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Willson re-elected, three new members join AthletesCAN Board following 2023 AGM

2023-24 AthletesCAN Board of Directors Election Results

TORONTO – AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, is pleased to announce its 2023-24 Board of Directors, following the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Nov. 8.

Artistic Swimming Olympian Erin Willson was re-elected to the Board for a second three-year term and will continue to serve as the organization’s President until the 2024 AGM. In addition, three new national team athletes join the Board for the first time, including retired curler Colin Hodgson and rowing Olympian Susanne Wereley, alongside active cross-country skier Julian Smith.

Hodgson and Smith were elected to three-year terms, while Wereley will serve a one-year appointment, completing the term of alpine skiing Olympian Allison Forsyth, who resigned from the Board in July.

"Congratulations to Colin, Julian and Susanne on being elected to the AthletesCAN Board. We are excited to welcome them to the team under Erin's continued leadership. Each of our Directors brings valuable perspective, skills and passion in advocating for national team athletes and we look forward to working with them over the coming months."

Andrea Proske - AthletesCAN Vice President

AthletesCAN thanks Forsyth and other outgoing directors for their service to the Board, including secretary and wheelchair basketball Paralympian Bo Hedges (also Vice President, 2020-22), current national team lawn bowler Rob Law (Treasurer, 2020-22) and retired Paralympian swimmer Camille Bérubé. The new Officers will be elected from within the Board in the coming weeks.

Following the Board election, Willson presented the annual President’s Report to members, highlighted by some of the major accomplishments of the 2022-23 fiscal year, including:

Prior to the AGM, members also had the opportunity to attend the 2023 AthletesCAN Forum and 46th Canadian Sport Awards from Sept 8-10 in Richmond, B.C. – the first in-person edition held since 2019, featuring a theme of Athletes Building Better Governance.

2023-24 New AthletesCAN Directors

Colin Hodgson

Colin Hodgson, Curling

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 5th 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. 

Julian Smith

Julian Smith, Cross-Country Skiing

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.

Susanne Weirley

Susanne Wereley, Rowing

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.

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