Episode 18 - Inspiring Hope in Sport: An Update from the Hope on the Horizon Tour

Episode 18 September 12, 2023 00:59:50
Episode 18 - Inspiring Hope in Sport: An Update from the Hope on the Horizon Tour
Episode 18 - Inspiring Hope in Sport: An Update from the Hope on the Horizon Tour

Sep 12 2023 | 00:59:50


Hosted By

Steve Indig Dina Bell-Laroche

Show Notes

Welcome to Sportopia, the place to re-imagine the future of sport! This special two-part episode shares an update from the Hope on the Horizon Tour and welcomes several special guests. In collaboration with several sport partners, Sport Law and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) are hosting legal and leadership workshops across the country to increase the capacity of sport leaders to manage the complexities of leading an ethically driven and legally sound sport organization.

Hosted by Dina Bell-Laroche and Steve Indig, partners of Sport Law, alongside Karri Dawson of the CCES, the first part of this episode shares an update the Hope on the Horizon Tour as we head into the fall. During the second part of this episode, Dina welcomes provincial and territorial hosts of the Hope on the Horizon Tour from our first three stops in PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Northwest Territories.

Check out more blogs from Sport Law to learn more:

Email us at [email protected] or contact us on social media @sportlawca and @ethicsinsport to learn more about the Hope on the Horizon Tour! Learn more about how Sport Law works in collaboration with sport leaders to elevate sport at sportlaw.ca

Hosts: Dina Bell-Laroche and Steve Indig
Guests: Karri Dawson (Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport), Troy Croft (Sport NL), Gemma Koughan (Sport PEI), and Spider Jones (Sport North)
Producer: Taylor Matthews 

The Sportopia Podcast is recorded on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. We wish to thank these First Peoples who continue to live on these lands and care for them, and whose relationship with these lands existed from time immemorial. We are grateful to have the opportunity to live, work, and play on these lands. 

Sport Law is committed to recognizing, supporting, and advocating for reconciliation in Canada and to actively work against colonialism by amplifying Indigenous voices and increasing our own understanding of local Indigenous people and their cultures.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:01] Speaker A: Hi, it's Steve indigot sport Law. Leave me a message. I'll get back to you as soon as I can. [00:00:07] Speaker B: Hey, Steve, it's Dina. You aren't going to believe what just came across my desk. We need to chat. Give me a call. [00:00:41] Speaker A: Welcome to the latest episode of Sportopia. We're back for another conversation in building more healthy human sport. Today, we're doing something a little special, and we brought our friend Carrie Dawson along for the ride. For those of you who haven't been introduced to Carrie yet, we'll give her a moment to introduce herself before we get started. Hi, Carrie. [00:01:02] Speaker C: As we head into the fall, the Hope on the Horizon tour that's being brought to you from Sport Law and the CCS is picking back up. Before we head into our next four stops on this cross country tour, we wanted to spend some time talking about what we heard this spring in Pei, Newfoundland and Labrador, and also the Northwest Territories. This episode will feature two parts. The first part is a conversation between Steve Carey and myself about our perspectives on what we heard from sport leaders this spring. [00:01:33] Speaker A: The second part will include a conversation between Dina and the three sport leaders who brought us to their provinces and territories to speak about legally sound and ethically driven sport organizations. Before we get started, Dina, what's coming across your desk this week? [00:01:50] Speaker C: Well, something fascinating. It's actually not a sport gig, which is interesting. I'm going to be heading out of Province later on to talk to a board of directors about their behavior. And this was a referral from a Sport client. He appreciated the way I could help people navigate difficult conversations. And what he was observing, Steve, is that as people went virtual in their meetings, poor behavior, like people not showing their faces on camera, people not showing up for meetings and not providing a reason, people drinking wine, people in different stages of undress. We've all witnessed people behaving badly, or what we call at Sport Law PBB. And what I'm really conscious of, though, is coming to this meeting with deep compassion so that I can kind of tap into my skills as a facilitator and coach. And I think when they feel that, they're going to feel less judgment because I'm not there to judge them. I'm actually there to help them acknowledge that throughout the pandemic, we've been exposed to so much harm and hurt and disruption, and people weren't as conscious. They weren't stepping into their normal ways of being. So it disrupted everything in their lives, including treating each other with kindness and respect. So you'll appreciate this, Steve? To center myself and to ensure that I can kind of walk into this meeting, because it'll be the first meeting back. Get this in three and a half years in person. [00:03:29] Speaker B: Yeah. So what I did is I looked. [00:03:32] Speaker C: At their values, and their values are an acronym of their organization, respect success and belonging. So I'm going to use those values as a way of framing the conversation and seeing if we can inject more respectful engagement between the different directors. The second important point is many of them have never met each other in person, so I'm really excited about the conversation. What about you, Steve? What's coming across your desk? [00:04:00] Speaker A: Lots of legal shenanigans, as always. Quite a few. As I like to say, things come in three. So just before I took a week off, I was dealing with a trademark issue between two national sport federations, basically trying to ensure that their stake of a trademark is clear, and that will continue this week. In addition to some of our clients having some older trademarks coming up for re registration, they're good for 20 years, and after 20 years, they have to be re registered or they come back into the public domain. So I'll be having a conversation later today on renewals and whether there's value in renewing the mark. And one of the other two things that I'll be doing this week also is more policy development and more bylaw writing. So it's one of those jokes that I've always said to myself when I started doing this 20 years ago was, how many bylaws are there to write? Because is there really a career in amateur sport? How many policies are there to write? And the answer is, a lot. So a lot of what we've been doing for the last three decades continues to be in the forefront. So that should be my week this week. [00:05:10] Speaker B: Great. [00:05:11] Speaker C: Well, I love the term renewal, Steve, because as we invite Carrie from the Canadian Center for Ethics and Sport to join our conversation, it really does feel like Canadian Sport, if we choose to see it this way, is in a renewal of sorts, right? It's the ability to both be awake and aware of what's going on right now, but also be hopeful as we kind of grapple with some of the limitations and also be clearer