The Team

  • All
  • Board of Directors
  • CEO
  • Coordinators
  • Directors
  • Managers
  • Dr. Mary Bluechardt
    Dr. Mary Bluechardt
    Board of Directors
  • John Ross
    John Ross
    Board of Directors
  • Roger Smolnicky
    Roger Smolnicky
    Board of Directors
  • Wendy Pattenden
    Wendy Pattenden
    Board of Directors
  • Richard Way
    Richard Way
    Chief Executive Officer
  • Andrea Carey
    Andrea Carey
    Director of Operations and Special Projects
  • Carolyn Trono
    Carolyn Trono
    Director of Long-Term Athlete Development
  • Drew Mitchell
    Drew Mitchell
    Director of Physical Literacy
  • Paul Jurbala
    Paul Jurbala
    Director of Knowledge
  • Tom Jones
    Tom Jones
    Director of International and Partnerships
  • Alex Wilson
    Alex Wilson
    Manager of Education and Evaluation
  • Elisa Maruzzo
    Elisa Maruzzo
    Engagement Manager of Western Canada
  • Emily Rand
    Emily Rand
    Manager of Special Projects
  • Douglas Duncan
    Douglas Duncan
    Manager of Activation
  • Jessica Waterman
    Jessica Waterman
    Manager of Physical Literacy
  • Annie Lau
    Annie Lau
    Operations Coordinator
  • Clayton Meadows
    Clayton Meadows
    Marketing and Design Coordinator
  • Kim Samson
    Kim Samson
    Communications Coordinator, French
  • Mik Vahi
    Mik Vahi
    Publications and Events Coordinator
  • Tyler Laing
    Tyler Laing
    Communications Coordinator, English
Dr. Mary Bluechardt
Board of Directors

Mary is the vice president of Grenfell Campus, Memorial University. Mary has an extensive background in applied health research and education, and came to Grenfell from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) in Oshawa. Her last post was Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at UOIT. Mary served as director of the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation at Memorial University, and has held positions as national director for coach development at Special Olympics Canada and as a professor at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan in both the faculties of Kinesiology and Health Studies, and Education, among other professional activities.

Mary has received numerous awards for her impact on health, physical activity and sports, and was named as one of the most influential women in sports and physical activity in 2008. Mary was a member of the Sport for Life Long-Term Athlete Development Expert Group for six years, serving as the lead on the inclusion of athletes with intellectual disabilities in the development of various sports’ Long-Term Athlete Development plans. In addition, she was very influential in the development of the Special Olympics Canada Long-Term Athlete Development framework.

John Ross
Board of Directors

John Ross is the Owner and Operator of Toolquip Agency Ltd in Toronto. He has built Toolquip Agency over 40 years as a sales and marketing company that generates annual sales of over $70 million and employees more than 50 people across Canada. John has been an Alpine Skiing Race Crew Chief for 18 years, training and supervising a crew of 20 volunteers while working closely with coaches, team managers, parents and other officials. He also worked as an Alpine Race Crew member and steward for International Alpine events including Sochi Paralympics, Vancouver Winter Olympics, World Cups at Lake Louise, and many more.

John is well known for leading people, building a great team, building relationships, negotiating and achieving results. He has managed, mentored, supported and enthusiastically promoted staff and co-workers in a team environment. He is a strong communicator; confident public speaker and presenter; and accomplished in verbal, written and face-to-face communication.

Roger Smolnicky
Board of Directors

Roger Smolnicky joins the Sport for Life Board of Directors with over 25 years of sport and recreation experience within Alberta. During this time, Roger has participated in a variety of sports such as curling, skiiing, luge, basketball and others at the local, provincial and national level. He is also a past president of the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association and currently the Vice Chair of the Recreation for Life Foundation. He believes in Sport for Life, and believes that keeping people involved in sport will help them lead healthy lifestyles.

Wendy Pattenden
Board of Directors

Wendy is the Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific. The Canadian Sport Institute, in partnership with the national network of Canadian Sport Institutes and the British Columbia (BC) network of PacificSport Centres, delivers sport performance programs and services to provide athletes and coaches living in BC with every advantage to win medals for Canada.

