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The SDRCC, OSIC, NSOs, PTSOs, Sport Solution Clinic, and You

By Tyler Rogerson (Case Manager), Isabella DiMenna (Caseworker), Nicholas Burton (Caseworker) ​​

The Sport Solution Blog is written by law students and is intended to provide information and the team’s perspectives on current issues. However, the Blog is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion. Athletes in need of assistance should contact the clinic directly at sportsolution@athletescan.ca

Key Takeaways​

  • Provides an overview of the different administrative bodies and stakeholders that govern and regulate national-level sports in Canada
  • Outlines the legal resources that are available to members of AthletesCAN

Canada’s National Team athletes are busy! Between training, competitions, recovery, and finding time to decompress, AthletesCAN members have demanding schedules. To make matters more complicated, Canadian athletes may be faced with legal challenges throughout their career. These issues may include disagreements over team selection, concerns regarding Athlete Assistance Program funding, Safe Sport disputes, and disagreements over disciplinary measures. 

This blog post will provide Canadian athletes with an overview of the various administrative bodies that govern and regulate high -performance sports in Canada and how they interact with one another. Ultimately, Canadian athletes should know that the Sport Solution Clinic at Western Law exists to provide all members of AthletesCAN with pro bono (free!) legal advice and representation and can assist them in the resolution of their sport-related legal issues.

SDRCC Logo / Logo du CRDSC

The Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC)

The SDRCC is created by the Physical Activity and Sport Act,1 and provides alternative dispute resolution for sport-related disputes in Canada.2 In essence, the SDRCC is an administrative body that is responsible for mediating and arbitrating sport-related disputes involving Canadian national team athletes; however, the SDRCC will only become involved after the disputing parties have exhausted their sport’s internal dispute resolution processes. All disputes submitted to the SDRCC are governed by the Canadian Sport Dispute Resolution Code (the Code) which “outlines the procedural rules under which all disputes submitted to SDRCC must [adhere to].”3 The most recent version of the Code (which applies to all SDRCC cases opened after 1 October 2023) can be found here and will be useful for any member of AthletesCAN who would like to bring a dispute to the SDRCC.

The SDRCC offers four different dispute resolution methods: resolution facilitation, mediation, arbitration, and mediation/arbitration.4 Resolution facilitation involves a neutral facilitator “whose role is to try to help the parties to better communicate with each other and to resolve their dispute through an amicable settlement.”5 Similarly, mediation involves a neutral third party who focuses on facilitating a resolution between disputing parties rather than on promoting communication. Mediation will only end a dispute if the disputing parties agree to a resolution.6 The process of arbitration, however, is significantly more structured and “employs a neutral third party to hear the evidence and decide for the disputants how their conflict should be resolved.”7 It is important to note that resolving disputes by arbitration will not be collaborative and the arbitrator’s decision will only favour one of the parties.8 Lastly, mediation/arbitration is a hybrid dispute resolution mechanism that may ultimately result in arbitration. In this mechanism, both parties are given the opportunity to first resolve their issues through mediation. If the mediation process is unsuccessful, both parties will be required to have their dispute resolved by arbitration.9

Beyond its role as an administrative tribunal, the SDRCC aims to educate Canadian national team athletes and provide them with the “tools and guidance to help resolve minor disputes quickly and informally.”10 The SDRCC is committed to proactively connecting with key stakeholders in the AthletesCAN community through the publication of resources, hosting of workshops, and the distribution of educational material about how to best prevent and resolve disputes at the lowest levels.11

For more information on the SDRCC, please visit the SDRCC website.

OSIC Logo

The Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC)

The Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner is an independent division of the SDRCC which aims to promote Safe Sport and implement the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS) across Canada.12

The UCCMS was first published in 2015 and “is the core document that sets harmonized rules to be adopted by sport organizations that receive funding from the Government of Canada to advance a respectful sport culture that delivers quality, inclusive, accessible, welcoming and safe sport experiences.” 13All sporting organizations that have adopted the UCCMS are held accountable by the OSIC to ensure that their sporting environments are free of misconduct and are spaces where all community members are treated “with dignity and respect.”14

The OSIC enforces the UCCMS in two ways: complaint management and through Sport Environment Assessments. The complaint management process focuses on individuals and involves receiving complaints, conducting initial assessments and independent investigations, imposing sanctions, and providing access to legal and mental health support.15Through its complaint management system, the OSIC has established a mechanism for members of the AthletesCAN community to ensure that they can report and address instances of maltreatment and misconduct.16