about the experience we want participants to have in sports. So, Carrie, welcome. We would just love for you to say a few words for those of our listeners that don't know of you. They will in a few moments. You've been a guest on this podcast before, and we're just delighted to have you join us again for a really great conversation about the Hope Tour. [00:05:57] Speaker B: Super. [00:05:58] Speaker D: Thanks, Ena. I'm super happy to be back with you and Steve for another edition of Sportopia. So thanks for the warm welcome for those listeners who I don't know or who don't know me, as Dina said, my name is Carrie Dawson. I'm from the Canadian Center for Ethics and Sport and my role there is the executive director of values based Sport. So in that capacity, I've had the opportunity to travel across the country with Dina and Stephen on the Hope on the Horizon Tour and share information about the work we do around true sport. [00:06:24] Speaker C: Amazing. Well, we're just delighted with this collaboration, this partnership or alliance, whatever we want to call it, that's signaling both hope and also providing people with some solid legal foundations so that their ethical aspirations can be more fully realized. So before we kind of jump in, or maybe actually let's jump into the conversation, deep end of the pool, I'd love to know what was your highlight. [00:06:50] Speaker A: So far on the know pre COVID Dina I was probably on an airplane at least twice a month across the country for different presentations and meetings with clients. And then, of course, when COVID hit the airlines, well, they didn't shut down, but traveling became very complicated, in some respects dangerous. So I was super excited to be able to see some of our people, to see some of the people who we have long standing relationships with, and also to meet new people, because it had been approximately three years since we were able to see people face to face. So I just loved seeing the personal relationships, the renewal of those relationships, and to be able to talk to people. And I know we'll get into this in a few minutes, but some of the big takeaways. But it was just great to remember and revitalize ourselves and hopefully within those provinces and territories as to why we do this. I know particularly when I got involved in sport and sport law, I was excited to be on the playing field and see a lot of what happens in the sport community. And the reality of that is I spend a lot of time on the phone, on zoom calls and in front of my computer and sometimes forget about the fact that people play and the benefits of why people participate in sports. So it was really great for me to be able to get back out and see the volunteers and the paid staff and try and revitalize what we're all trying to do and create that really cool environment for people engaged in sport. [00:08:23] Speaker C: I love that you're tapping into your why as much as it was maybe helpful for us to breathe and not travel as much as we were traveling. Pre Pandemic it's also really inspiring, isn't it, to be with people as we engage in conversations about healthy human sports. So, Carrie, what about you? What do you want to share? [00:08:41] Speaker D: Yeah, I think a similar experience to Steve. I think it was really nice to meet people where they know, in addition to physically being where they are, but also their current realities, understanding where they're at, what they want to achieve, and just seeing the passion in the room. And I think the care that people have and the common desire they have to make sure sport thrives in their communities. It's just nice to see this collective passion and this desire to come together. And for many of them, it was the first time they had been together in a while, too. So it just shows the power of sport and the opportunity for sport to really unite us on so many different levels. [00:09:13] Speaker B: Yeah, I love that. [00:09:14] Speaker C: And I have a people story as well, but it's a story that has not yet been written. So a couple of journalists, when we issued the press release early on in the spring, I had two or three journalists reach out to have a conversation with me. And at the end of the conversation, they both said, independent of each other, I'm not sure how to take this story. I'm not sure yet how to write this story. So interesting, because what they were sharing with me is it's almost like they want the tour to be complete, or they need to be with us. But this proposition of reclaiming, revitalizing, reimagining, renewing a sports system that has been so depleted and so focused on the angst, this proposition of bringing people together, especially across the provincial and territorial bodies, was new. And they were kind of scratching their head, saying, I don't know what the angle is yet. And I said to them, that's okay. You can keep following our journey as we move across the country. The other thing they wanted to know was, well, when will it be over? And my response was, we are not sure yet until people feel like this part of the conversation has been had and it's done, the restorative work needed so that we can get to the other side. And I think they were all just. [00:10:33] Speaker B: Like, we don't know quite yet how. [00:10:35] Speaker C: To write the story. So that, for me, has been a highlight and affirmed as we've been having these conversations. So thanks for sharing your highlight. If we now kind of make it more practical, which Steve loves, what's been your biggest takeaways? Maybe share with our listeners what have been some of the really practical takeaways. Carrie, maybe we'll start with you. [00:10:55] Speaker D: Sure. I think the biggest takeaway is there's absolutely an appetite for know, people want to get back engaged. They want to do more. They want to do better. They're looking for meaningful change. They understand the power of sport. We've heard they want to reclaim it. They want to make sure that they're collaborating, that they're working collectively, that they have a holistic approach. So it's not just about the person, the participant on the field. It's also about the volunteers and the officials and all the other people who have an important part. And so there's this collaborative energy, I guess, and people want to really embrace sport and make sure that it can live up to its potential. [00:11:34] Speaker B: Yeah, that resonates. [00:11:36] Speaker C: Having witnessed people kind of relax into the conversation as each of us are sharing in these boardrooms and gathering spots. Steve, what about you? What are some of your biggest takeaways? [00:11:47] Speaker A: We had great turnouts at all three locations. And the medium of each person there was a bit different. So some would have been swimming, some would be hockey, some would be court sports. And what I found was there was consistency, more on the messaging or the concern from participants about feeling alone, feeling isolated, feeling overwhelmed with the changing nature of sports and the changing nature of society and the two areas meeting together. And for me, the biggest takeaway was trying to find a better way or a better ability to share and to have consistent resources, to have consistent conversations, to share resources. And one of the favorite things that excites me these days and I know the things that excites me, like bylaws sounds a bit weird, but I love amalgamations. I love when organizations