting and international sport for over 20 years.

April 2014

Phyllis Berck is the director of the Toronto Office of Partnerships.

Michael Chambers is a senior partner with the Ottawa law firm, Maclaren Corlett LLP.

Bruce Kidd, PhD, is Interim Principal of the University of Toronto Scarborough, Warden of Hart House, and a Professor of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto.

Richard W. Pound, O.C., O.Q., Q.C., Ad. E., F.C.A., is a lawyer in Montreal with Stikeman Elliott LLP.

May 2014

Olivier Bauer has published three books on hockey as a religion.

John Cawley is the Director of Programs and Operations at the J. W. McConnell Family Foundation.

Bruce Dowbiggin is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and author.

Parissa Safai is an Associate Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science in the Faculty of Health at York University.

June 2014

Dr. Allan Downey is a member of the Nak'azdli First Nation and a recent graduate of the PhD History program at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Dr. Colin Higgs, Professor Emeritus at Memorial University where he worked on developing physical education and sport for more than 30 years and served as Dean of the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation.

Hon. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women.

Dr. Margaret MacNeill, an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto.

A Special Notice - the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2014 Comes to Canada in August

What a great opportunity for fans of sporting excellence! Starting as low as just $10, individual match tickets to the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Canada 2014 are now on sale via featuring affordable prices for all 32 matches, with the highest prices just $50 for FIFA's biennial women's youth competition.

"We are less than 100 days away from an exciting summer of competition at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Canada 2014," said Peter Montopoli, Chief Executive Officer of the National Organising Committee. "This is a great opportunity for fans to show their support with the purchase of individual tickets to matches in their home venues or to matches of particular national teams."

The FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2014 runs from August 5th to 24th in Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, and Moncton. The 32-match schedule features 16 national teams, with the recent Official Draw dividing the nations into four groups for the opening phase. Each host city features one quarter-final match, while Moncton and Montreal host the semi-final matches and Montreal hosts both the playoff for third place and the final.

Call for Nominations - Gwen Burrows

As chair of the Couchiching Nominating Committee, I invite nominations to the Board of Directors for election at the Couchiching General Meeting of Members, to be held at the Summer Conference, Geneva Park, on August 9th, 2014.

I encourage all of you who are not currently members of the Institute to become a member so that you can participate in the selection of the board. Membership is $75, for which you get a charitable tax receipt. The funds support the vital work of the Institute, including covering costs of the Summer Conference, supporting students to attend, and supporting our year-round programming.

If, as a member of Couchiching, you wish to nominate a candidate for election to the Board, please make the nomination in writing and send it to Your nomination letter must include your own signature, the signature of a seconder (who must also be a member of the Institute), and the name of your nominee, plus a brief biography of the nominee and a certificate from the nominee confirming that he or she (a) is willing to serve as a Director of the Institute for up to three years and (b) is, or is willing to become within 10 days of being elected, a member the Institute.

I hope to see you at Geneva Park for the election - and for what promises to be another terrific conference!

Couchiching Conversations
Chair, Conversations, Salim Rachid@salim_rachi

Conversations Held

July 3 Toronto Conversation: Envisioning Toronto: An Independent City, drew more than 100 participants to the Toronto Baha'i Centre. Alan Broadbent opened the conversation by challenging the constitution and arguing that the current structural governance prohibits large cities like Toronto from implementing significant change. Issues that were discussed included transit, urban development, economic reform, mayoral duties, and more. Questions were raised from a wide range of guests, including former mayor John Sewell. Mayoral candidate Olivia Chow also joined the conversation and shared her thoughts on how a more financially independent Toronto can be created. Check out photos from the event and video footage will follow soon.

Couchiching Conversations blog - Check out a new piece from our Edmonton Conversation on "Reconciling the Common Spirit"

Couchiching Conversations microsite: Registering for future Couchiching Conversations is easier than ever before. Check out our Conversations dedicated site. Also visit the site to find out more about our local partners . For Conversation photos, click here.


The Couchiching Gala 2014
Chair, Public Policy and Gala Committee, Leslie de Meulles

Check out our photo gallery to see the beautiful venue and our august attendees for yourself.

Marketing and Communications Committee
Chair Aisha Silim; Vice-Chair Sheila Robertson

The committee continues to spread the word about our 2014 Summer Conference, and the media has been alerted, with particular focus on sport and local media. Check out our Facebook page for updates on the conference, and those who are interested can also follow us on Twitter, where we will be using a unique hashtag for the conference: #sportspoli. We encourage you to join us on Facebook and Twitter, and get the conversation started as we count down to August 7th!

Our Members Write ..

The Globe and Mail, June 18th: Martha Hall Findlay, executive fellow at the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy, a former Liberal MP, and a member of the Institute's board of directors, wrote: "The federal government's decision to give Northern Gateway the green light is conditional on the project meeting all 209 environmental and social conditions set out by the joint review panel of National Energy Board and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. The proponents must also engage in more consultations with affected aboriginal communities, and there are British Columbia's five conditions to be met ...

"You don't build a nation by saying 'No'. You need to ask 'How". Read more.