Sport Environment Assessments are broader in scope than the complaints handled by the complaint management process. The Assessments aim to investigate and address systemic issues of maltreatment and misconduct which contravene the UCCMS in a particular sport. Sport Environment Assessments are intended “to look for the truth, seek to understand the problem and its root causes, and then look at possible solutions, all of which are ultimately presented in a published report.”17

Both the complaint management and Sport Environment Assessment processes are designed to complement one another and aim to achieve the same fundamental goal of eliminating maltreatment and abuse within Canadian sports and ensuring compliance with the UCCMS.18

For more information on OSIC, please visit the OSIC Website.

National Sport Organizations (NSOs) and Provincial/Territorial Sport Organizations (PTSOs)

National Sport Organizations (NSOs) are “the national government bodies for [a] given sport in Canada.”19 At the time of the publication of this blog post, there are 63 federally-funded NSOs in Canada. Although they have many important functions, NSOs manage their sport’s high -performance programs, select their sport’s National Team(s), and manage the promotion of their sport across the country.20 Further, NSOs can directly assist athletes through the Athlete Assistance Program which supplies government funding directly to Canadian athletes nominated by their NSOs.21 A full list of the NSOs can be found on the Government of Canada website.

Notably, many NSOs have provincial and territorial counterparts, Provincial/Territorial  Sport Organizations (PTSOs), which have similar functions to NSOs. An athlete can interact with both their NSO and PTSO at different stages of their career and may even interact with both administrative bodies simultaneously. Due to the significant role that NSOs and PTSOs have in the development, mentoring, and success of their athletes, legal issues can arise between the parties over team selection, funding, and disciplinary measures. It is at this point that the parties may rely on the intervention of the SDRCC and the OSIC and members of AthletesCAN may turn to the Sport Solution Clinic for legal advice and representation.

Ultimately, NSOs, PTSOs, and athletes must work collaboratively within the guidelines of the SDRCC and the OSIC to advance the success of their respective sports and the safety of their sporting environments.

Sport Solution Clinic new logo

Western Law’s Sport Solution Clinic

Western Law’s Sport Solution Clinic provides pro bono (free!) legal advice and representation to Canada’s National Team athletes. The Sport Solution Clinic is unique as it is the “only program of its kind in North America and is available to all members of AthletesCAN.”22 The Clinic is dedicated to assisting Canada’s national team athletes in navigating the myriad administrative bodies and systems that govern their sports and provide access to the legal remedies available to them.

The Clinic is supervised by its Supervising Lawyer, Amanda Fowler, and is supported by a staff of 25 students at Western Law. Together, the team at the Sport Solution Clinic provides legal support on a wide variety of legal issues including general inquiries, team selection, Athlete Assistance Program funding, appeals, Safe Sport, discipline disputes, and preparation for mediation and arbitration through the SDRCC.

Ultimately, the Sport Solution Clinic exists to provide free legal assistance to Canada’s national athletes so they can focus on their sporting pursuits and reach their goals on the world’s biggest stages. For more information on the Sport Solution Clinic, please visit the Clinic’s website or contact us at sportsolution@athletescan.ca

Footnotes

AthletesCAN, Western Law unveil new Sport Solution brand, relaunch legal Clinic’s blog

TORONTO / LONDON, Ont. – AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, and the Faculty of Law at Western University, are proud to unveil a new brand for Sport Solution and relaunch the legal Clinic’s official blog on AthletesCAN.ca

The new Sport Solution logo consists of the official AthletesCAN emblem – a triumphant athlete silhouetted within a red maple leaf – carefully centred within a black pillar, symbolizing the strength and stability of justice. The brand is completed with a wordmark lockup in the traditional colours of AthletesCAN and Western University – red, black and white, and purple – respectively.

The new mark gives the Clinic a more unique and distinct brand, while still maintaining its ties to both AthletesCAN and Western.

"AthletesCAN is excited to support Sport Solution as they continue growing and innovating in the ways they aid our members. For nearly 30 years, we have worked with Western Law to bring free legal information, advice, and guidance on sport-related issues to Team Canada’s athletes through this unique and innovative partnership. Today's announcement helps make Sport Solution accessible to an even greater number of athletes, by ensuring their wealth of legal knowledge is available in an easy to access and understand format."

