Blog Post: Building a Culture of Excellence in Sport – What it Actually Takes to Change the Norms

“We know that sport has the power to inspire a nation, to build leaders and to unite Canadians,” says Dasha Peregoudova, President of AthletesCAN. “That is why we are pushing hard for the necessary change to address abuse, harassment and discrimination in sport.” Dasha is spot on. If sport is to truly inspire, build, and unite, we need to delete all forms of abuse in sport. Abuse contradicts the purpose of sport to inspire, build, and unite. Abuse degrades, diminishes, and fractures. Yet somehow abuse is…

Blog Post: Passion or Abuse: What is harassment in sport?

Recently, there have been several items in the media highlighting changes in Canadian sport policy, specifically concerning bullying, abusive, harassing, and discriminatory (BAHD) coach behaviour in sport. Most NGO’s are creating their own codes of conduct and implementing the new SafeSport policy requirements including the rule of 2, criminal record checks, and ‘responsible coach’ training. With a 60% reduction in sport participation, partly due to bad coach and parent behaviour, sport is in crisis. The values in sport need to shift. As a researcher and…

Blog Post: Leadership through Sport: Competing with, not against

Marc Gasol consoles Joel Embiid after game 7 in the Raptors/76ers series and shows his class, grace, and leadership in modeling the true value of sport. These guys play with each other season after season. I say ‘with’ because one is always competing with, not against, in sport. Athletic competition is collaborative – without your opponent, there is no game, there is no challenge, there is no excellence. It’s for excellence that we all strive. I noticed that consoling his competitor was one of the…

Blog Post: Winning with Integrity

The picture above was part of a celebratory article on a youth lacrosse coach upon retirement. One of his former athletes wrote fondly of this coach’s tendency to ‘break people down’ and how while he at first rejected this approach, he learned that ‘he needed it’. I disagree. Somehow we have normalized violence in sport. We call violence ‘passion.’ We think violence is ‘natural’ to the human experience and must be ‘released’, a Freudian theoretical principle that anger released is anger spent. Anthropologists Desmond Morris…

Blog Post: Taking the Lead on Safe Sport

I’m calling on Canada to take the lead on Good, Safe, Clean and True sport. Canada is best positioned, as a world moral leader (albeit shaky of late), to take the lead on good sport. Winning can only come with integrity. It’s the Canadian Way. As a professor and research in communication, I believe that leadership is communication and communication is crucial to leading change in the area of safe and good sport. It is one thing to say we believe in integrity in sport,…

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