Experts

Over the past 10 years, Sport for Life has developed specific and wide-ranging expertise within the sport and recreation industries.

During this time our growing team of experts has developed numerous resources, delivered on a range of cross-sectoral projects at the national and international levels, and advanced wide-scale implementation of physical literacy and long-term athlete development principles. We have also delivered workshops, developed e-learning resources, and run both webinars and large conferences.

This work has allowed us to build a wealth of knowledge within niche areas and forge longstanding relationships with partners in Canada and internationally.

Experts and Leaders

  • All
  • Active Adults
  • Coach Development
  • Coaching Female Athletes
  • Community Engagement Strategies
  • Community Sport Development
  • Competition Review & Restructuring
  • Inclusion for Disabilities
  • Inclusion for Indigenous Participants
  • Long-Term Development
  • LTD Experts
  • Mental Health
  • Organizational Development
  • Physical Literacy
  • Program Evaluation
  • Sport Specialization
  • Sport System Building
  • Heather Ross McManus
    Heather Ross McManus
  • Meredith Gardner
    Meredith Gardner
  • Christian Hrab
    Christian Hrab
  • André Lachance
    André Lachance
  • Dr. Paul Jurbala
    Dr. Paul Jurbala
  • Adam Decker
    Adam Decker
  • Colin Higgs
    Colin Higgs
  • Vicki Harber
    Vicki Harber
  • Veronica Allan
    Veronica Allan
  • Richard Way
    Richard Way
    Long-Term Athlete Development and Sport for Life Architect
  • Alex Wilson
    Alex Wilson
    Physical Literacy Leader
  • Dr. Paul Jurbala
    Dr. Paul Jurbala
    Long-Term Athlete Development and Physical Literacy Expert
  • André Lachance
    André Lachance
    Long-Term Athlete Development
  • Dr. James Mandigo
    Dr. James Mandigo
    Physical Literacy Expert
  • Dr. John Cairney
    Dr. John Cairney
    Physical Literacy Expert
  • Christian Hrab
    Christian Hrab
    Long-Term Athlete Development Leader
  • Carolyn Trono
    Carolyn Trono
    Long-Term Athlete Development Expert
  • Emily Rand
    Emily Rand
    Physical Literacy Leader
  • Elisa Maruzzo
    Elisa Maruzzo
    Physical Literacy and International projects
  • Greg Henhawk
    Greg Henhawk
    Indigenous Physical Literacy Leader
  • Eugene Todd
    Eugene Todd
    Physical Literacy Community Mentor
  • Jessica Waterman
    Jessica Waterman
    Physical Literacy Content and Delivery Specialist
  • Lea Wiens
    Lea Wiens
    Physical Literacy Leader
  • Vicki Harber
    Vicki Harber
    Long-Term Athlete Development Expert
Heather Ross McManus

As a Long-term Development Advisor, Heather has worked on Sport for Life projects related to meaningful competition, physical literacy in aerial environments, high performance planning, athlete development matrices, and activation planning. Heather is a Coach and a Master Coach Developer for both Gymnastics and Freestyle Skiing, and has supported numerous sport organizations on athlete, coach, and sport development initiatives Influenced by teacher training and her experience as an outdoor educator (B.Ed/B.Sc), Heather is passionate about leadership, quality learning environments, and personal development as they relate to excellence and wellness in both sport and life. Heather is also an Olympian (2004) and represented Canada for 15 years on the Canadian women’s trampoline team.

Meredith Gardner

A 2 time World Champion Freestyle Skier and award winning television producer,. 2007 through 2017 Meredith led the design and development of the successful Long Term Athlete, Officials and Coach systems for Freestyle Canada. Currently she is an advocate and facilitator for inclusive quality sport programs, a flower farmer, and is leading long term officials development for Sport For Life.

Christian Hrab

Christian is a member of the Sport for Life Quality Sport Advisor Team and was responsible for introducing a new coaching education program to Canada Snowboard, which incorporated the Long-Term Athlete Development model. From 1994 to 2010, he was an athlete, coach, and director of the Canadian National Snowboard team. As a coach, he has lead numerous athletes, both able bodied and para, to World Cup, World Championship, and Olympic gold medal performances. As a performance advisor, Christian has worked with numerous summer sports at Taekwondo Canada and at the National Sport Institute in Montreal. He is also the Executive Director of CADS: Canadian ADaptive Snowsports.