Erin Willson - AthletesCAN President

In addition, the Sport Solution Blog is being relaunched on the official AthletesCAN website, following its initial run during the 2020-21 academic year. The blog will be authored by the Clinic’s Program Managers, and aims to share various expertise, stories, learnings, insights and information to empower national team athletes to make information decisions and assert their rights in legal disputes.

“We are excited about the opportunity for this new brand and platform to build further connections between the Clinic and AthletesCAN members. The updated logo is a reflection of our growth, success and relentless effort in the past four years, where we have become more widely known for protecting athletes' rights in all forms of legal settings - including high-profile and precedent-setting decisions for the sport community. The blog will help us continue to improve access to this information and awareness of the Clinic and its services.”

Amanda Fowler - Award-winning Supervising Lawyer of Sport Solution

The Sport Solution Blog will be published on a biweekly basis until the end of the academic year in April.

Sport Solution was founded in 1996, when AthletesCAN joined forces with the Sports Law Centre, the Faculty of Law at Western, and the Dispute Resolution Centre. The program is the only one of its kind in North America, and is available free for all members, providing relevant information, assistance and guidance on sport issues that may require legal counsel.

“Western Law is grateful for its ongoing partnership with AthletesCAN. The Sport Solution Clinic provides a unique experiential learning opportunity to our students. They can build their practical skills while making important contributions to the lives of amateur athletes and advocacy for safe sport.”

Erika Chamberlain - Dean of Western Law

Canadian national team athletes are invited to register and attend this winter’s AthletesCAN National Team Athlete Town Halls to give feedback on their athlete experiences. All Town Halls are taking place at local members of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network. A full schedule of Town Halls is available here.

About Sport Solution

Sport Solution is committed to supporting an athlete-centred sport system and strives to achieve this objective by counselling and advocating on behalf of Canada’s high performance athletes so their voices are well represented when resolving sport related issues that affect them. 

Follow us on Instagram @sportsolutionclinic or click here

About AthletesCAN

AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, is the only fully independent and most inclusive athlete organization in the country and the first organization of its kind in the world.  As the voice of over 6,000 current and recently retired Canadian national team athletes, AthletesCAN membership spans 68 sports across the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan/Parapan American, and Commonwealth Games, and those currently funded by Sport Canada competing at Senior World Championships.

AthletesCAN ensures an athlete-centered sport system by developing athlete leaders who influence sport policy and, as role models, inspire a strong sport culture, through educational resources, support, training and professional development.  

Follow us on social @AthletesCAN and Join #TheCollective today.

For more information, please contact:

Alan Hudes
Manager, Communications and Sport Partnerships
AthletesCAN
613-526-4025 Ext. 224
ahudes@athletescan.ca

Kaleigh Rodgers
Communications Specialist
Western Law
519-661-2111 Ext. 82126
krodgers@uwo.ca

Sport Solution Clinic supports public accountability in gymnastics

By Amanda Fowler (Supervising Lawyer) and Laura Wade (Program Manager)

In the longest case AthletesCAN and Western Law’s Sport Solution Clinic (the clinic) has ever been involved with, a former Gymnastics Canada coach, Elvira Saadi, has been banned from coaching athletes for life.

This decision is the first to order a lifetime ban for non-sexual abuse in Canada. It is also the first decision to be made public (a marked departure from Gymnastics Canada’s ‘practice’ of keeping them confidential).

Ms. Saadi was found to have abused athletes through physical, emotional and psychological abuse. This included making disparaging comments about the athletes’ bodies, restricting food and water intake, and instilling fear that became normalized within the gymnastics community. This is significant in the growing safe-sport movement as it recognizes that other forms of abuse, such as emotional and psychological abuse, will no longer be tolerated in sport.

All forms of abuse and maltreatment should be taken seriously, and this decision demonstrates that continuous emotional and psychological abuse will not be sanctioned lightly.

To provide the history of the clinic’s involvement with the matter, the investigation into Ms. Saadi by an external investigator began in November 2020 and the investigation report was issued in April 2022. The case manager recommended that the complaints be referred to a Gymnastics Canada Discipline Committee for disciplinary action.

After an unsuccessful mediation, all the parties (each of whom were represented by counsel) agreed the investigation report would be adopted by the panel as findings of fact. This left the panel to decide the applicable sanction.