Wendy completed her Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) in 2004 at Royal Roads University, Victoria, British Columbia, culminating in her MBA thesis, “An Integrated Performance System for British Columbia”. In 2005 Wendy was asked to Chair the Integrated Performance Planning Workgroup and authored a final report for 2010 Legacies Now, “Performance Priorities in BC”. This report served as the framework used to launch a new Integrated Performance System (IPS). Wendy authored a follow-up report, “Integrated Performance System Evaluation Report” in 2008. British Columbia has seen steady improvement with performance results at the national and international level since the IPS was put in place in 2005.

Wendy is a former world-ranked professional tennis player (top 100 in the world), 12-time national tennis champion and Female Athlete of the Year (City of Greater Victoria). Wendy was inducted to the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. Prior to taking on the challenge of starting the Canadian Sport Institute in 1999, Wendy served double duty as the Director of Athlete Development and Head National Team Coach/Olympic Coach for Tennis Canada, a post she held for 13 years. Wendy is married and has three children, all actively involved in competitive sport.

Richard Way
Chief Executive Officer

Richard is the CEO of the Sport for Life Society and an architect of the Long-Term Athlete Development Framework. Richard has facilitated the use of Long-Term Athlete Development for over 30 sports in more than 50 countries, and co-authored the book, Long-Term Athlete Development, with Istvan Balyi and Colin Higgs. Richard serves on the faculty of the Institute for Global Studies at the University of Delaware. A thought leader on physical literacy, Richard is a founding member of the International Physical Literacy Association. Additionally, he was the Director of Sport for Vancouver’s successful 2010 Winter Olympic Games Bid Corporation, a former commission member of the International Luge Federation, and former executive of the Canadian Luge Association. Richard represented Canada in nine Luge World Championships and was an All-Canadian West soccer star for the University of Calgary.

Andrea Carey
Director of Operations and Special Projects

Andrea is the Director of Operations and Special Projects for the Sport for Life Society. She is passionate about getting more Canadians active and building physical literacy throughout the lifespan, and is a consultant working on a variety of inclusive projects across Canada. Through her previous role at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence, she operated a world-leading high performance facility while building quality, inclusive programming that aligned with the Sport for Life Long-Term Athlete Development Framework, and established a national reputation for physical literacy programs. She has a BA in Leisure Service Administration and a MEd in Leadership Studies. Andrea shares her volunteer time by contributing as a Board Director for the Canadian Paralympic Committee (for the past five years) and a Board Member of KidSport Greater Victoria.

Carolyn Trono
Director of Long-Term Athlete Development

Carolyn is the Director of Long-Term Athlete Development for the Sport for Life Society. She has worked with many sport organizations at the community, provincial and national level in the areas of strategic planning, Canadian Sport for Life implementation and coach education. In the past she has worked with Rowing Canada Aviron, Special Olympics Canada, Canadian Bowling Federation, Canadian Broomball Federation, and Tennis Canada in the development of their Long-Term Athlete Development frameworks. Carolyn filled the role of Director of Coach Education for Rowing Canada for 15 years. As a Director for Sport for Life, she works extensively with national and multi-sport organizations as they move toward integration of Long-Term Athlete Development into their culture and programs. Carolyn has collaborated with a number of organizations on their competition review and restructuring.

Drew Mitchell
Director of Physical Literacy

Drew is the Director of Physical Literacy for the Sport for Life Society and works as a consultant focused on the development of physical literacy at the community level and promoting the Canadian Sport for Life Movement. He is a graduate of Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. Drew has worked extensively in the sport system as an educator and developer of programs for the past 19 years. He managed Sport Technical and Performance Services for viaSport BC and was the Manager of Science & Medicine programs for SportMedBC where he worked with over 50 different sports at the local, provincial and national level. He is also a past member of the Canadian National Canoeing Team and the former Health & Lifestyle Coordinator at the Downtown Vancouver YMCA. Drew has been involved in sport and fitness for over 40 years as an athlete, coach, administrator, volunteer, developer and manager.