are trying to make a bigger pie rather than trying to share the same pie. And instead of having three AGMs and 30 people on the board and three treasurers, well, why can't we make one bigger pie? And I really like that idea. So I think sports still struggling a little bit with the ability to share and the resource side, but that really excites me that there's opportunities. And I think one of the things that we hopefully inspired people was to let them know that they're not alone, that we are out there and there are other people out there, and not just their provincial territorial organization is going through this. They all are. I thought that was a really cool benefit. A great takeaway was to let people and to remind them. It almost bothers me, Dina and Carrie, when people will come up to us and say, oh, I didn't know you existed, and that how you could support know. That's disappointing, but it's also inspiring to let people know that we do exist. And yeah, you might be new to sport. You're hiding under a rock because you don't know who we are. But that's the inspiring part, is to let people know that we're around and other resources around, and people aren't going through this issue by themselves. [00:13:57] Speaker B: Yeah, I so appreciate that, Steve. [00:13:59] Speaker C: We didn't know. You know, we've heard people talk about true sport that way, right? When you say, did you know there was an organization that did antidoping work? They're like, yeah, of course. Did you also know that same organization has proactive responses and a social change campaign that's been around for 30 years, almost as long as the antidoping efforts that's trying to prevent all these unethical practices and unnecessary harm. And so it is maybe a little bit mind boggling when we see that. And I would say it's where the investment of our resources go, right? When 80% or 90% of our efforts go into reactive solutions, what would happen if we shifted the paradigm and put more of our resources on those proactive mitigation practices that actually make people's hearts sing? That's a bit of my highlight. It's actually deeply personal for me. As I remember all of the comments and the gratitude that we were getting from people like Troy and Gemma and those who welcomed us with open arms and Bill, it was really almost a relief from their part to say, you can come to us with both practical solutions and an inspiring vision based on shared values. And for me, that felt like I could make a small contribution in helping people reduce some of the anxiety and the frustration and the sense of overwhelm. So that's a personal highlight for me. And then more practically, when I think of the eyes that were looking at us as the three of us were sharing some of our stories, it was the mixture of shock and awe as one respondent shared. I'm going to read this quote from them when they said we need to address the root causes of unethical practices in sport rather than treating only the symptoms. I was really struck when they said, and I quote, we keep hearing that we need a public inquiry to focus on maltreatment. I believe that we need a public inquiry that will focus on how we can modernize our broken system so that we can become more effective, efficient and ethical. And I was really struck by their words and their comment made it into our news release. So those are some of the highlights for me, both at a personal level and then at a more, I guess, professional level. I'm wondering, what do you think the biggest challenges are right now that we need to immediately address? If we could actually center our focus on the one thing that could change everything, what do you think it would be? [00:16:37] Speaker D: I think that we need to move towards a more positive proactive approach. I think there's really a collective desire, like you say, Dina, to go upstream, to change the system, to make sure we've got a culture that helps us to negate some of the negative things we see happening. But at the same time, we need to respect what's going on. We need to build the strong foundation. So to Steve's first comments, right? All those policies, all those bylaws, all those things need to be in place. We need a really strong foundation. But I think there's a part and that's where the passion comes in, where people are saying, you know what, it's time now to make sure that we're being more proactive. We're creating proper culture, realigning, rebalancing, renewing sport so it can be what it needs to be. [00:17:17] Speaker C: I love how do we go from. [00:17:18] Speaker D: Fighting fires, I guess, as know the. [00:17:20] Speaker B: Risk management stuff, how do we go. [00:17:21] Speaker D: From that place to the more proactive? [00:17:24] Speaker B: Uh huh. [00:17:25] Speaker C: Okay, I'll meet you there. There's a beautiful quote by Rumi who know beyond the idea of right doing and wrongdoing, there's this field. Let's meet there. OK, let's meet there. I'm with you. [00:17:36] Speaker B: What about you, Steve? [00:17:37] Speaker A: I'm shocked that Carrie didn't say Dina, that the pop up banners that we carry around the country are the most challenging issues as we have left them in security. We've left them at the airport, we've left them at hotels. And of course, the biggest argument is who's going to carry them? It's like drawing straws as we walk through the airport. But all joking aside, status. [00:18:00] Speaker D: So he gets to carry them. [00:18:02] Speaker A: That's right. I get two carry ons. So it's my responsibility. I think the most pressing need, Nina, is people resources and education. I know those are three easy words to say and very big buckets to fill, but I think the professionalism of amateur sport has to continue to grow. I think we need people who have the right skill sets and experience and expertise. And I also think we need education, particularly to the frontline user, to ask questions about insurance, about safety practices. What does it mean to be a provincial or territorial organization and a sanctioned club? I actually just saw today an NSO put out an education piece on what it means to be participating in a sanctioned event and what those expectations are, because it's sanctioned. So I think all of those things that we need to address and again, I don't think it was one particular province or territory that has bigger needs. I think it's a consistent message that we've seen so far in the hope stops. [00:19:08] Speaker B: Yeah, I love that. [00:19:09] Speaker C: I think my biggest challenge right now, I feel like the fuel from the two of you is, first of all, low trust. I think there's a lot of fractured relationships. I think the end participant, the user, the consumer of this beautiful proposition is coming in a little bit. Suspect and tired and jaded, right from the hangover of the pandemic and all of the questioning that we're having, this navel gazing that we must have around what it means for sport to be beautiful and healthy and whole. So for me, I think if we start with, we have broken our promises as leaders in sport, we haven't delivered on an exceptional sport experience writ large, so we have to earn the trust back from the people who are entrusting us with their children, because that's who the vast majority of people are. And as parents here, right, we all love children. When I think about my happiest times in sport, yes, serving and walking into the Olympic Stadium several times over stands