Letter from the General Manager
The 2015/16 year was notable as it was the final full year of training and preparation for Manitoba’s aspiring Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Canadian Sport Centre athletes and staff worked diligently in their preparation for Rio qualification and, hopefully, a memorable performance once there.
We continued our highly integrated involvement with paratriathlete Chantal Givens. Every one of the Centre’s four major sport science disciplines worked extensively with Chantal, in addition to administrative and logistical support to bolster her chances to perform in Rio.
Chantal is an excellent example of the kind of resources that can be brought to bear in a centre like CSCM, and will serve as a case study for us on how to better serve our athletes in the future.
Isabela Onyshko burst onto the international gymnastics scene. The Minnedosa teenager, who works with Adrienne Leslie-Toogood on mental performance, is Rio-bound after an impressive string of performances at the national and international level, including dethroning 2012 Olympian and Canadian champion Ellie Black.
CSCM also entered into a partnership with the University of Winnipeg Wesmen Wrestling program and its elite wrestlers. The goal is to assist the program in developing into one of the top training groups in the country, regularly producing National Team athletes capable of making podiums around the world.
In that same developmental theme, our work with Dallas Ludwick and her Revolution Diving group continued in 2015/16, as did the partnership with the Manitoba Triathlon Centre. Both groups showed promising results, with junior athletes performing well at age group competitions. The expectation is that there will be several National Team athletes from this pool.
Not to be outdone by their warm-weather peers, Manitoba’s curlers enjoyed a banner season, with four different teams making it into Curling Canada’s National Team program for the 2016/17 season. Kyle Turcotte and Jorie Janzen have taken on leadership roles within the NSO and have responsibility for directing the nutrition and strength and conditioning disciplines across the entire National Team program.
CSCM also took a number of steps in 2015/16 to better position itself to serve the athletes and coaches in the province. In June, the board made several governance changes that shifted it to a legislation-compliant, effective, skills-based board. We welcomed new staff members Stephanie Lambert (Athlete Services and Development Manager), Richelle Starke (Marketing and Events Manager) and Matthew Davey (Strength and Conditioning). We continued to look for efficiencies in our operations and found them to the tune of nearly $20,000 over the last two years.
As we look forward to 2016/17, we are focused on three items. Obviously, the performance of Centre athletes at the Olympics and Paralympics will dominate our time and energy through August and September. Planning for the Tokyo Olympic quadrennial will take over both staff and board effort in the fall.
All the while, we will be working to launch a Manitoba Olympians Fund, dedicated to the long-term sustainable support of Manitoba-based athletes willing and able to pursue performance at the highest levels.
I want to close with a note of thanks. To all of our partners at the national, provincial, corporate and government levels, your support has been instrumental in allowing us to do what we do. To our staff who have worked so diligently with the coaches and athletes, many times you go un-thanked, when it is often your efforts that hold a project together. Let me offer my deepest gratitude here for all that you have done. And to our board, thank you for your leadership, your trust and your vision for this organization. To paraphrase Chairman Hub Berube,
I believe the Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba is positioned well for whatever the future may hold as we look forward to not only the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio but to the quadrennials beyond that as well.