Members Appointed

Bruce Robertson, CM, CPA, CA, CITP, the vice-president of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and chair of the CGF Coordination Commission for Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018, has been appointed a vice-president of Edmonton's bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. He is a member of the Program Committee for the 2014 Summer Conference and of the Finance Committee. Read more.

Couchiching Alumni in the News

The Globe and Mail, July 8th: Former prime minister Paul Martin received the Grand Croix of the Ordre de la Pléade at the 40th session of the Assemblé parliamentaire de la Francophonie in Gatineau, Que. He has spoken at several Summer Conferences, including in 2013, "Coming together as One: Navigating the Relationship Between Indigenous Peoples and Canada"

The Globe and Mail, July 1st: European Bureau Chief Eric Reguly wrote: "When Mark Carney was appointed Governor of the Bank of England, government and business leaders let loose with the sort of praise normally reserved for the most brilliant soccer stars." He was the recipient of the 2013 Couchiching Award for Public Policy Leadership. Read more.

Toronto Star, June 30th: Ken Dryden, who will be a keynote speaker at the 2014 Summer Conference, interviewed Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: An edited interview with Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi - "loves people, loves Calgary, loves Canada, loves the future." He was a speaker at the 2011 Summer Conference, "From the Ground up: Civic Engagement in Our Time". Read more.

Globe Connect Information Feature, June 28th: Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi is one of 17 inaugural municipal champions of the Trans Canada Trail. Read more.

The Globe and Mail, June 23rd: Thomas Homer-Dixon, the Centre for International Governance Innovation Chair of Global systems at the Balsillie School on International Affairs and a speaker at the 2010 Summer Conference, "Watershed Moment or Wasted Opportunity", Heather Douglas, and Lucie Edwards wrote: "The connection between science and public policy within the federal government is broken, and the consequences for Canada are becoming disastrous. We propose four ways to fix this problem.

"But first, how is the connection broken, and why should Canadians care?" Read more.

Toronto Star, June 19th: Social justice reporter Laurie Monsebraaten wrote: "Ontario's Human Rights Commission is releasing new user-friendly guidelines on how to define, assess, handle, and resolve discrimination related to mental health and addiction disabilities. The guidelines are aimed at ensuring that people with mental illness or addictions have equal rights and opportunities without discrimination in areas such as employment, housing and services.

The paper was released by Ontario Human Rights Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall, a delegate at the 2013 Summer Conference. Read more.

The Globe and Mail, June 16th: In an article about June convocations, education reporter Kate Hammer included David Dodge, the former Governor of the Bank of Canada and the 2012 recipient of the Couchiching Award for Public Policy Leadership who addressed graduates at Queen's University: "June is convocation month, a time when the parents of university students spend hours crammed into the nosebleed seats of auditoriums waiting for the fleeting moment when their child struts.

"During the last quarter of the 20th century, my challenge and that of my generation of policy makers was to find employment for a rapidly expanding labour force of baby boomers. We largely succeeded. Baby boomers got jobs. Employment grew and total national income rose. But productivity - that is the output of goods, services or art generated on average by an employed person - did not rise.

"But now the baby boomers are retiring and for the next 20 years the fraction of our total population that are in the active labour force will fall dramatically.

"So if Canada is just to maintain today's average per capita standard of living, all of you will have to find ways to work smarter, not just harder and longer. You will have to be creative; to invent new ways to produce new and better art, literature, music, public services and goods. In short, whether you set up your own business, join a company, teach or go into the public sector, you are going to have to innovate." Read more.

BBC News UK, June 13th : Lyse Doucet, BBC Chief International Correspondent, was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to British broadcast journalism. She was a speaker at the 2012 Summer Conference, "The Arab Spring: Implications and Opportunities For Canada". Read more.

Recommended Reading - Idle No More

The Globe and Mail, June 28th: Writer and editor Aparna Sanyal wrote: "In the winter of 2012-2013, a wave of First Nations protests burst onto the national stage, characterized impressionistically in the mainstream media by flash mobs; a Chief's fast; fractures in leadership; blockades and statements about water, women, and rights. Though support from progressive Canadians was strong, the public was given little idea that it was witnessing the awakening of an innovative, strategic movement whose participants were focused in their commitment to protect treaty and land rights and invigorate Indigenous cultures. A recent book, The Winter We Danced, reveals the full depth and breadth of Idle No More, its traditional roots and future potential - reading, at times, like prophecy." Read more.

Relevant Reading


June 17th: KidSport™ announced record grants resulting in over $6 million in distributions providing children across Canada the opportunity to play organized sport in 2013. The grants dispersed enabled more than 57,000 kids from coast to coast to coast to get in the game and learn valuable life skills associated with participation in sport. In the last ten years, KidSport has disseminated over $37 million in grants to Canadian children. Read more.


Inside the Games, July 7th: Reporter Duncan MacKay wrote: "Edmonton's bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games has received a boost after it was named Tracktown Canada following the news it has been chosen to host the 2015 and 2016 Canadian Track and Field Championships." Read more.