André Lachance

André Lachance is the current Director of Business and Sport Development with Baseball Canada. He has also served as the Women's National Team Head Coach for 15 years bringing the team to the 2nd place in the WBSC World Ranking. In 2019, he became the French National Team Head Coach guiding them to a first ever European Title and a qualification for the World Cup. He also teaches advanced coaching courses at the University of Ottawa. Over the years, André has worked with several international and national organizations on the subject of Athlete Development and Competition Review and Restructuring. He has presented or worked to/with Iceland OC, Denmark OC, Bermuda OC, USA OC, Sweden, NHL, MLB, Baseball Hall of Fame and countless provincial and national sports organizations. He is based in Gatineau, Québec, Canada.

Dr. Paul Jurbala

Paul Jurbala is a Long-Term Development Advisor with Sport for Life. He has over 35 years’ experience in Canadian sport and since 2005 has worked as a consultant with over 40 national, provincial and community sport and recreation organizations on planning, program evaluation, and athlete and coach development projects. Paul holds a Ph.D. in Sport Management from Brock University with a research focus on innovation in community sport organizations. Paul lives in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada.

Adam Decker

Adam holds a PhD in Applied Health Science and has worked at all levels of sport from grassroots to Olympic and professional levels. He is an expert in performance science, strength & conditioning, and periodization. Adam currently works in performance science at Cirque du Soleil's international headquarters in Montreal.

Colin Higgs

Colin has been with Sport for Life since its beginning. Originally brought in to ensure that athletes with a disability were fully included in Long-Term Development (LTD) he now works in all aspects of LTD, with a special emphasis on the Athlete Development Matrix (ADM) and ensuring that ADMs align with sports' Gold Medal Profiles. Colin holds advanced degrees in sport science and organizational effectiveness and since retiring from a long career at Memorial University now makes his home lakeside in the area between Kingston and Ottawa.

Vicki Harber

Vicki is Professor Emeritus from the University of Alberta in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport & Recreation. Vicki consults with Canada’s Sport for Life team to help advance physical literacy and long-term athlete development while improving the quality of sport across Canada. Experiences from 2 Olympics with Rowing Canada, researching the female athlete as an academic, coaching an elite girls’ soccer team and being a parent fuel her passion for this work.

Veronica Allan

Veronica Allan completed her Ph.D. in Sport Psychology at Queen’s University in 2018. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at York University, and spends her spare time as an independent consultant providing research, evaluation, and content support to sport-related organizations in Canada. Trained as a both a researcher and journalist, Dr. Allan is heavily invested in knowledge creation and mobilization within the sport system. Her program of research is broadly focused on factors influencing athlete development, quality experiences, and coaching in youth and disability sport settings.

Richard Way
Long-Term Athlete Development and Sport for Life Architect

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.

Expertise

  • Long-Term Athlete Development
  • Physical Literacy 101 and 301
  • Sport Specialization
  • Sport System Building
  • Sport for Life

Past Presentations

  • Health Matters
  • Clinton Foundation
  • International Coach Enrichment Certification Program
  • USOC
  • Sport for Life Canadian Summit (12x)
  • NOCs (15x)
Alex Wilson
Physical Literacy Leader

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.

Expertise

  • Physical Literacy
  • Physical Activity in Children and Youth
Dr. Paul Jurbala
Long-Term Athlete Development and Physical Literacy Expert

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.

Expertise

  • Organizational development
  • Community sport
  • Organizational change
  • Long-Term Athlete Development
  • Coach development
  • Physical Literacy
  • Program evaluation
  • Strategic planning

Past Presentations

  • The New Coaching: Rethinking Sport Coaching to Develop Physical Literacy (2015-6)
  • Meaningful Measurement: Evaluation That Works in Sport and Physical Activity (2014-6)
  • Helping Change Happen (2014-6)
  • Talented or What? (2013)
  • Twilight of Talent, Dawn of Potential (2012)

Articles

  • "What Is Physical Literacy, Really?." Quest 67.4 (2015): 367-383.
    "Good Forms: The New Shapes of Not-for-Profit Organizations."
  • The Philanthropist 24.4 (2012): 283-294. (With Ian Bird) "The Sport Matters Group:" Un-organizing" the Future of Canada's Not-for-Profit Sector." The Philanthropist 23.3 (2010).
  • "Fixing the Broken Middle: Making the Canada Games an Effective Instrument for Long Term Athlete Development." (2007).
  • Sport for Life Publications: Active for Life: Durable by Design (Editor, 2016).
André Lachance
Long-Term Athlete Development

André Lachance has been with Baseball Canada since 2001 serving as Business and Sport Development Director and Head Coach of the Women's National Team. Part of his responsibilities are around Coach Education and Long-Term Athlete Development. André is also a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa. Having served as a board member with the Coaching Association of Canada for several years, André has also led several CS4L Summits on Competition Review and has helped several organizations on Long-Term Athlete Development implementation, competition reviews and other related projects. André also works internationally on Long-Term Athlete Development.