out for me. But more importantly, it's the joy I experienced in serving in the community with these little kids kind of running around my legs and saying, coach D. Coach D. And so if we remember that the biggest challenge is for us to regain trust, for me, that's hopeful, because right after that, we can now move towards a shared vision. And I feel hopeful and optimistic because we have people, new people now that are coming into leadership positions that I. [00:20:54] Speaker B: Think are the right people at the. [00:20:56] Speaker C: Right time to be contributing to this reimagining efforts that we were moving towards. Yeah, I think when we think of trust, it's the one thing that can change everything. So that's what I'm hopeful about. And as we wind down our conversation, I'm wondering, what are you most looking forward to as we look ahead to the fall tour? What are you actually hopeful about? [00:21:23] Speaker A: I'll start I really like reminding people that they're not alone, that there are other people having similar experiences, there are people who can assist or help or at least point an organization or a person in the right direction. So I just really like the idea of creating an environment where people can get together and share their thoughts and experiences and again, to let them know they're not alone. So that really excites me as well. Of course, continuing to see friends and colleagues across the country as we continue to travel and carry the pop up banners. [00:22:01] Speaker B: Great. What about you, Carrie? [00:22:03] Speaker D: Steve's hoping we all get more status so we can help to carry the pop up. No, seriously, I'm looking forward to just meeting more people and to listening and to learning and to meeting them where they are. I think that a lot of gaps have been identified and so we're in the process now of helping people find solutions and sharing, as Steve said, within the room and then from province to territory across the country. I think that I'm just looking forward to empowering the people. There are good people who care a lot, who have a lot of passion and who want to do good. So letting them know that groups like the CCS, True Sport, Sport Law, that we exist from the top of this conversation, that we exist, that we're here to help, that we can be a connector. And I would say, Dina, also, to continuing to write the story. I go back to what you said about the media. I don't think the story has a beginning and an end. I hope this story never ends. Sport is always changing. There are always new people participating, new people volunteering, so our work is never done. So it's really just this is just a continuum in our ability to help, to write the story of all that is good about sport and how we can help people to achieve that. [00:23:13] Speaker C: I feel relieved right when we let go of we're supposed to have this outcome by this timeline and we're going to get rewarded for this. It's such a relief to just step into this kind of next leg of the tour with learning and appreciating everything that the hundreds of people who participated and shared their hopes and their fears right now. It's a relief actually stepping into this next iteration of the conversation and like a wave, right, that builds over time. I feel like the two of you, that this is going to be so inspiring to listen and learn and then share what we've come to know and what we're hearing. The three of us know that we are, in the grand scheme of things, insignificant, right? That our contributions are only one small way that we can help people, as Carrie said, to meet this moment, to be in transition. And I guess what I'm hopeful for is that we can meet this transition with a lot more insight and an affirmation and intention. And if we can do that, then I think we're going to discover some pretty cool things that will help ease the you know. Thanks to the two of you and to our trusted podcast editor, Extraordinaire Taylor, for bringing all of this together. So grateful. [00:24:40] Speaker A: I look forward to seeing you both very soon when we get back on the road to spend time with sport leaders in Toronto, BC, yukon, Nunavut and New Brunswick. [00:24:50] Speaker C: I'm really excited to move into the next conversation with our sport leaders from the spring. [00:24:55] Speaker D: I think your listeners probably can't wait to hear about it. So you want to tell us a little more about who they are and what they're doing? [00:25:01] Speaker C: I do. So Gemma is going to share her story from Sport Pi, and so I'm really excited to learn more from Gemma and then Troy from Sport Newfoundland. He's going to be sharing a little bit more about the experience and what he discovered, so that's going to be pretty cool. And Billy O, as we call him, he's not available, so he's asked his trusted colleague Spider. Our friends from NWT have had to deal with all the fires that have been raging. Many of them are displaced, but many of them are now coming home. [00:25:30] Speaker B: So excited to hear what Spider has. [00:25:33] Speaker C: To share about his experience of joining us on the Hope Tour. [00:25:37] Speaker A: I'm sure it'll be a great conversation. Dina, really appreciate your time and carries today, and thank you both. [00:25:46] Speaker D: Thanks, guys. See you both soon. [00:25:48] Speaker B: Okay? [00:25:49] Speaker C: See you in a couple of weeks. [00:26:06] Speaker B: Hi. Well, welcome everyone, to this special edition podcast of Sportopia. We are just so excited and thrilled and actually really grateful to the three organizations, sport Pi and Sport Newfoundland and Labrador and Sport North, for saying yes to hosting this tour about bringing more hope to provincial and territorial sport organizations through legal and leadership knowledge and sharing. So thank you to the three of you. I'd love to maybe just so that our listeners can learn a little bit more about you, Gemma, maybe share a few words about who you are and what you do at Sport Pei. [00:26:48] Speaker E: So. Gemma Keoughan. I'm the executive director at Sport Pei. So our federation is similar to the other federations across the country. We're to provide programs and services. I usually kind of describe it. People understand a little bit better. We're like the Chamber of Commerce for Know You're there to provide the support for the businesses if you're in the Chamber. Well, we do the same thing for our member sport organizations. [00:27:12] Speaker B: I love that. And, you know, Gemma, what has now been trending is after we hosted the first stop of the Hope tour in Pei, were these Gemma gems, these insights. [00:27:26] Speaker C: That you were able to share. [00:27:27] Speaker B: And so thank you, Gemma. From Gemma Gems to the Chamber of Commerce for sport. How's that for a place to start? Try and fill those big shoes. [00:27:38] Speaker F: Yeah, no gems here, but yeah, same as in Pei. I'm Troy Croft, executive director of Sport in Flannel. Labrador. Similar type of an approach. We have 55 member organizations that we provide programs and services to in their efforts to provide programming and sport delivery in our province. [00:27:58] Speaker B: Wonderful. Well, Troy, we're so excited to have you here and we're not sure when we're going to be releasing the podcast, but you will be a newly wedded person. So we're just grateful to you for joining us on the eve of your wedding. So thanks for being here, Troy, and for your leadership