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
  • Ram Nayyar
    Ram Nayyar
    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
  • Dr. Paul Jurbala
    Dr. Paul Jurbala
    Director of Knowledge
  • Tom Jones
    Tom Jones
    Director of International and Partnerships
  • Alex Wilson
    Alex Wilson
    Senior Manager of Education and Evaluation
  • Greg Henhawk
    Greg Henhawk
    Manager of Indigenous Projects
  • Alyssa Hindle
    Alyssa Hindle
    Manager of Knowledge and Collaboration
  • Elisa Maruzzo
    Elisa Maruzzo
    Manager of Engagement
  • Emily Rand
    Emily Rand
    Manager of Special Projects
  • Jane Fothergill
    Jane Fothergill
    Manager of Finance
  • Jessica Waterman
    Jessica Waterman
    Physical Literacy Content and Delivery Specialist
  • Lea Wiens
    Lea Wiens
    Manager of ISC Project / PL4C Community Mentor
  • Mark Verbeek
    Mark Verbeek
    Manager of Innovation
  • Tyler Laing
    Tyler Laing
    Manager of Communications and Marketing
  • Annie Lau
    Annie Lau
    Coordinator of Operations
  • Claudine Gilbert
    Claudine Gilbert
    Coordinator of Conferences and Workshops
  • Clayton Meadows
    Clayton Meadows
    Senior Coordinator of Design and Marketing
  • Kim Samson
    Kim Samson
    Coordinator of Bilingual Communications
  • Nick Hastie
    Nick Hastie
    Coordinator of Physical Literacy
  • Sarah Blézy
    Sarah Blézy
    Senior Coordinator of Quality Sport and International
  • Nicola Hestnes
    Nicola Hestnes
    Technician of Layout and Graphics
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.

mary@sportforlife.ca

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.

john@sportforlife.ca

Ram Nayyar
Board of Directors

The founder of Fearlessness Consulting Inc., a company holding strategic alliances with the best sport policy and implementation groups globally, current National Coach for Badminton Canada Para Program and former High Performance Director and National Head Coach for Badminton Canada, Ram Nayyar has traveled to over 90 countries globally and has coached at every major sporting event in the world. Additionally, Ram has been key in setting sport policy for various organizations around performance, including multi sport games. Best-selling author of The Sport of Life and a Level 5 Chartered Professional Coach, Ram coached Canada to its best ever Olympic Games finish in Badminton in 2012, and coached the first ever gold-medal winning Canadian women in Singles Badminton at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Ram was named Coach of the Year by Badminton Canada in 2011, awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, and in 2015 Ram was awarded the International Coach of the year award by Via Sport.

ram@sportforlife.ca

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.

roger@sportforlife.ca

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.

wendy@sportforlife.ca

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.

andrea@sportforlife.ca

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.

carolyn@sportforlife.ca

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.

drew@sportforlife.ca

Dr. 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 a PhD in Sport Management, which focused on change and decision-making in sport organizations.

paul@sportforlife.ca

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.

tom@sportforlife.ca

Alex Wilson
Senior Manager of Education and Evaluation

Alex is the Senior 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.

alex@sportforlife.ca

Greg Henhawk
Manager of Indigenous Projects
Alyssa Hindle
Manager of Knowledge and Collaboration

As the Manager of Knowledge and Collaboration for the Sport for Life Society, Alyssa works in project management, partnership development, and in the creation and delivery of resources and workshops. Alyssa holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Victoria and a Masters of Science in Neuroscience and Physical Education and Recreation from the University of Alberta. Her professional background is in inclusion, post-secondary teaching, project management, and health and wellness. She is passionate about creating inclusive communities and supports this in her past and present professional roles and also in her volunteer role with Power to Be. Alyssa is a lifelong learner and aims to share knowledge that compels individuals to act, learn and do more. In her spare time, Alyssa works to increase scientific literacy through science-based podcasting and event hosting, and she can be found adventuring in the great outdoors by foot, bicycle or boat.

alyssa@sportforlife.ca

Elisa Maruzzo
Manager of Engagement

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.

elisa@sportforlife.ca

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.

emily@sportforlife.ca

Jane Fothergill
Manager of Finance

Jane is the Manager of Finance for the Sport for Life Society. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Thompson Rivers University and brings over 15 years’ experience in accounting, financial reporting, and treasury management in both the private and charitable sectors. Her background also includes website management and professional dance training. In her spare time, she enjoys Flamenco dancing and practicing yoga.

jane@sportforlife.ca

Jessica Waterman
Physical Literacy Content and Delivery Specialist

Jessica Waterman is the Physical Literacy Content and Delivery Specialist 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.

