A Profound Impact

I first learned about Commonwealth Games Canada’s Canadian Sport Leadership Corps (CSLC) internship program when I went to the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England, as a member of the Canadian National Men’s Field Hockey Team. The program piqued my interest.

After our team didn’t qualify for the 2004 Athens Olympics, I decided to take a year off and re-evaluate what I wanted to do. I remembered the Commonwealth Games internship. At the same time, I was exploring international internships in finance. My educational background is in economics and I had thought about getting into banking. But the CSLC internship just pulled at me because of my involvement in sport and the impact it has had on me throughout my life.

I first went to Botswana and worked with the Botswana Hockey Association in youth development. I worked with two other guys—one from Zimbabwe and the other from Kenya—and we put some plans in place. We started a weekly drop-in training centre and went to different schools across the country to hold travelling field hockey clinics. We also ran a big field hockey tournament in the parking lot of a shopping mall where we had over 400 kids show up to play.

Later, I had the opportunity to go to Cape Town, South Africa, to work in the Sports Coaches Outreach (SCORE) office there. I became a Master Trainer with Kicking AIDS Out (KAO) and travelled to Malawi to give the first KAO trainer workshop there.

My eight-month CSLC internship experience had a profound impact on me and who I wanted to be. I came home passionate about development through sport, and the idea of a career in finance went out the window. In 2006, I facilitated a development through sport workshop at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, and gave a presentation at the AthletesCAN annual forum. Having returned to field hockey, I’m currently training and playing with a club team in Spain. I’m trying to figure out what to do next, but I do know I will be involved in sport at some level. That’s where my passion is.