in saying yes to the Hope on the Horizon tour. And last but not least, Spider, tell us more about who you are and a little bit more about Sport North and the work that you do there. [00:28:25] Speaker G: Yes, thank you. I'm Spider Jones. I'm with Sport North Federation, stepping in for Executive Director Bill Othmer. I do special projects work for Sport North. Most recently, we had an online sport leadership summit parted with by Cirque Kim Gertler and the fine folks there. We have 30 territorial sport organizations similar to and do similar work to what Pei and Newfoundland do, looking to support them, to use sport to be a vehicle to help people become their best. You know, we are all forged by sport. [00:29:01] Speaker B: Yeah, I love that. I love that spider. And actually, you and I talked about that when we were up in your beautiful corner of this country we call Home Canada. And I remember you using those exact words forged by and through sport. So thank you for bringing that language into the conversation today. So let's start maybe and we're not sure how we're going to do this. We want this to be playful in the end. We really want to help inspire more of these deliberate conversations about legal and leadership issues. And so maybe we'll start with what did you most appreciate as the host? Because the three of you were hosts for this event. What did you most appreciate about hosting the Hope on the Horizon tour? Maybe we can start with you, Troy. [00:29:46] Speaker F: Yeah, for know, I think the three of us were considered ourselves small jurisdictions, so a lot of the issues that are facing our organizations these days, they're more prominent than the bigger provinces, for sure. But I think what we appreciate the most was to be able to start the conversation and have the conversation around the table, bring. In you guys that have a little bit of expertise in it in terms of the topics that were covered. So afterwards, people, they really appreciated the fact that we're starting these conversations because Safe Sport as we know it's a bit of a beast and a lot of people are struggling with where to start with it. So I think what we appreciated the most was really starting that conversation, understanding some of the key areas that we need to discuss, and then having a plan, starting to put a plan together in terms of, I think it's a bit of a risk management plan in terms of we may never have some of those key issues in the numbers that some of the bigger problems have, but it's good risk management in terms of having these policies in place and practicing sport by values, that sort of thing. So I think that's really what we appreciate the most. [00:30:54] Speaker B: For sure. I love that, because what was also special about our experience with you, Troy, is that you gathered everyone together as part of your 50th year celebration. And I thought that was really a beautiful intention. And maybe you can share with others what you're going to be doing moving forward as a result of connecting the hope on the horizon with maybe an annual gathering. [00:31:18] Speaker F: Yeah. So it was our 50th anniversary, and again, as I said earlier, we've seen a lot of things change in sport the last 50 years. Definitely things have changed. So, again, I think it was a good opportunity for us to kind of recognize that, you know what, the landscape is changing. Again, some of these issues are new for a lot of us. For all of us, out of the 50th anniversary, we really wanted to create a legacy event that we can continue on beyond our 50th celebrations. So we were fortunate to get you guys. And the timing, again, was perfect on this in terms of having the tour and having these conversations. So we kind of developed a sports summit, and so we're going to continue that. And as a matter of fact, we're actually planning another one for November, so we figured it makes the most sense for us to hold it around our annual general meeting. So we're planning one fingers crossed for November coming up again, and I'm sure there's going to be a lot of Safe sport topics covered in it again. [00:32:11] Speaker B: Yeah, fantastic. And I really love and appreciate that you've situated this from a risk management perspective. Right. And if we plan to deal with these things that are somewhat scary and big and can feel a little bit daunting, and we put some structure around it and we have legal expertise and as you said, Troy, we connect it back to our values. Maybe those big things that we really are worried about won't come to pass. So thank you for sharing your experience with this, and we're just thrilled that you're going to keep gathering people in, having these meaningful conversations. What about you, Spider? What did you most appreciate about the gathering in NWT that we had? [00:32:52] Speaker G: Well, I think, first of all, we need to recognize that we had two of the top players from Sport Law, you and Steve Indig come and present. We very much appreciated that you came while not just sharing what was on the landscape coming down the chute, potentially, that sports need to be aware of and need to possibly address. But you also came with solutions. You talked about offering to review insurance policies to see what's in them or not in them that could affect us from a legal front. You talked about PTSOs are TSOs, revising our sport policies so that they're more current, they're stronger, and that if needed, you've got a set of them that a Tso could exchange. Or we have new TSOs coming on side. Specifically, golf may be forming its own. Another Tso, cycling is in conversations with Sport North now about forming a Tso, and all of a sudden you're saying, well, on the administrative side of it, these are resources that we have and they're what we're prepared to share, not just coming and saying, this is who we are, but this is who we are. This is what we do and this is what we can do for you, and as very germane and specific to our needs. [00:34:01] Speaker B: Well, thank you. I mean, as much as you're expressing gratitude for Steve and I joining you, we just want to flip that around and say to the three of you and then I think there's nine others now we're up to, I think, twelve hosts across the country to our early leaders here. I just love that it was actually the smaller provinces and territory that said yes to initiating this so early on. And I also love that you've had to be more creative, dare I say resilient, because when you're islanders or you're working up north, you have to become really resourceful. And what we learned, Steve and I, and what we're so grateful for is, well, first of all, volunteerism. Most of the leaders inside your ecosystems are volunteers. And the heart and the passion and the commitment is undeniable. So I would say that's true. Spider, what I also noticed is how people maybe can come together and we can make better use of our resources by sharing. We don't have to reinvent the wheel. So that was certainly a gift and what Steve and I learned and appreciated from having spent time, two really beautiful days with your people. So thank you for that. Spider, gemma so from Troy and Spider, over to you. What did you most appreciate? Being the first one to kick off this thing called the Hope Tour? [00:35:19] Speaker E: Yeah, I mean, I agree with everything that Troy and Spider have said so far. I think for us, it was also about gathering it was about bringing our sport representatives