Paul Jurbala
Director of Knowledge

Paul is the Director of Knowledge of the Sport for Life Society. He runs his own consulting and management business, communityactive consulting, where he develops strategic and governance plans, Long-Term Athlete Development plans, and competition reviews for national and provincial sport and multi-sport organizations. Paul holds a M.Sc. degree in Exercise Physiology and is currently studying in the PhD program in Sport Management at Brock University, where his focus is change and decision-making in sport organizations.

Tom Jones
Director of International and Partnerships

Tom is the Director of International and Partnerships for the Sport for Life Society. A long-time member of the Canadian sport community, Tom has served as the CEO of Commonwealth Games Canada and Athletes CAN in Ottawa, as well as Manager of Sport, Excellence and Wellness at the Richmond Olympic Oval. He spent three years working in the Australian sport system as Executive Director of a state sporting organization (Melbourne) and Operations Manager for the volleyball competition at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. A graduate of UBC, Tom holds an MBA from the University of Calgary and is currently Principal of Jones & Associates Sport and Management Consulting in Vancouver. Tom competed internationally for Canada in the sport of volleyball, and was a bronze medalist at the 1979 Pan Am Games, silver medalist at the 1983 World Student Games and semifinalist of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. He spent seven years in Europe as a professional athlete and more recently competed in the World Masters Games, winning gold in Edmonton 2005.

Alex Wilson
Manager of Education and Evaluation

Alex is the Manager of Education and Evaluation for the Sport for Life Society. Alex monitors the progress of projects and builds educational connections for the Sport for Life movement.  She earned a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education and Bachelor of Science from Queen’s University and a Master’s Degree in Exercise and Health Psychology from the University of British Columbia.  Alex has been involved with a variety of projects supporting and encouraging physical literacy and a healthy lifestyle including Action Schools! BC, BC Wheelchair Sports Association and research projects in both education and health settings.  Alex enjoys being an active part of her community and volunteers regularly with the Take a Hike Foundation and Alpine Club of Canada.  She is an outdoor enthusiast who can frequently be found biking, hiking, paddling, and skiing to maximize her time in nature.

Elisa Maruzzo
Engagement Manager of Western Canada

As the Engagement Manager for Western Canada & International Partnerships, Elisa manages a portfolio of international projects, Physical Literacy for Communities, sponsorship, fundraisers, and the 60 Minute Kids’ Club program. Growing up playing a wide variety of sports and activities led her to study kinesiology at UBC with a focus on business and exercise science. Having worked with people at every stage of the Long-Term Athlete Development Framework, Elisa puts a focus on training leaders to progress people through the various stages using physical literacy as a foundation for being active for life. With strengths coordinating community engagement strategies and delivering workshops for service providers, Elisa puts an emphasis on implementation strategies to embed healthy habits and physical literacy best practices into curriculum, at home, and throughout the community.

Emily Rand
Manager of Special Projects

Emily is the Manager of Special Projects for the Sport for Life Society. She holds a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Physical and Health Education from Queen’s University, and a Masters of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Victoria. She previously worked at Cancer Care Ontario in the Primary Care Engagement unit, and has also done extensive work as a health promotion researcher in the area of children’s physical activity and nutrition. She is passionate about movement and is excited to increase health knowledge and skill development in a variety of diverse populations through the special projects at Sport for Life. Emily loves to travel and explore the great outdoors, and has always been involved in a wide range of sports and activities, which now include running, biking, snowboarding, volleyball, CrossFit and yoga.

Douglas Duncan
Manager of Activation

Douglas is the Manager of Activation for the Sport for Life Society. He manages the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Legacy Project in partnership with the Canadian Soccer Association project. The project aims to reduce the rate of soccer injuries in Canada by supporting clubs to implement the FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Warm-up and Sport for Life's Physical Literacy Movement Preparation program into regular club programming. In addition Douglas leads Sport for Life engagement in Quebec, supports a number of Sport for Life's Long Term Athlete Development Projects and is a consultant as part of Sport for Life's work with New York Road Runners.

