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Governance

Board of Directors

2023-24 AthletesCAN Board of Directors
FIRST NAMELAST NAMESPORT
ErinWillsonArtistic Swimming (President)
AndreaProskeRowing
Chrisde Sousa CostaKarate
ColinHodgsonCurling
CynthiaAppiahBobsleigh
GregStewartPara Athletics / Sitting Volleyball
JulianSmithCross Country Ski
NevilleWrightBobsleigh / Athletics
SusanneWereleyRowing

Board Members

Erin Willson

Erin Willson

President / Artistic Swimming

(She/Her)

Erin is a retired artistic swimmer, representing Canada for seven years. While part of Team Canada, her team won gold at the World Trophy in 2009, bronze medals at the 2009 and 2011 World Championships, a bronze medal at the 2010 World Cup, and was part of the team that placed fourth at the London 2012 Olympics.

Since retiring from her sport, Erin has focused her attention on academics. She completed a Masters at the University of Toronto, focusing specifically on abuse in sport and is currently pursuing a PhD in the same topic. She is passionate about ensuring athletes have a safe and inclusive environment while pursuing performance excellence.

Andrea Proske

Andrea Proske

Rowing

(She/Her)

Despite starting her rowing career at the late age of 27, Andrea and her team secured Canada’s first gold medal in three decades in the Women’s Coxed Eight during her Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games. She is also a two-time World Cup medalist and served as the Lead Athlete Representative for Rowing Canada.

Drawing on her previous experience as a Hotel Manager, Andrea is deeply dedicated to advancing Safe Sport initiatives. She collaborates with non-profits like Classroom Champions to share the lessons of sports that go beyond the field of play to classrooms across North America. Presently, Andrea is actively engaged as an international sports commentator and holds the role of Manager of Alumni Relations at Royal Roads University.

Chris Da Sousa Costa

Chris de Sousa Costa

Karate

(He/Him)

Chris is a former karate national team athlete, competing in the men’s kumite +84kg category from 2004-15. During his athletic career, he was an 11-time Canadian champion, three-time Canadian male athlete of the year, three-time Commonwealth champion, two-time Pan-American champion, three-time North American champion, and winner of the US Open. Chris retired from competition after the 2015 Pan American Games in his hometown of Toronto, where he was team captain.

Chris has extensive experience in governance and advisory work, having been the Athlete Representative on Karate Canada’s Board of Directors for nine consecutive years, and is an advisor on their High-Performance Committee. Chris also created and served as Chair of Karate Canada’s inaugural Athlete Council. Chris’ Board experience included leading the overhaul of the national team’s athlete agreement, ensuring athlete rights were protected and striking a balance between the needs of athletes and the NSO.

Professionally, Chris is an insurance executive at a national brokerage and advisory firm, providing risk transfer solutions for professional service firms across Canada. Prior to that, Chris worked at the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance carrier, underwriting management liability risk for the directors and officers of private and non-profit entities. 

Chris completed his Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Communication Studies from York University and his Graduate Diploma in Business (GDB) program from Queen’s University through a scholarship between Game Plan and the Smith School of Business at Queen’s. Following his GDB, he spent three years at the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance carrier, providing risk transfer solutions for private and non-profit entities within management liability.  Currently, he is completing his Master of Business Administration with a specialization in innovation and entrepreneurship at Queen’s and is the current Chief of Staff of the Queen’s University Alternative Assets Fund – Canada’s first student-directed portfolio of alternative strategies, which holds over $600,000 in assets under management. 

Colin Hodgson

Colin Hodgson

Curling

(He/Him)

Colin Hodgson is a retired curler, who threw lead stones for Team Mike McEwen and Team Darren Moulding. During his career, Hodgson represented Manitoba and Northern Ontario at a total of six Brier Championships, finishing a career-best fifth in 2019. At their peak during the 2016-17 season, Hodgson’s team ranked second in Canada. Colin also curled mixed doubles with Chelsea Carey, winning bronze at the Canadian Championships in both 2017 and 2018. In addition to his work owning and operating a curling apparel manufacturing company, Colin gives back extensively to the community. He works as a volunteer firefighter in his home community of Red Lake, is a Classroom Champions athlete mentor, and is a volunteer coach at Red Lake District High School. 

Cynthia Appiah

Cynthia Appiah

Bobsleigh

(She/Her)

A standout shot put and hammer throw athlete at York University, Cynthia  was introduced to bobsleigh in the summer of 2011 when she attended a testing camp. Within two years of deciding to make bobsleigh her prime athletic pursuit, she was competing on the North American Cup circuit as a breakwoman, and by 2015 would qualify for the World Cup circuit. Cynthia was named an alternate for the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, before shifting to the pilot position for the next quadrennial where she would compete at the 2022 Games in Beijing (finishing eighth in both competitions).

Cynthia has also played a significant role on behalf of her peers, becoming one of the more vocal athletes demanding change and a new-athlete centred approach within Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton, that eventually led to the election of a new President. She currently sits as an athlete representative on the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada’s (SDRCC) Athlete Advisory Committee for the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS). Cynthia holds a Bachelor of Arts in History along with a minor in psychology from York.