together in a room. I think we've spent a couple of years being pretty isolated and maybe it wasn't even physical isolation. I think there's that feeling of isolation that is existing within each of our organizations now because there's just so much on their plate and what to handle, and that can feel isolating, whether or not you're physically isolated, bringing those folks together and talking so that they felt that others were feeling the same way. And then I think the other part with the gathering is that they could look to one another for help and support. While we can get that help and support from sport law, which is hugely valuable in terms of picking up the phone and making a call for questions and some direction and support, it's also important for them to see the support amongst themselves. And I believe that being in that room and that's the advantage of being a small jurisdiction is that we can all be in that room together, that one room, and have that conversation and to see what people are thinking and feeling and understand that they're not alone in how they're thinking and feeling and come up with some solutions. We don't have the solutions yet, but I think the fact that we're having discussions about solutions is just as important. So I think that's the part that really was really important for us, we've been able to gather, but we haven't had that opportunity to gather and discuss the challenges and the hopes. And I think that's what caught our attention with the tour itself is the word hope. And I think that's what we're all looking for right now. [00:37:08] Speaker B: Yeah, it was really very special for us, Gemma, not going to lie. I mean, we had a beautiful setting right, for the evening gathering, and it felt like being I don't know, it felt like being in someone's kitchen. And there was, what, about 45, 50 people all gathered. We were kind of squeezed in, but it felt intimate and everybody wanted to be there. And people were like, smiling and kind of like our session with you, Troy, and Spider, bigger venue, but there was this intimacy and people were grateful to be able to talk about this thing called sport that is so important, and yet there's been a level of exhaustion. And you said it best, Gemma. Isolation. People are lonelier now than they've been because they recognize how much they've lost in the two and a half years. That was really difficult for us through the pandemic. And so being able to work better together to exchange, to figure this out was almost cathartic is the word that comes to mind. So I'm really grateful that the three of you had this appreciation for The Gathering. We can call it the gathering. Now, as you turn your attention to the next year, equipped now with a little bit more intel guidance from the people that you're here to support, what might be one, two or three things that you're going to be focusing on more intentionally to respond to some of the issues that came up in a more hopeful way. So maybe we can frame it that way. And I'm curious, maybe we can start with you, Spider. Are there some things that are jumping out at you? [00:38:46] Speaker G: I think we're all aware of the safe sport landscape, that some of the challenging voices we hear seem to dominate the media presence. And we do want to peel that back to the true layers of culture and what sport brings to develop our culture. Culture change. Well, I think it's more of a culture reminder about why we engage in sport and the benefits that it has and the changes it can make in lives. So we want to explore avenues where share those reminders again about why sport is so important and pervasive. The true benefits of making it pervasive in our society are that tapestry, that fabric that we weave, that sport brings into the Canadian mosaic. [00:39:33] Speaker B: Yeah, those are beautiful imagery. Can you feel that, right? This sport as a quilt, and maybe if we're truthful, the quilt has been frayed. And the conversation right now, the dominant conversation around, say, sport is it almost feels like it's distracting us from reclaiming and investing, as you said, Spider, into a more values based approach so that we can be forged and intentional about this public asset that is sport. So I love that you spoke to that and you also spoke about reclaiming our culture, like why sport matters. And if we do all of this and we attend to the culture, then our obligations around safe sport that need to be modernized, let's agree, right? Most people don't argue with the fact that a lot of our practices are outdated now and we need to do the hard work of modernizing these practices so that the athletes and coaches and all the participants feel safe and welcomed and included and valued. Nobody's arguing. At least the people I'm speaking to are not arguing that. What is difficult, though, is if we're only talking about the threats and the unsafe practices, it can be exhausting and depleting. So thank you, Spider, for saying, yeah, we want to actually double down on a more values based orientation on why sport matters. That's a beautiful invitation. [00:40:57] Speaker G: I think, as well, parents are on precipice, a precipice as to whether or not they have their kids engage in sport. And whoever thought that it would come to that seemed also very straightforward, the true value of what sport enshrines. But now people are having second thoughts and justifiably sadly in some instances, but we really need to step up and share our success stories, give concrete reminders and remind people how sport can impact their lives so significantly. [00:41:32] Speaker B: Yeah, that's beautiful. So what I love about that know, when sport is at its best. Dot, dot, dot. [00:41:40] Speaker C: Fill in the blanks. [00:41:41] Speaker B: Right? Thank you for that spider. Really beautifully shared. What about you, Gemma? What are some of the things that you're going to be focusing on over the next year? [00:41:50] Speaker E: Actually, I'm in the same camp here as think, you know, we've talked about taking sport back and getting it back into the hands of the folks that it should be supporting and giving the benefits to. And I think we have to not to say that you can't have to deal with the issues absolutely, but we need to come back to that True Sport side of things. That's our focus. One of the things that we're trying to build is the True Sport principles and providing that support to our members. And doing that with intention, as opposed to what we usually do, is while we have the principles around a sheet of paper, we can read them, but we have to put them in with intention. And if that means you have to do it one team at a time or one person at a time, that's okay, we can start there. But it's bringing those True Sport principles into action and with intention. Because I think if we start there, we will mitigate some of the issues that we're having to deal with now. Because I think the benefit of sport is still there. And that's why I say take it back. We do know that it does benefit. We do know that it can create some significant benefits from a health, wellness, achievement, whatever aspect you want to pull on it, it can do that. We just need to get that back and start there and start building those blocks up again. And if we can do that, that would be pretty significant. In my mind that's basically, I think Spider and I are on the same page. We want to build that positive side again. [00:43:27] Speaker B: Yeah, I love that. These seven principles of True Sport that you spoke to Gemma, right. Being really intentional of beginning with the end in mind. What do we want sport to be more of? We want it to be kind. Right? We want it to be respectful. We want people to excel at their own pace. We want them to have fun. We want them to stay healthy. We want them to give back. So those seven principles of True Sport, which were created in alignment with Canadians over and over again, right through focus groups and research and evidence, it is so elegant and simple, and yet we often make things more complicated. So, Gemma, I love that you use the language. We are going to take sport back. And there's a hashtag, I'm sure, in there with a T shirt, another Gemma gem. So inspiring. Gemma, any any other further thoughts before we go to Troy around some of the things that you're doing to intentionally help support your PSOs in bringing True Sport in a more holistic way. [00:44:37] Speaker E: Well, we were fortunate to get some support from the province and we've hired someone to do some work in the area of true Sport, and he's going out and trying to connect with some teams and some PSOs and talk about true Sport, helping them to decide what that means for them. So if it's the team, we're doing a couple of sessions with them so that we can walk them through the principles and they can decide how they want their team to be in respect to those seven principles, and that would be how they function as a team for the season. So we're starting to try to do that kind of work and trying to connect more with the PSO so they can figure out how to intentionally put that into their clubs or their teams. [00:45:20] Speaker B: As know. Gemma, what's coming up for me? And it'll be curious to see. Troy and Spider, what you make of this. There's a little bit of talk now right around an inquiry, a national inquiry into unsafe practices in sport. And for a while now I've been asking for the same thing. Well, over a year ago, I wrote a blog that said a public accounting is needed to save sport. And yet in there I made the link back to Dubbin Inquiry because I was a small journalism student at the time and I was really interested in what the Dublin Inquiry was saying about doping in sport. Dubbin himself at the time said, we don't have a doping issue, we have a moral crisis. Fast forward 30 years later, we're seeing the same thing. We don't have necessarily it's not that we don't have a safe sport issue. More so though, it's we have this vacuum in terms of the morality or as Gemma said, wanting to be more intentional about carving out the kind of sport that we want. So what's really interesting for me, someone who's been involved in the sport sector since 91, I would say that the CCE at the time created true Sport to heed the wisdom of Dubbin. So true Sport has been around since 95, right. And so part of me wonders what's a girl got to do, what's a person got to do to be more proactive? What do you think will it take for us to address some of those. [00:46:53] Speaker C: Most important things in a way that's. [00:46:55] Speaker B: Proactive, which is what two of you have been saying? So, Troy, any thoughts on what you're going to be focusing on over the next year? [00:47:03] Speaker F: Yeah, I mean, we're going to be very intentional about this as well, in terms know, we really want to connect with our members. I mean, a year is not a long time, as we know, before we know it, we'll be back here a year from now talking about the progress over the last year. But we want to make sure that we're addressing the issues that are important to our members and help them understand the whole process. Again, as we talked about, there's a lot of elements to this and we can go full steam ahead and we can throw things at them, but if they're not prepared to understand what it is they're implementing into their programs, that will be challenging. So I think we're definitely going to be spending the next year connecting with our members, ensuring they understand what it is that Safe Sport is all about, what are the elements of it that's important to their organization. And then, of course, educate and equip them with resources is probably going to be the next piece for us in terms of making sure because, again, we all know our volunteers, most of our organizations are run by volunteers. Not a lot of our members in this province anyway, have full time executive directors that sort of, you know, they're just so busy running their programs, getting kids on the fields in the know, getting them playing, so they don't have time to think about these things. And that's what we're here for, and that's what you guys are here for, which is what I know Gemma mentioned earlier, to have that resource and to help us kind of piece this together because it's a big undertaking for a lot of our organizations. So connecting, educating, and equipping our members with resources, I think are going to be our focus for the next year and beyond, of course, but we really want to make sure that we are intentional and we are giving them the right information. True sport, that's obviously going to be a piece as well. We're going to walk our members through that, helping them understand that and how to implement some of those things. And a lot of them, as we know, probably already implement some of the values of true sport. They just don't realize it. So we kind of have to help them pull that out. So I think that's really where our focus is going to be for the next year. [00:49:00] Speaker B: Yeah. Everybody's laughing or smiling at what you were saying. Yes. And that's the power of bringing a unifying language like true sport to signal a lot of what we do intentionally or intuitively anyway, when sport is at its best. Right? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I love that. And so a couple of things before we close off our time together. Thank you so much to the three of you. What you spoke to. Imagine if we had a national inquiry that actually spoke about the state of sport, because as you pointed out, Troy, it's virtually impossible for us to continue in this way. The sports system that was designed in the not the sports system, that we need a more modern expression that takes into account the complexity that underpins our 2023 reality. When sport was designed in the was a very different world back then, we're different now. And so to ask our sport leaders and our volunteers to be beholden to a system that isn't designed to support a more modern, values based, safe, welcoming, inclusive environment is unfair and unsustainable. So thank you, Tori, for doubling down on that. The other thing I would offer that you spoke to is we need a plan. Great. We need to support, great. We need to be more intentional. Great. You said all those things. And I would offer we need to measure what matters most. So if we're really going to be serious about encouraging people to move in a direction that is going to create a safe, welcoming, inclusive environment, then we, the funders and those that are the leaders in sport, really have to start to ask different questions. So beyond money, how well are you using the resources and metals? How are we taking home the hardware? What else are we going to measure? And today you've been speaking to I would offer the third M, which is morals. So we need to measure money, we need to measure medals, and then we also have to measure