Expertise

  • Long-Term Athlete Development
  • Competition Review
  • Athlete Development Matrix
  • Branding
  • Coach Education
  • Strategic Plan

Past Presentations

  • Hockey Sense World Cup of Hockey Town Hall
  • Meaningful competition Webinar
  • European Baseball Coaches Association Seminar
  • World Baseball Softball Confederation Women's Baseball Clinic
  • Baseball Québec Coaches Convention
Dr. James Mandigo
Physical Literacy Expert

James Mandigo is currently the Vice Provost at Brock University.  His expertise lies in developmental issues pertaining to sport and physical education. His current research pertains to the use of sport and physical education to develop life skills and the development of physical literacy amongst children and youth. James has also led a number of international projects in the Caribbean, El Salvador and Guatemala focused upon the development of healthy schools, physical literacy, and violence prevention. He is currently working with the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Olympic Values in Education Program (OVEP) to help integrate Olympic Values through sport and physical activity.

Expertise

  • Physical Literacy
  • Life Skills

Past Presentations

  • Invited keynotes include: Ontario Physical Literacy Summit, International Physical Activity and Exercise Science Conference, Association of Physical Educators of Quebec Conference, Olympic Values Education Program Summit, National Healthy Schools Conference, International Physical Literacy Conference, Guatemalan Sport for Development and Peace Conference
Dr. John Cairney
Physical Literacy Expert

From 2002 to 2008, Dr. Cairney held a Canada Research Chair in Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He was the inaugural holder of the McMaster Family Medicine Research Chair in Child Health at McMaster and the founding Director of the Infant and Child Health (INCH) lab at McMaster University (www.inchlab.ca). Dr. Cairney was President (elect) of the Canadian Academy of Psychiatry from 2009 to 2015. He is currently the President (elect) for the North American Society for Pediatric Exercise Medicine (NASPEM). Active in publishing (200 peer-reviewed publications; 4 books), Dr. Cairney sits on the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health and BMC Pediatrics. Over the past 5 years, he is held in excess of $5 million dollars in research funding. He is Editor-in-Chief of Current Developmental Disorders Reports (Springer Publishing). Dr. Cairney has also done extensive consulting work for the Ministries of Child and Youth Services, Health and Education in the province of Ontario in the area of child health and development.

Expertise

  • Physical Literacy
  • Motor development
  • Developmental disability
  • Paediatric exercise
  • Mental health
  • Adapted physical activity
  • Epidemiology

Past Presentations

  • Invited Presentations:
  • “Physical Literacy and Global Development in Children.” #PhysEd Global Summit. Interactive Online presentation (August 27, 2016)
  • “Physical Literacy - What is it? Can we measure it?” Ontario Physical Literacy Summit. Ancaster, Ontario (September 1, 2016)
  • “Motor coordination and child health: understanding the connections.” North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA). Montreal, Quebec (June 18, 2016) (keynote speaker)
  • “What are the psychosocial aspects of DCD?” International Consensus Conference for recommendations in Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Stockholm, Sweden (May 30, 2016)
  • “Physical Literacy and the Developing Brain: Connections and Implications for Intervention.” Physical Activity and Brain Development Workshop, Whitby, Ontario (November 20, 2015)
  • “Motor Ability, Physical Activity and Cognition in Early Childhood: From Fundamental Movement Skills to Physical Literacy.” Movement as a Window to the Developing Brain Symposium, Ottawa, Ontario (September 19, 2015)
  • “Physical Literacy and Child Development: Expanding the Horizons.” Invited Speaker for the International Physical Literacy Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia (June 16th, 2015)
  • “Thinking Movement: Using Physical Literacy to Improve Health AND Learning in Children and Youth”. Physical Literacy Summit. Calgary, Alberta (March 10, 2016) (keynote speaker)
Christian Hrab
Long-Term Athlete Development Leader

Christian is a member of the Sport for Life Leadership Team and was responsible for introducing a new coaching education program to Canada Snowboard, which incorporated the Long-Term Athlete Development model. From 1994 to 2010, he was an athlete, coach, and then director of the Canadian National Snowboard team. As a coach, he has lead numerous athletes, both able bodied and para, to World Cup, World Championship, and Olympic gold medal performances. As a performance advisor, Christian has worked with numerous summer sports at Taekwondo Canada and at the National Sport Institute. He currently leads the Canadians Association for Disabled Skiers and Snowboarders: CADS.