Greg Stewart

Greg Stewart

Para Athletics / Sitting Volleyball

(He/Him)

Greg is a multisport athlete, having competed in para athletics, as well as both the sitting and standing para volleyball national teams for the past 20 years. Over the course of his career, Greg represented Canada at three Para Pan American Games – winning a bronze medal in both the 2007 and 2011 sitting volleyball tournaments, before earning a silver in 2019 in para shot put F46. A few months later, Greg finished second again at his World Athletics Championship debut. Following the pandemic postponement, Greg was selected to represent Canada for his first and only Paralympic Games at Tokyo 2020, where we threw a record of 16.75 metres to become Paralympic champion.

Off the track and court, Greg sits on the Athletics Canada Board of Directors, as an Athlete Representative. He works in the import/export metal recycling and end of life vehicle recycling industry. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration majoring in Human Resources Management from Thompson Rivers University, where he also played for the men’s basketball team and was named U SPORTS Defensive Player of the Year.  Greg is excited and looking forward to continuing to give back to sport. 

Julian Smith

Julian Smith

Cross Country Ski

(He/Him)

A veteran member of the National Team Development Centre (NTDC) Thunder Bay and the Canadian ski scene, Julian Smith has represented Canada at the World Junior Championships, U23 World Championships and Senior World Championships. He currently serves as one of Nordiq Canada’s two Athlete Directors, representing the voice of cross-country ski athletes from across the country to the organization’s Board of Directors. Outside of competition, Smith spent five years on the NDTC Board and volunteers with The Urban Abbey, a Thunder Bay-based not-for-profit.

Neville Wright

Neville Wright

Bobsleigh / Athletics

(He/Him)

Neville Wright joined the Canadian bobsleigh team in 2009 after a successful track and field career where he was a two-time All-Canadian in university. He has competed in two World University Games winning a bronze medal in the 100m, six World Championships and three Olympics.  He currently serves as the Chair of AthletesCAN’s Diversity and Equity Advisory Committee and is part of the Safe Sport Working Group. 

Outside of competition, Neville is a speed and strength coach, motivational speaker and a manual and rehabilitation therapist.

Neville holds a Bachelor of Physical Education (Sport Performance & Nutrition) from the University of Alberta, and a Diploma with Distinction in Remedial Massage therapy.

Susanne Weirley

Susanne Wereley

Rowing

(She/Her)

Susanne Wereley née Grainger rowed for Canada on the Senior National Team for eight years and at two Olympic Games, most notably as a member of the women’s eight boat that won gold at Tokyo 2020. Her rowing experience has been multifaceted, spanning various levels including the NCAA, U23, and senior competitions over the course of 17 years in the sport. As a retired athlete, Wereley has continued her relationship with Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA). She currently works for RCA as their Campaign Coordinator, working to bolster athlete support and build engagement in their fundraising processes, and serves on the RCA National Team Alumni Association Committee, where her primary focus is bridging the gap between their current programming and its alumni.

Strategic Plan

Policies

Select Policy to view PDF

Reporting

On December 21, 2022, AthletesCAN formally adopted the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS) and joined Abuse-Free Sport, the independent program to prevent and address maltreatment in sport in Canada. AthletesCAN, and its stakeholders now have access to the services of the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC), which is responsible for the administration of the UCCMS for AthletesCAN and serves as the central hub of Abuse-Free Sport.

The UCCMS sets out our expectations for conduct and behaviour to advance a respectful sport culture that delivers quality, inclusive, accessible, welcoming and safe sport experiences. The UCCMS generally applies to all AthletesCAN staff, temporary staff, and board members involved in AthletesCAN activities included but not limited to all events over which AthletesCAN has jurisdiction such as general webinars, Forum, networking events, as well as all other events and activities organized or hosted by AthletesCAN. 

We expect that any individual involved in AthletesCAN activities conduct themselves with integrity and the highest standard of conduct, in accordance with AthletesCAN values and the UCCMS.

Pursuant to the UCCMS, participants must report any actual or suspected cases of maltreatment to the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner by following the process laid out on OSIC’s website: https://sportintegritycommissioner.ca/ . OSIC is responsible for administering the UCCMS using trauma-informed processes that are compassionate, efficient and provide fairness, respect and equity to all parties involved.

Should the submitted case not fall under OSIC jurisdiction, OSIC will inform you as a part of this process. You will then be provided with alternatives, which include to agree that OSIC forward it to our independent third party, to file it again yourself to our independent third party, or other possible resources to address your concerns.

To file a complaint regarding an National Sport Organization, we encourage you to visit the individual NSO’s website for their respective policies & procedures, or call/email the Canadian Sport Helpline at 1-888-837-7678. Each NSO has its own complaint procedures. For support during this process, you can reach out to us directly at info@athletescan.ca or give us a call at 613-526-4025 or 1-888-832-4222. We also encourage you to view and reach out to any of the resources listed below, including Sport Solution, an organization that provides pro-bono legal council to athletes.