morals. And as you've been speaking to, true sport is the language of good sport. I really appreciate that. So as we start to round off our conversation, I'm wondering what is your biggest hope or your biggest wish for the Canadian sports system over the foreseeable future? Maybe an open conversation. Who wants to start? Okay, let's go with Gemma, because Gemma had her. [00:51:39] Speaker E: Pressure. I mean, I guess if we were talking about being hopeful, I still think all my hope still rests in the people they are going to be those volunteers and the coaches and the athletes and the leaders in the room. And it's still the people that are going to make the difference here. You can have all the policies and procedures in the world, and yes, you need to have them, but it's the people that are going to make a difference, and they're going to make the change because they need to make the change. They're going to ensure that sport is still going. And when you talk to the people that are in the room, I'm still hopeful because they still have the passion. Despite everything that's happening and the struggles that they're having, they still have the passion. They still believe in the power of sport. And they are going to be the difference. And we need to find we and the collective we, those of that are trying to support them, we need to do that. We need to make sure that they're still there for the reasons that they want to be there. People sign up to volunteer because they want to see little Johnny or Sally or whoever running around the field, chasing a soccer ball, shooting a puck, putting a ball on the net, whatever it is, because they see what goes on on that field or ice surface or gym, because it puts a smile on a kid's face. That's why they're there. So I'm still hopeful that that's still what's driving everybody. It's the other stuff that's kind of patting them. So my hope still sits with the people. I think those volunteers, those coaches, those athletes, those officials, they will make the change to make sport true again. [00:53:25] Speaker B: Thank you for that. What about you, Spider? What are you hopeful know? [00:53:30] Speaker G: When you talked know, we need to carve out the sport that we want. And Gemma, you talked about believe in the power of sport. I think each of us need to double down on crafting belief in sport, that we're in the sport inspiration business. And what have we done today to inspire sport? And when we do that well and with passion and purpose, then on the backside, we'll beat addressing the challenges that we have by some poor players in the sport environment. What have you done today to inspire sport? [00:54:07] Speaker B: Oh, I got shivers. We are in the sport inspiration business. What a beautiful thing to strive for. Thank you, Spider. So from Gemma Gems to Spider Sage advice here, that was pretty powerful. We're in the sport and inspiration business. What about you, Troy, as we get ready to conclude our time together, what's. [00:54:35] Speaker F: Sparking for I mean, along similar think? You know, I'm hopeful that sport becomes more inviting. And again, not just for the participants, but I think for the volunteers especially. Sport is so dependent on volunteers. And I'm a sport parent myself. I have three kids that play different levels of sport and you go to a gymnasium or you go to a field or a rink and you see it abusive. Officials just one thing. I mean, we know our volunteers are hard to come by. A lot of volunteers that built this system in the 70s are still around today. Listen, a lot of them do great work, no doubt about it. But again, if we're looking to recruit new people and bring new volunteers into the system, my hope is that we can be more inviting in terms of all of those aspects that have the negative connotations on them. Right. You know, just again, the participants and I think Spider mentioned earlier, the parents are looking know, there's just so much competition out there now for the kids attention and for the kids participation. I mean, if we can become something that's true sport has the values and parents see that, then they're going to choose sport. And again, I think same as Spider and Gem, I think we can inspire people to want to participate in sport and we just need to be more inviting and make sure that we have good volunteers and we're still able to recruit volunteers for the system because we need them. [00:56:01] Speaker G: And I think if we do that well, then not only will we be getting athletes and parents and officials, but business will want to get onside this landslide of embracing sport. And I want to be part of that. I can be part of that. I want to play my role. I can contribute to our strong moral character, that tapestry of what sport brings. To Ken aides. [00:56:25] Speaker B: Well, this has been delightful. Imagine getting to connect with the three of you again, all in the same zoom room. That's pretty extraordinary for someone like me. I want to conclude with a couple of things. First of all, just to say thank you again to the three of you who are doing exceptional good work. In the Middle right, we have national level sport that is trying to do good work, pan Canadian work, systemic work, and also respond to what's going on internationally. And then we have community based sport that's delivering the goods on the field and the ranks on the ice, as Gemma said earlier. And then there's people like you in the middle right, that's trying to do both, that's trying to ensure that this fabric that you were speaking to Spider is one that is responding to the times and not getting overwhelmed by the mammoth amount of change that we're seeing now. And we would agree, much needed. Know, Troy, your big gift above and beyond many, I felt, for people to be thinking about what you were inviting us to do is to be intentional by design, not by accident. So that was pretty extraordinary. For Gemma, it's all about the people. The people are going to be making the difference. So can we resource the people so they have what they need to continue this amazing work? And from you, Spider, this invitation to be forging and be forged by and through sport in a really powerful way to ensure that this fabric, as you called it, is going to lead to this inspiration. And let that be our call to inspired action. So, just so delighted to have spent this time with the three of you. We look forward to sharing your great wisdoms with everyone as we move forward across the country. And just so grateful that you said yes so early on so that we could kick start this new conversation about the kind of sport that we want. So, from us to you, thank you so much and look forward to our ongoing collaboration as we reclaim sport. [00:58:34] Speaker E: Thanks, Dana. [00:58:35] Speaker G: Thanks, Dana, for having us. Thanks, Jenna. [00:58:38] Speaker B: Thanks. [00:58:40] Speaker A: In the episode notes below, we've linked all the information about the upcoming stops on the Hope on the Horizon tour for this fall, as well as some relevant blogs. Thank you so much to our listeners. We are so grateful to share our vision of Sportopia with you and to. [00:58:55] Speaker C: Elevate sport, as always, to have your say in Sportopia. Email us at hello at sportlaw. CA or on social media at sportlaw. CA to let us know what you want to hear about next. Stay tuned for the next episode and until then, be well.

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