Willson elected President, AthletesCAN Board appoints 2021-22 Officers

January 5, 2022

TORONTO – AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, is proud to announce the appointment of former artistic swimmer Erin Willson as the new President of its Board of Directors.

Willson, who becomes the 15th president of the organization, represented Canada for seven years on the national artistic swimming team. Her presidential election follows in the footsteps of fellow artistic swimmer Claire Carver-Dias, who held the position from 2006-08. 

Willson’s athletic career was highlighted by a fourth-place finish at the London 2012 Olympics.  Since her retirement, she has completed a Masters at the University of Toronto, focusing specifically on abuse in sport and is currently pursuing a PhD on the same topic.

“As a fierce advocate for the athlete voice in all aspects of my life, I am honoured to be named the next President of AthletesCAN,” said Willson, who is in her second year on the Board, and recently opened up on her experiences facing critical safe sport issues during her time with the national team. “Often silenced, athletes are the stakeholder in the sport environment that have the greatest ability to create change when given the proper platform. One of the biggest things I’ve learned is the impact and power of amplifying their stories.”

Through her education and personal experience, Willson is passionate about ensuring athletes have a safe and inclusive environment while pursuing performance excellence. She has also gained expertise in collecting, analyzing, interpreting and translating data to relevant stakeholders – a key aspect of AthletesCAN’s new Strategic Plan – and worked to build integral relationships within the Canadian sport system, including with the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC), Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) and Canadian Women & Sport.

Willson will lead the officers of the Board for the 2021-22 fiscal year, including new secretary Celina Toth (Diving), along with re-elected Vice President Bo Hedges (Wheelchair Basketball) and Treasurer Rob Law (Lawn Bowls), who also returns for a second term.  

“I am excited to return to the executive this year, and support Erin as our new President. She is an amazing ambassador for athletes’ rights and I look forward to working with her,” said Hedges, who has served on the AthletesCAN Board since 2017. “With our new Strategic Plan in place, there are many initiatives AthletesCAN can move forward with that will help us better understand and echo the voices of Canadian athletes.”

The executive election follows the announcement of the 2021-22 Board of Directors in November. For full biographies of the 2021-22 AthletesCAN Board of Directors, click here.

For the complete history of past AthletesCAN Presidents and Chairs, 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.

For more information, please contact: 

Alan Hudes
Manager, Communications & Sport Partnerships
Phone: 613-526-4025 Ext. 224
[email protected]