ABC, July 8th: Reporter Jessica Nairn wrote: "New research has revealed junior elite athletes as young as 12 are using performance-enhancing drugs. Researchers from the University of Canberra and Queensland's Griffith University have spent three years interviewing junior athletes. More than 900 athletes aged from 12 to 17, who were competing at an elite junior level, were interviewed." Read more.

PlayTrue Magazine, June 17th: WADA Athlete Committee Chair Beckie Scot carried the baton for worldwide clean sport last week, as she attended the IWG World Conference on Women and Sport in Helsinki, Finland, June 12-15. Scott, a gold and silver Olympic medallist in cross country skiing, was handed a baton containing a petition of names in support of clean sport by fellow cross country skier and Olympic medallist Aino-Kaisa Saarinen. The petition was signed by thousands of athletes, coaches, and spectators at more than 100 sports events in Finland between 2008 and 2013. Read more.

Mail on Sunday, June 9th: Reporter John Greechan wrote: "WADA president Sir Craig Reedie believes the war on drugs cheats in athletics has been redefined ... but it must continue. The war is not unwinnable. Nor is it any longer being viewed in such gladiatorial terms, as anti-doping authorities cast themselves in a more protective than offensive role. And, if the clean athletes taking part in this summer's Commonwealth Games leave Glasgow feeling they have been at least partially shielded from the worst cheats, the testers will be able to declare mission very much accomplished." Read more.

PlayTrue Magazine, May 26th: "The World Anti-Doping Agency has launched ALPHA, an Athlete Learning Program about Health & Anti-Doping. ALPHA is a program that adopts a fresh approach to anti-doping education by addressing how an athlete's attitudes shape his or her intentions, and ultimately determine doping or anti-doping behaviors." Read more

Hardball Talk, May 15th: Blogger-in-chief at NBC Craig Calcaterra wrote: "After the Mitchell Report came out, I argued that maybe baseball would have been better served if it had used such opportunities and efforts to learn about players' doping habits, suppliers and incentives rather than merely produce a list of players for the media to tear apart and which the league itself could hold up." Read more.

Inside the Games, May 19th: Reporter Nick Butler wrote: "Xenon and Argon gas have been added to a list of banned substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency after a study found they artificially boosted performances." Read more.

National Public Radio, May 10th: "As the Giro d'Italia bicycle race sets off in Ireland this weekend, the shadow of doping will not be far behind. In a competition to beat the cheaters, scientists are constantly trying to improve drug testing. While it can be hard for regulators to keep up with new habits, when an athlete is finally caught doping, the result can be revolutionary." Read more..


The Globe and Mail, July 7th: Stephen Wilson of the Associated Press wrote: "Left with little choice after the withdrawal of three contenders, the International Olympic Committee retained the three remaining cities Monday in the troubled race for the 2022 Winter Games. Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing, and Oslo made the list of finalists, as had been expected." Read more.


The Globe and Mail, June 27th: David Peterson, chair, Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee who will be a speaker at the 2014 Summer Conference, responded to the article below: "Most of our 10 new builds and 15 renovation projects will be done almost a year before Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe hosts the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games - a rare achievement in Games of this complexity. They will all be completed in time for pre-Games competition.

"More importantly, the overall capital building program for the Games is under budget, with a savings of $57-million on the overall capital building program to date. Construction delays on the Hamilton Pan Am Soccer Stadium will not result in financial penalties for the organizing committee; the stadium will be ready several months before the Games." Read More.

The Globe and Mail, June 25th: Reporters Dakshana Bascarmurty and Ann Hui wrote: "With just over a year to go before Southern Ontario plays host to the Pan Am Games, major facilities holding track cycling and soccer are behind schedule and at least two Pan Am-related projects are set to run over budget." Read more.

Inside the Games, June 22nd: Reporter Gary Anderson wrote: "The Pan Am Path, which will connect the east and west of Toronto, has been officially launched after a new section was opened today ahead of the city's hosting of the Pan American and Parapan American Games next year." Read more


Inside the Games, June 18th: Reporter Gary Anderson wrote: "An international summit exploring the power of sport and the Commonwealth Games in affecting social change is set to take place in Glasgow two days before the Opening Ceremony." Read more.


True Sport, July 8th: True Sport announced that TeamSnap, used by nearly seven million people around the world to coordinate sports and other activities, will become an official True Sport partner, creating unique value for sport clubs, teams, school, athletes, coaches, managers, and volunteers in the Canadian sport system. Read more..


Reuters, June 24th: Helena Costa, the first woman to be appointed coach of a men's team in the top two divisions of European soccer, has quit before taking charge of French club Clermont. Read more.

Canadian Journal for Women and Coaching Online

Read more.

Calling All Readers of Couchiching Connects!

Please send information on Newsmakers, Couchiching Alumni in the News, and Opinions: Our Members Write/Speak ... to Sheila Robertson, Vice-Chair, Marketing and Communications; Editor, Couchiching Connects.

2016 Summer Conference

The Canada Project

Identity, Citizenship, and Nationhood in a Changing World

August 5-7, 2016
The YMCA Geneva Park Conference Centre, Orillia, ON

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Couchiching Connects
April 2017
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