Prior to that sanctioning process, both Gymnastics Canada and Ms. Saadi brought motions: Gymnastics Canada disputed whether our client was a proper complainant in the proceeding, and Ms. Saadi sought to quash the hearing based on lack of jurisdiction, apprehension of bias and procedural fairness because of an alleged fee agreement where Gymnastics Canada paid the other complainants’ lawyer fees. (Of note, we were never paid by Gymnastics Canada).

Our client filed responding submissions and was successful in dismissing the requests. In fact, Gymnastics Canada had argued that it ‘becomes’ the complainants and should have carriage and control of the proceedings on their behalf going forward. The panel disagreed. Gymnastics Canada was given a participatory role, and not the ‘party’ status it sought.

At the end of the sanctioning process, the panel issued the following sanction:

  1. A full suspension of membership from Gymnastics Canada and any Provincial Governing Body for Gymnastics in Canada for 10 years with credit served for the provisional suspension period.
  2. Required to complete ethics and healthy coaching education as well as demonstrate a full understanding of Gymnastics Canada’s Code of Ethics and Conduct among other conditions for reinstatement.
  3. If the above conditions are met, permitted to return to training coaches only. She is prohibited from having direct contact or engagement with athletes in any manner.

Given the duration of this case (three years, including a 13-month investigation) it was overseen by three cohorts of the clinic’s program managers: graduated program managers Tyler Matthews, Brittany Bates, and Rheanna Geisel, and current program managers Laura Wade, Dylan Romero-Marshall and Hannah Herrington.

The clinic’s supervising lawyer, Amanda Fowler, was the lawyer of record and Dr. Emir Crowne joined us as co-counsel for the motions and sanctioning hearing.

Canadian Living: This is how Sport Solution Supervising Lawyer Amanda Fowler plays hardball – and wins

By Katia Gorshkova

As a woman in a fast-paced, male-dominated industry, Amanda Fowler is no stranger to working under pressure (and thriving while doing it).

As a Toronto-based sports lawyer, Amanda Fowler has been in the game for seven years and isn’t afraid to play hardball. She represents a range of athletes, both Canadian and international, and tackles a variety of cases, from human rights to safe sport complaints.As a woman in a fast-paced, male-dominated industry, Amanda Fowler relates to the struggles we all face at one point or another: how do we deal with double standards? Where do we draw the line between personal and professional lives? How to set up boundaries?

To get the answers to these questions, we had a chat with Amanda, asking just what a day in her life looks like and how she manages to win in all areas. (Hint: it takes teamwork).

Former AthletesCAN President Dasha Peregoudova : Athlete abuse testimony needs to be turned into action

RICHMOND, B.C. – A national inquiry into safe sport is not necessarily the answer to helping Canadian athletes, according to a former member of the country’s taekwondo team and ombudsperson for Canada for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Dasha Peregoudova, former AthletesCAN President and the director of sanctions and outcomes for Abuse-Free Sport, said Saturday that Canada has gone through a national reckoning of abuse in sport, adding work now needs to be done with what the public has heard.

“I have not had, myself, those experiences those athletes had … I don’t want to trivialize that,” she said of Canadian athletes who have spoken out about abuse and misconduct.

“My reservation about a national inquiry is not that it’s not a good use of time or resources, I just have some sense that it would say what we already know which is that there are rampant safe sport issues in sport and that we need to do something about it.”

Her comments to The Canadian Press came after she, lawyer Amanda Fowler and former athletes Chris de Sousa Costa and Josh Vander Vies participated in a panel discussing governance in Canadian sports held by AthletesCAN.

Speaker lineup unveiled for 2023 AthletesCAN Forum and 46th Canadian Sport Awards

TORONTO / VANCOUVER – AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, is pleased to announce its lineup of speakers for the upcoming 2023 AthletesCAN Forum and 46th Canadian Sport Awards in Vancouver.

Kicking off the first in-person AthletesCAN Forum weekend since 2019, veteran CBC Sports host Scott Russell will helm this year’s celebration of trailblazers, athlete-centred accomplishments and initiatives – as the Canadian Sport Awards take place on the evening of Friday, Sept. 8, with five notable winners recognized at the Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel in Richmond, B.C.

