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. Supporting an athlete’s journey requires the development of sport scientists who don’t just excel in their own disciplines, but those who can also 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.  

As a participant, you will be provided with the clarity you need to lead from a place of authenticity and strength, the community to support you in your leadership journey, and practical tools to optimize your leadership potential.

Committee Members:

  • Jorie Janzen, (Chair) CSC Manitoba
  • Alison Nagata, Athletics Canada
  • Genevieve Mason, CSI Pacific
  • Graeme Challis, CSI Calgary
  • Jeremie Chase, CSC Manitoba
  • Sylvain Gaudet, INS Quebec
  • Will George, CSI Ontario

Instructor: Eva Havaris

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.


  • HP Certified or Professional member with Sport Scientist Canada
  • In good standing with the relevant certification body for a sport science or sport medicine discipline in Canada.
  • Currently working as a practitioner in a leadership role OR working towards a leadership role in the Canadian high performance sport system: 
    • Employed or contracted by Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network (COPSIN), National Sport Organization (NSO), or Multi Sport Organization (MSO).
    • Working with a pool of Olympic, Paralympic or *NextGen athletes
  • 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 COPSIN or an NSO.
  • Be comfortable reading, speaking, and learning in English
  • Priority will be given to applicants who are HP Certified
  • Applicants are expected to consult with their direct report/supervisor to ensure program requirements are supported by the organization

Note: If your application is successful, your direct report/supervisor will be contacted to confirm their awareness of the program and their endorsement of your participation.

* NextGen definition:  athletes identified by the NSO using their validated Podium Pathway who are 5-8 years away from achieving a performance required for a podium result at a subsequent Olympic/Paralympic Games 

Applications are now closed

APPLICATION DEADLINE: September 14, 2023

Program applicants will be notified of their selection status by September 22, 2023 

Program Length: see detailed schedule below
Leadership Part 1 - October 10 - December 7, 2023
Leadership Part 2 -  January 18 - March 28, 2023

*NEW for 2023/24* 
We’ve refreshed the program structure and delivery while including the same core leadership content.

What’s changed?

1. The program is now broken in 2 parts. 

  • The first develops your leadership style and culminates in a capstone project. 
  • The second dedicates time to specific topics important to the sport community.

2.  We’ve incorporated targeted reflective assignments to track progression and added content modules that can be done prior to the live sessions.

3.  We’ve shortened the volume of time online and compressed the overall length of the program to allow you to apply learnings to your work.

What has stayed the same?

  • Core content and goals of the program remain the same.
  • A safe, supportive environment to grow and learn.
  • Group sessions online to experience the journey with your peers.
  • Resources available for reference
  • One-on-one coaching sessions
  • Capstone project

Program Structure

LEAD is a leadership development journey delivered in two-parts over the course of the fall and winter months.  The program consists of a combination of online learning modules, live interactive group sessions online, 1 to 1 personal coaching sessions, expert guest speakers, and an opportunity for an in-person presentation at SPIN. 

PART ONE - Leadership I.D.

Part One of the program focuses on the development and thorough understanding of each participant’s leadership style.  This is achieved by completing modules, assignments, and self-reflection exercises.   Additionally, each participant will self-identify one area of their leadership development that they wish to focus on throughout Part 1 of the program and will be supported by the instructor and their peers to attain personal and professional growth in this area. 

This section culminates in the development of a personal leadership action plan that will serve the participant in their leadership journey for years to come.  Participants will be invited to the Sport Innovation (SPIN) Summit to partake in a Capstone event where they will present their leadership action plan to their peers in a live, interactive, and celebratory environment. 

There are seven outcomes associated with Part One including:

  1. Develop a clear understanding of your top 5 leadership strengths and how to effectively apply your strengths in the workplace for greater results
  2. Defining your top 3 leadership values to dramatically improve and expand your personal and professional life.
  3. Cultivate your unique leadership style so you can be more authentic, effective, and inspirational as a leader every day.
  4. Explore leadership skills to be effective in the workplace, particularly when you are facing a challenging or difficult situation.
  5. Develop a leadership mindset that will accelerate your personal and professional growth throughout your leadership journey.
  6. Integrate tools for a collaborative work environment and more positive outcomes when working with direct reports, fellow IST members, athletes, and coaches, and empowering others to do the same.
  7. Develop a personalized leadership action plan to help you integrate best practices into the design of organization specific programs and initiatives.

PART TWO - Advanced Topics in Leadership

Part Two is designed to guide participants to develop a deeper understanding of advanced topics in leadership and enhance leadership skills in several areas, including:

  • Leadership EQ (emotional intelligence)
  • Embracing Conflict as a Catalyst for Positive Change (Hard Conversations)
  • Building a Culture of Excellence and Accountability & Building Great Teams
  • Communicating for Impact

This section will include guest speakers, live interactive sessions, and resources.


All sessions occur on Thursdays @ 1:00-2:30pm EST (online)

Part 1 – Leadership ID

  1. October 12, 2023: Orientation & Developing Your Leadership Mindset 
  2. October 19, 2023: Tapping into Your Strengths
  3. October 26, 2023: The Power of Words
  4. November 02, 2023: Building/Rebuilding Trust
  5. November 09, 2023: Prioritizing Joy as a Mindset
  6. November 16, 2023: Developing Leadership Presence
  7. November 23, 2023: Your Unique Leadership Identity
  8. November 30, 2023: Capstone project – Group learnings
  9. December 6 or 7: SPIN (in Halifax) Capstone Presentations *
    *Open conference session - rapid fire style 
    *Attendance at SPIN strongly recommended, but not mandatory 

Part 2 – Advanced Topics in Leadership 

  1. January 18, 2024: Leadership EQ
  2. February 8, 2024: Embracing Conflict as Catalyst for Positive Change 
  3. February 15, 2024: Communicating for Impact
  4. March 7, 2024:  Building a Culture of Excellence & Accountability 
  5. March 28, 2024: Finale


  • There is no fee for LEAD

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.