Expertise

  • Athlete development: Long and short term

Past Presentations

  • Sport Leadership
  • Sport for Life summits
  • Own the Podium
  • Snowboard Canada
  • Taekwondo Canada
  • Regional sport centres
Carolyn Trono
Long-Term Athlete Development Expert

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, LTAD implementation and coach education. She has worked with many National Sport Organizations development of their Long-Term Athlete Development frameworks and Competition Review and Restructuring Plans. 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 is working extensively with a team of experts looking at meaningful competition. Outside of the sport world, she delivers workshops on the 3Ms - Performance,Change and Time Management.
In her volunteer time, Carolyn has started a newcomer sport & multi-sport academy, working extensively with various immigration organizations. She is heavily involved with 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg holding the volunteer position as the Sport Function Lead.

Expertise

  • Workshops and Speaking Topics
  • Strategic Planning
  • 3M's
  • Long-Term Athlete Development 101
  • Competition Review and Restructuring
  • Meaningful Competition
Emily Rand
Physical Literacy Leader

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.

Expertise

  • Inclusion for Indigenous Participants
  • Inclusion for Disabilities
  • Physical Literacy

Past Presentations

  • Developing Indigenous Participants for Sport and Active Lifestyles (x3 in November 2016 at Indigenous Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council Meetings)
  • Creating a Culture of Inclusion (University of Victoria, November 2016)

Press Releases

Elisa Maruzzo
Physical Literacy and International projects

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.

Expertise

  • Physical Literacy
  • Engaging communities
  • NCCP Fundamental Movement Skills
  • Active adults
  • Multi-sector collaboration
  • Strength and conditioning
  • KidsCanMove
  • 60 Minute Kids Club
  • Live5210

Past Presentations

  • Delta Physical Literacy Summit (2016)
  • Physical Literacy training in Andra Pradesh (India, 2016)
  • International Physical Literacy Conference (2015)
  • Various physical literacy workshops for community stakeholders, parents, service providers, policymakers (2013-present)
  • NCCP Fundamental Movement Skills Community Leader Workshop facilitator
  • KidsCanMove facilitator
Greg Henhawk
Indigenous Physical Literacy Leader
Eugene Todd
Physical Literacy Community Mentor

Eugene Todd is a community mentor and a member of the Engagement Team with the Sport for Life Society. Eugene has been involved in the recreation and sport movement for over 35 years. His professional career included an extended stint working in the area of athlete development with an emphasis on the organization and delivery of multisport games competitions. In addition, he spent more than 20 years as a senior recreation practitioner within the municipal sector. His current affiliation with Sport for Life is as a consultant working with community organizations and municipal staff as they travel along their physical literacy journey. He is the President of the Northumberland Sports Council and is on the Board of the Community Sport Councils Ontario. He is also currently the Co-Chair for the 2017 Ontario Plus 55 Winter Games.

Expertise

  • PL topics (101, Intro, 301 general etc),
  • Municipal Recreation
  • Trail Development

Past Presentations

  • Presentations/facilitations at past Parks and Recreation Ontario Conferences,
  • Physical Literacy National Summit and regional PL summits including Hamilton and Peterborough
Jessica Waterman
Physical Literacy Content and Delivery Specialist

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.

Expertise

  • Physical Literacy

Past Presentations

  • Delivering Physical Literacy in your Programs (October and November 2016, Indigenous Community Leaders)
Lea Wiens
Physical Literacy Leader

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

Expertise

  • Community Engagement Strategies
  • Community Sport Development
  • Inclusion for Indigenous Participants
  •  Physical Literacy
Vicki Harber
Long-Term Athlete Development Expert

Vicki is Professor Emeritus from the University of Alberta in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport & Recreation. Vicki consults with Canada’s Sport for Life team to help advance physical literacy and long-term athlete development while improving the quality of sport across Canada. Experiences from 2 Olympics with Rowing Canada, researching the female athlete as an academic, coaching an elite girls’ soccer team and being a parent fuel her passion for this work.


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