Douglas has been a leader within the Canadian Sport for Life Movement since its inception. A former long track speed skater and national training centre coach, Douglas has had the opportunity to work directly with many of the coaches and athletes of Canada’s speed skating team during the Vancouver and Sochi Olympics.

He then moved into a series of sport development roles, both provincially and nationally, working to align athlete development, coaching education and competition with Long-Term Athlete Development. Before joining the Sport for Life team, Douglas served as Athletics Canada’s Director of Sport Development where he was responsible for a number of programs and initiatives including the Run-Jump-Throw-Wheel Program, coach education, and all club, school and road running programs. Douglas is a passionate believer in the ability of sport to change lives and the importance of collaboration.

Jessica Waterman
Manager of Physical Literacy

Jessica Waterman is the Manager of Physical Literacy for the Sport for Life Society. She holds a BPE, a B.Ed, and an MA in Physical Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Jessica taught physical education for nine years to students from kindergarten to grade 12, and has coached a wide range of activities. Recently, she worked as a physical literacy leader with the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence where a large part of her role was mentoring PE teachers. Jessica’s active lifestyle includes running and hiking along with a variety of recreational sports like hockey, basketball, football, and dragon boating.

Annie Lau
Operations Coordinator

Annie Lau is the Operations Coordinator for the Sport for Life Society. Annie manages resources and orders, merchandising and promotion, contact databases, and external requests, as well as other business operations. She also takes up roles outside her specialty including communications, website and graphic designing, and IT support. Annie graduated from George Brown College in Toronto with a diploma of Business Administration with Co-op, and completed courses in the Fitness & Lifestyle Management Program. While at school, she played Varsity Women’s Volleyball for four years and then managed the Varsity Men’s team in her final year. Annie competed for Deaf Team Canada at the 2012 Pan American Games for the Deaf in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and at the 2013 Deaflympics in Sofia, Bulgaria. She competed in the 2016 Deaf Pan American Games Qualifier and World Deaf Volleyball Championships, both in Washington DC. Annie also looks forward to working and developing at a growing company.

Clayton Meadows
Marketing and Design Coordinator

Clayton Meadows is the Marketing and Design Coordinator for the Sport for Life Society. As a graduate of SAIT Polytechnic in Alberta with certification in Graphic Communications, Clayton is responsible for graphic design and development of marketing material. His background also includes sports medicine, massage therapy, and competitive coaching. In his spare time he enjoys rock climbing, long-boarding, and any activity that gets him in the ocean.

Kim Samson
Communications Coordinator, French

Kim Samson is the French Communications Coordinator for the Sport for Life Society. She has a Bachelor of International Relations from the University of Sherbrooke and is finishing a minor in International Cooperation from the University of Montreal. Prior to joining Sport for Life’s team, she worked as a coordinator for communication activities and fundraising at Le Sac à Dos in Montreal for three years. She has experience in event management, communications, design and fundraising. In her spare time, Kim volunteers at Mustard Seed, a non-profit fighting hunger in Greater Victoria, at Our Place, helping homeless people, and at Women In Need, supporting women in difficulty. She is an avid cyclist, hiker and climber and passionate about politics and history.

Mik Vahi
Publications and Events Coordinator

Mik Vahi is the Publications and Events Coordinator for the Sport for Life Society. On the publications side, Mik is responsible for progressing resources through all stages of development, from content development to printing. On the events side, he guides the delivery process of Sport for Life events, and also tracks statistics and feedback. An avid mover and strong supporter of physical literacy and Long-Term Athlete Development, Mik enjoys activities of all kinds, whether they be on water, land, snow, ice, or on wheels.

Tyler Laing
Communications Coordinator, English

Tyler is the English Communications Coordinator for the Sport for Life Society. He is interested in all aspects of sport, and wants to see more children with the opportunity to develop physical literacy through multi-sport and multi-activity involvement. A graduate of the University of Victoria’s Writing Program, Tyler manages Sport for Life’s social media, communications, and web content. He is eager to share stories that outline successful implementation of Long-Term Athlete Development, or that showcase physical literacy integration throughout communities and programs from across the sport, recreation, health and education sectors.

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