Saturday’s festivities will begin with a panel entitled Reshaping Governance in the Modern Era, featuring:

  • Chris de Sousa Costa – AthletesCAN Board Member, Karate
  • Amanda Fowler – Founder, Amanda Fowler Sports Law; Supervising Lawyer, Sport Solution Clinic
  • Dasha Peregoudova – Former AthletesCAN President, Taekwondo; Partner, Aird & Berlis LLP
  • Josh Vander Vies – Paralympian / Former AthletesCAN President, Boccia; Versus Law Corporation

Following the panel, Queen’s University adjunct assistant professor Shai Dubey of the Smith School of Business – the Official National Business Education partner of the Canadian Olympic Committee and a founding partner of Game Plan, Canada’s Total Athlete Wellness Program, helping athletes plan for success beyond sport – will lead an engagement session focusing on bridging the gap between athletes and National Sport Organizations entitled Personalizing Your Journey.

In addition to this distinguished lineup of speakers, the 2023 AthletesCAN Forum will also include key athlete-centred roundtables and workshops exclusively for Athlete Representatives and Directors – with the ultimate goal of strengthening alignment across the Canadian Sport System, following significant reforms announced in May aimed at improving governance, transparency and accountability. The event is made possible in part by the generous contribution of Richmond Sport Hosting.

Nominees for each of the Canadian Sport Awards will also be released over the coming days.

Following Forum, a national digital campaign in partnership with CBC Sports along with the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees for the People’s Choice Award for Most Trending Moment of the Year will take place in December, after the conclusion of the 2023 Pan American and Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile.

Further details surrounding the 2023 AthletesCAN Annual General Meeting and Board Election, slated for the fall, will be announced at a later date.

About the AthletesCAN Forum

The annual AthletesCAN Forum is the largest and most inclusive gathering of Canada’s national team athlete leaders outside of competition. It brings together Canada’s high-performance athletes and sport leaders to learn about the sport system, develop leadership skills, share ideas and network through interactive workshops, seminars and presentations. 

About the Canadian Sport Awards

The Canadian Sport Awards were established in 1972 by modern day co-founders True Sport, Canadian Centre for Ethics and Sport, Canada Games Council, Commonwealth Sport Canada, and AthletesCAN to recognize and showcase excellence in Canadian sport. Since then, the CSA evolved over time to become the premier recognition event for national sporting excellence. After the 40th anniversary, the awards experienced a five-year hiatus. In 2017, AthletesCAN successfully acquired the rights to revive this staple event to once again bring together members of the sport community to honour the spirit, drive, and commitment of Canada’s international level athletes, coaches, volunteers, and sport leaders.

About AthletesCAN

AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, is the only fully independent and most inclusive athlete organization in the country and the first organization of its kind in the world.  As the voice of over 6,000 current and recently retired Canadian national team athletes, AthletesCAN membership spans 68 sports across the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan/Parapan American, and Commonwealth Games, and those currently funded by Sport Canada competing at Senior World Championships. AthletesCAN ensures an athlete-centered sport system by developing athlete leaders who influence sport policy and, as role models, inspire a strong sport culture, through educational resources, support, training and professional development.  

Follow us on social @AthletesCAN and Join #TheCollective today.

For more information, please contact:

Alan Hudes
Manager, Communications and Sport Partnerships
AthletesCAN
613-526-4025 Ext. 224
ahudes@athletescan.ca

AthletesCAN, Western Law announce 2023-25 Sport Solution Program Managers

TORONTO / LONDON, Ont. – AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes and the Faculty of Law at Western University are pleased to announce the appointment of Anthony Crudo, Hannah Herrington and Dylan Romero-Marshall as new Program Managers with Sport Solution.

Crudo, Herrington and Romero-Marshall – who are all entering their second year at Western Law in London, Ont. – began their respective terms on May 1 and will be with the program for the next two years.

“We are excited to welcome Anthony, Hannah and Dylan to the Sport Solution team. They have already produced excellent legal work as 1L caseworkers, and we are confident they will make a positive impact in the lives of AthletesCAN members with our unique collaboration.”

Amanda Fowler - Sport Solution’s award-winning Supervising Lawyer
Adjunct professor with Western Law, who specializes in representing professional and high-performance athletes

Sport Solution was founded in 1996, when AthletesCAN joined forces with the Sports Law Centre, the Faculty of Law at Western, and the Dispute Resolution Centre to create a program that would help Canada’s national team athletes resolve and prevent legal conflicts in sport. The program is the only one of its kind in North America, and is available free for all members, providing relevant information, assistance and guidance on sport issues that may require legal counsel.

