BC Athletics


2005 was a significant year in moving towards the implementation of many of the goals laid out in the Athletics Canada Strategic Plan.

Both the elections held at the May A.G.M. and changes at the Senior Staff level have played a major role in the development of the Association's governance model.

With agreement to revise the Bylaws to allow for the Chair to be elected for a four year period instead of just two years, Jean-Guy Ouellette was reinstated as Chair of the Board until 2009 and was joined on the Board by George Fournier (Quebec), Harold Nicholson (New Brunswick), both for 2 years, and Candice Jones (Alberta) for 1 year, to complete the term of Georgette Reed, who had resigned.

At the same time, it was announced that Alex Gardiner, Chief Technical Officer/ Head Coach, was being seconded to the Canadian Olympic Committee to act as Director of International Performance, a significant promotion for him, a heavy loss for us, but a sign of the esteem in which both Alex and our sport is held by the C.O.C. Alex has subsequently resigned his position with us, and recruiting is underway with the target of having his replacement in place by April 1st.

Just afterwards, Penny Joyce, our Director of Communications, was offered, and accepted, the position of Chief Operating Officer with Dive Canada, while Derek Covington, National Team Director, and Kevin Bean, National Team Coordinator, left to join Alex in career-advancement positions at the C.O.C.

These departures required the Personnel Committee to reconsider the management needs of the Association through 2008 and beyond. In consequence, it was decided to reinstate the position of Chief Executive Officer with overall responsibility for all aspects of the program, and to offer this role to Joanne Mortimore. Joanne, as Chief Operating Officer for the last 4 years, has totally demonstrated her capability to assume these increased responsibilities and the Association will be admirably served by this promotion from within our own ranks.

Scott MacDonald, former 1500m Olympian, brings a solid sports administration background to the position of new National Team Director, and the other vacancies are being filled by both external recruitment and internal advancement.

Another major step forward was the approval given by Provincial Branches to institute the creation of a National Data Bank. This work is now well advanced and will be fully operational by the end of the fiscal year.

In brief, all members of the Association will be included in the Data Bank and each will be accorded his/her own personal identification number. This will serve a number of key purposes. Reporting to Sport Canada will be much easier and eliminate the need to compile data in different formats; marketing will be more effective in that potential sponsors and corporate partners will have a more confident sense of the reach and scope of our programs; athletes can access the full inventory of their performances and avoid having to duplicate applications/ reporting requirements for teams, programs and resources; and Branches, when hosting competitions, will have a simple tool to verify athlete affiliation, membership status, etc.

Work on the ongoing development of the new NCCP program, the Long-Term Athlete Development model for our sport, and the implementation of the Run/Jump/Throw program has proceeded apace under the leadership of Bruce Pirnie and Donna Kaye. Two new Manuals have also been completed and published, one to address the needs of National Team Athletes and one for National Team Staff.

Financially, it has been a year of staying the course, with the budgetary targets for both National Team support and deficit reduction being met. Now that Sport Canada has implemented a system of assured funding, it will be possible to move to a budget forecasting process embracing more than a single year. Unfortunately, this will include a reduction in Sport Canada funding of $355K up until 2008, based upon comparative membership numbers and high performance results.

The Association's Strategic Plan is being updated to place greater emphasis on the development of programs, and the identification of the necessary talent pool of younger paralympic athletes, to ensure that the excellence displayed in that part of our program is carried forward into the future.

At the international performance level, the achievements of our athletes in Helsinki, both at the World Championships and the subsequent European Open Paralympic Championships, were most encouraging as we move along the road to Beijing. Equally encouraging were the performances of our younger athletes at both the World Youth Championships in Marrakech and the Pan American Junior Championships, brilliantly hosted by Windsor, These serve as indicators that the work being done by our coaches across the country, and the dedication of the athletes involved, is also helping to build that solid body of sporting excellence and podium potential which will we will need at and beyond Beijing.

Respectfully submitted,

Danny Daniels,
Vice Chair, Athletics Canada.