jessica@sportforlife.ca

Lea Wiens
Manager of ISC Project / PL4C Community Mentor

Lea works with community leaders across multiple sectors, developing knowledge and capacity to deliver physical literacy and quality sport enriched programs and services. After establishing one of the first Sport for Life Community projects in her home town of Cochrane, AB, Lea went on to lead the RBC Learn to Play Community Mentorship on behalf of the Sport for Life Society. Currently, Lea is the project manager supporting physical literacy and quality sport in Indigenous schools and communities as well as working as a Mentor for the Physical Literacy for Communities – BC project

lea@sportforlife.ca

Mark Verbeek
Manager of Innovation

Mark is passionate and proactive about the enhancement of physical literacy in health, education, recreation and sport. His experiences include 20 years as an educator and consultant in Physical Education and Health, curriculum writer, university strength and conditioning coach, and various university and volunteer coaching positions.  His athletic pursuits included five years as a professional athlete in the CFL with the Hamilton Tiger Cats and Edmonton Eskimos and more recently amateur endurance athlete.   His love of physical education and sport has solidified his belief that physical literacy is the vehicle that leads to lifelong movement and optimal health.

His largest physical literacy project thus far has been the collaboration of multiple sectors and the successful launch of the Hamilton Physical Literacy Summit, currently going into its sixth year as the Ontario Physical Literacy Summit involving over 2000 participants.  He is currently the K-8 Physical Education Coordinator and Assistant Athletic Director at Hillfield Strathallan College and Sport for Life’s Manager of Innovation.  He looks forward to continuing his work on the ground with students and applying those learnings at physical literacy conferences, workshops across the sectors and solidifying physical literacy as the backbone of an active and healthy Canada!

Mark is an innovative and lifelong learner who has a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from St. Francis Xavier University, Honours Specialist in Health and Physical Education from Queen’s University, as well as a Specialist in Special Education from Queen’s University.  He has been a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with National Strength and Conditioning Association and Certified Personal Fitness Instructor for National Exercise and Sport Trainers Association.

mark@sportforlife.ca

Tyler Laing
Manager of Communications and Marketing

Tyler is the Manager of Communications and Marketing 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.

tyler@sportforlife.ca

Annie Lau
Coordinator of Operations

Annie Lau is the Coordinator of Operations 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.

annie@sportforlife.ca

Claudine Gilbert
Coordinator of Conferences and Workshops

Claudine Gilbert is the Coordinator of Conferences and Workshops for the Sport for Life Society. She has completed her Bachelor of Sexology with a Minor in Sports at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). She completed a sport management program at the Columbia University of New York. Prior to joining Sport for Life team, she worked as the team manager of the International UCI men’s team Silber Pro Cycling and as Webmaster and Social Media Manager at Argon 18 Bikes. She also volunteered for 12 years at the Tour de Beauce, an international cycling race in her hometown. As an avid volunteer, Claudine is leading the SHE Cycling Program, which celebrates the achievements and triumphs of Canadian female cycling athletes, both on and off the bike, and fights to lower the many barriers facing women and girls in sport. She is passionate in extreme cycling sports and she is a downhill/cross-country mountain biker, but BMX is her passion.

claudine@sportforlife.ca

Clayton Meadows
Senior Coordinator of Design and Marketing

Clayton Meadows is the Senior Coordinator of Design and Marketing 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.

clayton@sportforlife.ca

Kim Samson
Coordinator of Bilingual Communications

Kim Samson is the Coordinator of Bilingual Communications 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.

kim@sportforlife.ca

Nick Hastie
Coordinator of Physical Literacy

Nick is the Coordinator of Physical Literacy for the Sport for Life Society. As an accomplished endurance athlete in triathlon, Nick has adopted a passion for all things activity related and strives to instill this appreciation in others. With vast involvement in event coordination and activity programing, Nick brings a comprehensive approach to elevate both the organizer and participant experience. In his time away from Sport for Life, Nick commits his vitality to cooking, cocktailing, triathlon training and his newfound amusements of springboard / platform diving and rowing alike.

nick@sportforlife.ca

Sarah Blézy
Senior Coordinator of Quality Sport and International

Sarah is theSenior Coordinator of Quality Sport and International for the Sport for Life Society. She coordinates and manages project coordination, project management, and coordination of logistics for various Long-Term Athlete Development and international projects. Previously she was the operations manager of a Victoria-based social enterprise and spent a number of years in programs management and project coordination for non-profits in Canada, Switzerland, Costa Rica, and Ecuador, working in English, French and Spanish. Sarah holds a Masters of International Studies from the Brussels School of International Studies and has a passion for sustainable development and building healthy, resilient communities. She is an active volunteer with the Victoria Emergency Management Agency and gardens at various urban farms and orchards. When she is not doing that, Sarah likes to spend as much time as she can in the woods hiking, camping, biking, swimming and cross-country skiing.

sarah@sportforlife.ca

Nicola Hestnes
Technician of Layout and Graphics

Nicola is the Layout and Graphics Technician at Sport for Life Society. She has a diploma in Graphic Media Design from Pacific Design Academy in Victoria B.C. and graduated in 2016. Nicola is responsible for graphic design and video production.

Outside of work, Nicola enjoys hiking, exercising at the gym, trampolines, rock climbing and playing music on the guitar and mandolin.

nicola@sportforlife.ca

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