Fowler’s work in helming the Sport Solution program was recognized last fall with a pair of awards. She was named one of Canada’s leading sports and entertainment lawyers by Who’s Who Legal for the second consecutive year, and also home the Lexology Client Choice Award in Sports & Entertainment Law, which is recognized within both the United States and Canada and internationally.

With these new appointments, AthletesCAN and Western Law thank outgoing Program Managers Hannah Dobie and Rheanna Geisel, who have served Sport Solution since 2021 and will graduate from law school this spring. Samuel Gan, Safiya Nanji and Laura Wade, who were appointed last May, will enter their second year with Sport Solution, continuing in their roles until Spring 2024.

“For over 25 years, Sport Solution has helped amplify the voices of Canada’s national team athletes. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Western Law with our new slate of program managers and help ensure athletes are heard in formal sport processes such as team selection, carding, safe sport, discipline disputes and anti-doping matters.”

Erin Willson - AthletesCAN President

2023-25 SPORT SOLUTION PROGRAM MANAGERS

Sport Solution Clinic Program Manager Anthony Crudo

Anthony Crudo

Anthony Crudo is a second-year law student at Western University. He received a Bachelor of Applied Science at Queen’s University in Computer Engineering. During Crudo’s first year of law school, he volunteered as a Caseworker with the Sport Solution Clinic.

Prior to attending law school, Crudo worked at an international aerospace company and a smart technology start-up. Throughout his professional career, he gained valuable experience working to promote clients’ interests and interacting with multidisciplinary teams. Crudo has also worked with many local and international non-profit organizations through which he supported initiatives including combating youth houselessness and promoting diversity and inclusivity within STEM-related fields.

Crudo is very excited to continue his work with the Sport Solution clinic as a Program Manager. He has a passion for advocacy and focuses on using an empathetic lens in understanding the athlete’s perspective when approaching any case. Crudo is committed to serving Canadian athletes and upholding the Clinic’s high standard of excellence.

Sport Solution Clinic Program Manager Hannah Herrington

Hannah Herrington

Hannah Herrington is a second-year law student at Western University, after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Health, Society and Policy from the University of Utah. She relocated to Vancouver after graduation, where she served as a key member of the provincial health authority and drove the development of innovative and strategic policies.

Her expertise in health care and human resources equips her with a unique ability to navigate complex and fast-paced environments, making her a valuable resource for clients with time-sensitive or multifaceted matters.

During her first year of law school, Herrington volunteered as a Caseworker with Sport Solution, further fueling her passion for advocating for athletes and eliminating obstacles hindering their success. With an interest in health policy, she is particularly invested in the safe sport movement and is eager to help athletes safeguard their physical and mental well-being. As she transitions into the role of Program Manager, she is excited to continue contributing to the clinic’s crucial work in empowering athletes.

Sport Solution Clinic Program Manager Dylan Romero-Marshall

Dylan Romero-Marshall

Dylan Romero Marshall is a second-year law student at Western University with a Bachelor of Arts in Justice, Political Philosophy, and Law from McMaster University. During his first year, he volunteered as a Caseworker with the Sport Solution Clinic and the Community Workshops project with Pro Bono Students Canada.

Prior to law school, Romero-Marshall was a U SPORTS varsity athlete with the McMaster Marauders men’s volleyball team for five years, helping the team capture multiple Ontario championships and national medals. Outside of sports, Romero-Marshall volunteered his time in giving back to the community through a local organization, sparking a keen interest in advocacy.

As a Program Manager at the Sport Solution Clinic, Romero-Marshall is excited to combine his passions for advocacy and sports. He is determined to maintain the clinic’s high standard of excellence in supporting Canadian athletes. His commitment to service, and passion for advocacy make him a valuable asset to the clinic and the broader legal community.

About Sport Solution

Sport Solution is committed to supporting an athlete-centred sport system and strives to achieve this objective by counselling and advocating on behalf of Canada’s high performance athletes so their voices are well represented when resolving sport related issues that affect them. 

Follow us on Instagram @sportsolutionclinic or click here

About AthletesCAN

AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, is the only fully independent and most inclusive athlete organization in the country and the first organization of its kind in the world.  As the voice of over 6,000 current and recently retired Canadian national team athletes, AthletesCAN membership spans 68 sports across the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan/Parapan American, and Commonwealth Games, and those currently funded by Sport Canada competing at Senior World Championships.

