Quality Sport Division

This page provides information that may be relevant to MSO & NSO LTD Leads, including what we do, how we work, upcoming events and links to helpful documents for leaders working on LTD/Quality Sport initiatives. While we work extensively with NSOs, our aim is to improve the Canadian sport system by ensuring all sport programs (provincial/territorial and local) are aligned with LTD and integrate both quality sport and physical literacy. 

Engaging a dedicated team of LTD Advisors, we:
  1. Provide guidance and Long-Term Development expertise to National Sport Organizations and Provincial/Territorial Sport Organizations to embed quality sport within the Canadian Sport System
  2. Activate quality sport knowledge in all Long-Term Development stages within national, provincial/territorial and local sport programs.
  3. Improve sport system alignment by supporting policies reinforcing progressive Long-Term Athlete Development pathways for sport development.
Our direction and initiatives are guided by a number of groups:

This committee serves to provide advice to the Sport for Life Society and the Quality Sport Division to provide service in the Canadian sport system while mobilizing Quality Sport and Long-Term Development ideals. 

The committee will total approximately 12 members. The make-up of the group considers balanced representation in the areas of, individual vs. team sport, winter vs. summer,  gender, ethnicity and age. The committee currently consists of:

  • 3 National Sport Organizations - (with representation from winter, summer, team, individual, and a smaller capacity National Sport Organization) Sean Liebich (summer team sport-Wheelchair Basketball Canada), Anna Mees (summer individual sport) Bowls Canada Boulingrin, Shae Zukiwsky (winter individual sport) Skate Canada
  • 2 Provincial/Territorial Sport Organizations - (representing one smaller province/territory and a big province) Matt Kennedy of Boxing Ontario and 1 vacant seat
  • 1 Long-Term Development Expert - Vicki Harber
  • 2 Multisport Service Organizations -  Debra Gassewitz of Sport Information Resource Centre and Peter Niedre of the Coaching Association of Canada
  • 2 Federal and Provincial/Territorial Sport Development Representatives – (One federal and one provincial/territorial) Danika Kearney (Sport Canada), and Megan Cromarty (Representative CFPTS).
  • 1 Local Sport Organization 
  • The Director of Long-Term Development Division (Chair) - Carolyn Trono

The committee meets at least four times per year via conference call and face-to-face meetings. The Quality Sport Division uses the expertise, advice and creative solutions put forward by the committee for planning, budgeting and action.

View the Terms of Reference click here

To view summaries of discussion at previous meetings please follow the links below:




We welcome topic suggestions from the sports community.

  • All
  • LTD Experts
  • 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
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.

In the 2017-2018 fiscal year, Sport for Life's Quality Sport Division received above reference funding to develop activation plans with National Sport Organizations (NSOs). The purpose of these plans is to support NSOs to move beyond an output (e.g. a document) toward action by adjusting existing programs or creating new programs with impacts taking place in the sport community. The activation plans also allow Sport for Life to plan, identify what expertise is needed, and focus resources based on what is needed to serve NSOs.


The Quality Sport Division is involved in many initiatives aimed at working with the sport community to improve the quality of sport in Canada. The Quality Sport Division will continue to work with National Sport Organizations on key initiatives including but not limited to:

The Long-Term Athlete Development Progress Tracker was developed as a data collection tool for Long-Term Athlete Development progress and implementation by National Sport Organizations.

The tool establishes a rapid, yet thorough, overall view of Long-Term Athlete Development implementation via the use of sport dashboards and succinct reports. It serves three main functions:

  • Assists National Sport Organizations in their ongoing planning and implementation of Quality Sport by creating a cloud-based central repository for Long-Term Athlete Development products (such as as Long-Term Athlete Development Frameworks, competition reviews, Athlete with a Disability Frameworks, etc.)
  • Informs National Sport Organizations, Long-Term Athlete Development Experts, and Sport Canada as to where assistance is needed to advance quality sport in Canada
  • Supports better sport system alignment by informing recommendations for collaboration and coordination with National Sport Organizations and sport system partners including but not limited to Coaching Association of Canada, Sport Canada, Own the Podium, and Provincial and Territorial Governments

The project around the tool was envisioned as a 4 phase process. We have currently completed the lengthy first phase of system design and data collection, and have moved to the next phase of data analysis, provision of services and refinement of the Progress Tracker System.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) can be found here.
Recording of the Progress Tracker Tutorial Webinar can be found here.

Sport for Life will share NSO Progress Tracker Data with Sport Canada on Friday December 14, 2018. National Sport Organizations should update their Long-Term Athlete Development progress within the tracker by December 13th 5pm Eastern Time. If you have any questions or require assistance please contact zoran@sportforlife.ca.

Plan 42

To have access to the resources Athlete Development Matrix and Judging Criteria Alignment, Meaningful Competition in Competition Review and Restructuring, Periodization of Competition: Synopsis of the Role, Placement, Emphasis and Outcome of Competition and Rules Alignment in Competition Review and Restructuring, click here.

If you don't have the password, please contact carolyn@sportforlife.ca

Upcoming Events

Check our calendar for upcoming events.

For more information, contact Zoran Stojkovic at zoran@sportforlife.ca.




For the general Sport for Life newsletter, click here

Contact Information

For information on Long-Term Development services, the Long-Term Athlete Development Progress Tracker, and topics or suggestions for the Long-Term Development Advisory Group, contact Carolyn Trono at carolyn@sportforlife.ca or Zoran Stojkovic at zoran@sportforlife.ca.