About LEAD

The number of Canadians competing at the highest level of sport continues to grow in number and diversity, in an increasingly demanding and complex sports landscape. Ensuring that athlete's safety, health, and performance are supported throughout their journey will requires the development of sport scientists who don’t just excel in their own disciplines, but cultivate positive environments and empower others to do the same.

LEAD is a Sport Scientist Canada leadership program designed to equip sport scientists with the leadership knowledge, strategies, and skills to enhance the daily training environment and competition environments. It facilitates individual and organizational excellence in safety, health, development, and performance outcomes within the Canadian high performance sport system.  

Members:

  • Dr. Tracy Blake
  • Dr. Jennifer Wallinga - Royal Roads University

Our Purpose

The LEAD program aims to provide sport scientists the opportunity to:

  1. LEARN: Explore the leadership theories and competencies that are necessary to manage the day-to-day operations of an integrated support team in a variety of Canadian high performance sport system environments.
  2. ENGAGE: Build productive and effective relationships with athletes, coaches, and fellow IST members and cultivate a culture that empowers others do the same.
  3. ACCELERATE: Identify individual and organizational catalysts, and modulate barriers to attaining and sustaining elite athletic performance on and off the field of play.
  4. DEVELOP: Integrate leadership approaches and best practices into the design of organization-specific programs and initiatives aimed at optimizing and sustaining athlete health and performance.

Eligibility

  1.  HP Certified or Professional member with Sport Scientist Canada
  2. In good standing with the relevant certification body for a sport science or sport medicine discipline in Canada.
  3. Currently working as a practitioner in a leadership role (or working towards one) in the Canadian high performance sport system
    -Employed or contracted by Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Institute Network (COPSIN), National Sport Organization (NSO), or Multi Sport Organization (MSO)
    -Working with a pool of Olympic, Paralympic or *NextGen athletes
  4. Committed to supporting and advancing fellow practitioners with a goal of becoming a mentor for future LEAD or WiSS cohorts, or engaging as a mentor within the Canadian Sport System for an NSO or COPSIN.
  5. Priority will be given to applicants who meet the following:
    -HP Certified - Senior and Leader levels
    -HP Certified - Practitioner level in leadership roles moving  towards HPC-Senior
  6. Be comfortable reading, speaking, and learning in English.

Application Deadlines

Aug 19th, 2022: Application deadline
September 16th, 2022: Program members are confirmed. Applicants are notified of their status

Program Structure

This six-month program is a hybrid of in-person workshops and online sessions that include 1-on-1 mentorship, the development and implementation of a leadership/mentorship plan, and a capstone project proposal that will be presented at the Sport Innovation (SPIN) Summit.

Program Dates

October-November 2022: 

  • Preliminary 1-on-1 meetings 
  • Leadership and mentorship plan development
  • Capstone project proposal drafting (virtual)

 November 2022: 

  • Cohort introduction, program orientation (virtual)

 December 2022: 

  • SPIN Summit: In-person meeting of new cohort (location TBD) 

 January-March 2023: 

  • Online webinars, peer group discussion forums, reflective activities 
  • Leadership and mentorship plan implementation 
  • Capstone project development (virtual)

 March or April 2023: 

  • In-person wrap-up event at Sport Scientist Canada Week (location TBD)

 December 2023: 

  • SPIN Summit: Attend in person meeting as LEAD Alumni (location TBD)
  • Present poster of Capstone project as LEAD Alumni 

 Ongoing:

  • Budget approximately 1-2 hours/week of readings and online activities, and 1-2hrs/week of leadership/mentorship plan implementation and capstone proposal development. 


How much does it cost?

  • There is no fee for LEAD

Testimonial:

 "I give the LEAD program the highest recommendation for all sport science and sport medicine practitioners who want to develop their leadership and mentorship skills. The curriculum is tailored to our community. Dr. Walinga provided an amazing platform for us to develop our skills, and to appraise the body of knowledge on leadership and mentorship. Dr. Walinga took a genuine interest in each person in the cohort, and created a lasting connection. One of the best parts of the course was getting a chance to learn from my colleagues in the Canadian Sport system. I respect so many of them for their knowledge in their respective disciplines but the chance to learn about how they navigate leadership in the Canadian sport system, the challenges they’ve encountered, how they worked through problems with the skills developed in the LEAD program was indispensable. I still go back to the readings that Dr. Walinga gave us, and the learnings. This course was one of the highlights of my career." - Matt Jordan, PhD, Sport Science Advisor, Canadian Sport Institute Calgary

Frequently Asked Questions

The capstone project is a significant component of the LEAD program. The expectation is that it will be implemented in your organization within the Canadian high performance sport system. Therefore, for successful applicant's organizational endorsement will be required to confirm participation. It is recommended that applicants discuss the program requirements with their organization before preparing the submission to allow for stakeholder priorities and logistics to be aligned accordingly.

  • The application can be submitted in French or English.
  • The program content and sessions are delivered in English.
"A positive outcome related to being part of the LEAD program is the opportunity to connect with fellow practitioners from across the country through a guided process with an experienced facilitator. The discussions and sharing expose practitioners to varied approaches utilized by colleagues related to working with athletes and each other.  Open and transparent conversations about best practices, in addition to practices that have not been successful, enable practitioners to be more discerning when implementing practices and protocols related to athlete health and performance." - Sheldon Persad, Senior Advisor, Canadian Sport Institute Ontario

"I give the LEAD program the highest recommendation for all sport science and sport medicine practitioners who want to develop their leadership and mentorship skills. The curriculum is tailored to our community. Dr. Waling provided an amazing platform for us to develop our skills, and to appraise the body of knowledge on leadership and mentorship. Dr. Walinga took a genuine interest in each person in the cohort, and created a lasting connection. One of the best parts of the course was getting a chance to learn from my colleagues in the Canadian Sport system. I respect so many of them for their knowledge in their respective disciplines but the chance to learn about how they navigate leadership in the Canadian sport system, the challenges they’ve encountered, how they worked through problems with the skills developed in the LEADS program was indispensable. I still go back to the readings that Dr. Walinga gave us, and the learnings. This course was one of the highlights of my career." - Matt Jordan,PhD, Sport Science Advisor, Canadian Sport Institute Calgary
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