AthletesCAN ensures an athlete-centered sport system by developing athlete leaders who influence sport policy and, as role models, inspire a strong sport culture, through educational resources, support, training and professional development.  

Follow us on social @AthletesCAN and Join #TheCollective today.

For more information, please contact:

Alan Hudes
Manager, Communications and Sport Partnerships
AthletesCAN
613-526-4025 Ext. 224
ahudes@athletescan.ca

Kaleigh Rodgers
Communications Specialist
Western Law
519-661-2111 Ext. 82126
krodgers@uwo.ca

AthletesCAN, Western Law celebrate Sport Solution supervisor Fowler’s legal awards honouring work with national team athletes

TORONTO / London, Ont. – AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, and the Faculty of Law at Western University, are proud to celebrate a pair of achievements by Sport Solution Supervising Lawyer Amanda Fowler.

Fowler, who oversees the unique program that assists national level athletes in cases that require legal support, was recently named one of Canada’s leading sports and entertainment lawyers by Who’s Who Legal for the second consecutive year. In addition, Fowler took home the Lexology Client Choice Award in Sports & Entertainment Law, which is recognized within both the United States and Canada and internationally.

Both awards required recognition from Fowler’s athlete clients – in the form of votes, and a formal nomination submitted to Lexology/Client Choice.

“We are thrilled for Amanda to be honoured for such meaningful work on behalf of our members. She continues to demonstrate her dedication to national team athletes and prioritizing our voice in support of an athlete-centred sport system.”

Erin Willson, AthletesCAN President

Throughout her career, Fowler has represented Olympic, high-performance and amateur athletes in various sport disputes, including team non-selections, improper carding nominations, human rights and doping infractions. Her clients have included Canadian and international athletes, with cases heard at the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC) and the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Fowler has helmed the Sport Solution program since 2020.

“Western Law congratulates Amanda Fowler on being recognized for her excellent work as a sports lawyer. Our students are fortunate to have such a tremendous role model leading the work of the Sport Solution clinic, helping them to meet the legal needs of Canada’s national team athletes.”

Erika Chamberlain, Western Dean of Law

The Sport Solution program was founded in 1996, when AthletesCAN joined forces with the Sports Law Centre, the Faculty of Law at Western, and the Dispute Resolution Centre. The program is the only one of its kind in North America, and is available free for all members, providing relevant information, assistance and guidance on sport issues that may require legal counsel.

“I consider it a privilege to be a sports lawyer and represent Canada’s top athletes. “It’s incredibly meaningful to be honoured with these two awards for that work, especially when the support comes from my clients and peers. Thank you to everyone involved.”

Amanda Fowler

About Sport Solution

Sport Solution is committed to supporting an athlete-centred sport system and strives to achieve this objective by counselling and advocating on behalf of Canada’s high performance athletes so their voices are well represented when resolving sport related issues that affect them. Follow us on Instagram @sportsolutionclinic or click here

About AthletesCAN

AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, is the only fully independent and most inclusive athlete organization in the country and the first organization of its kind in the world.  As the voice of Canadian national team athletes, AthletesCAN ensures an athlete-centered sport system by developing athlete leaders who influence sport policy and, as role models, inspire a strong sport culture. Follow us on social @AthletesCAN and Join #TheCollective today.

For more information, please contact: 

Alan Hudes
Manager, Communications and Sport Partnerships
AthletesCAN
613-526-4025 Ext. 224
ahudes@athletescan.ca

AthletesCAN, Western Law announce new incoming Program Managers to Sport Solution

AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes and the Faculty of Law at Western University are pleased to announce the appointment of Samuel Gan, Safiya Nanji and Laura Wade as incoming Program Managers with Sport Solution.

Gan, Nanji and Wade – who are all entering their second year at Western Law in London, Ont. – began their respective terms on May 2 and will be with the program for the next two years.

“We are excited to welcome Samuel, Safiya and Laura to the Sport Solution team," said Amanda Fowler, Sport Solution’s Supervising Lawyer, and an Adjunct Professor with Western Law specializing in representing professional and high-performance athletes “They have already produced excellent work, and we are confident they will make a positive impact in the lives of AthletesCAN members with our unique collaboration.”

Sport Solution was founded in 1996, when AthletesCAN joined forces with the Sports Law Centre, the Faculty of Law at Western, and the Dispute Resolution Centre to create a program that would help Canada’s national team athletes resolve and prevent legal conflicts in sport.  

The program is the only one of its kind in North America, and is available free for all members, providing relevant information, assistance and guidance on sport issues that may require legal counsel.

With these new appointments, AthletesCAN and Western Law thank outgoing Program Managers Brittany Bates, Greg Cherniak and Tyler Matthews, who have served Sport Solution since 2020 and will graduate from law school this spring. Hannah Dobie and Rheanna Geisel enter their second year with Sport Solution, continuing in their roles until Spring 2023.

“For over 25 years, Sport Solution has helped amplify the voices of Canada’s national team athletes. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Western Law with our new slate of program managers and help ensure athletes are heard in formal sport processes such as team selection, carding, safe sport, discipline disputes and anti-doping matters.”

Erin Willson - AthletesCAN President

2022-24 SPORT SOLUTION PROGRAM MANAGERS

Samuel Gan headshot

Samuel Gan is a second-year JD/MBA student at Western. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from St. Francis Xavier University before working for two years in a technology start-up. During Gan’s first year of law school, he volunteered with Project Consent for Pro Bono Students Canada, where he provided consent education to local high school students.

Gan recently completed his U SPORTS varsity athletics career with the Western Mustangs track and field team after initially competing with the St. Francis Xavier X-Men varsity football and track teams. With extensive experience in team and individual sports, Gan values the diversity of approaches to high-performance athletics and understands the challenges of balancing the pursuit of greatness in sport with the stresses of everyday responsibilities.

Gan is excited to be joining the Sport Solution Clinic as a Program Manager and eager to contribute to the important work of supporting Canadian athletes. Through his work, Gan hopes to remove obstacles and issues faced by athletes so they can focus on being the best that they can be.

Safiya Nanji headshotSafiya Nanji is a second-year law student at Western University. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University and a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University, where she specialized in human rights. Her thesis focused on the exploitation and abuse pertaining to restorative justice in international conflict zones. 

 Prior to law school, Nanji interned at Parliament and Physicians for Human Rights, where she gained valuable experience instituting change at both the grassroots and macro-policy levels. These transferable skills will be particularly beneficial in serving clients’ interests and communicating with large organizations.

During her first year of law school, Nanji worked with the Sport Solution Clinic as a caseworker and thoroughly enjoyed combining her passion for advocacy and sports. She has been particularly interested in the area of safe sport and ensuring that all athletes have a safe physical and mental training environment. Nanji is excited to be taking on the role of a Program Manager and is committed to upholding the Clinic’s high standard in serving and supporting Canadian athletes.

Laura Wade headshotLaura Wade is a second-year law student at Western. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and criminology from St. Thomas University (STU). Prior to attending law school, she worked in the field of corporate law policy and operations to which she gained transferable skills in research and promoting client’s interests.

During her undergraduate degree, Wade was involved in the athletics community and administration which sparked a passion for advocating for athletes. She was further involved in the Senate Committee at STU, where she represented the student population and advocated for more regard for students’ mental health in academic affairs.

Wade is quite excited to be involved with the Sport Solution Clinic as a Program Manager. She is committed to upholding the Clinic’s standard of excellence while supporting and advocating on behalf of athletes. This opportunity to utilize her skills combined with her legal education and passion for sports will allow her to empower athletes, which she is very much looking forward to.

About Sport Solution

Sport Solution is committed to supporting an athlete-centred sport system and strives to achieve this objective by counselling and advocating on behalf of Canada’s high performance athletes so their voices are well represented when resolving sport related issues that affect them. Follow us on Instagram @sportsolutionclinic or click here

About AthletesCAN

AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, is the only fully independent and most inclusive athlete organization in the country and the first organization of its kind in the world.  As the voice of Canadian national team athletes, AthletesCAN ensures an athlete-centered sport system by developing athlete leaders who influence sport policy and, as role models, inspire a strong sport culture. Follow us on social @AthletesCAN and Join #TheCollective today.

For more information, please contact: 

Alan Hudes
Manager, Communications and Sport Partnerships
AthletesCAN
613-526-4025 Ext. 224
ahudes@athletescan.ca

Ashley Wiseman
Communications Specialist
Western Law
519-661-2111 Ext. 82126
ashley.wiseman@uwo.ca