Smith Joins Team Canada!

By: 
Amber Wallace
Issue: 

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Smith School of Business have announced an eight-year strategic partnership that will provide scholarships for COC athletes, shared coaching synergies and customized leadership training for COC staff and partners. Smith will be the exclusive provider of business education for the COC, and the first business school to become a Team Canada partner.    

The announcement was made at Smith’s Toronto campus on November 3, 2016, by Christopher Overholt, Chief Executive Officer of the COC, and Dean David Saunders, with several Olympic athletes in attendance.

“The COC is committed to providing Canada's athletes with the tools they need to be successful on and off the field of play,” said Christopher Overholt. “Our first-ever partnership with an academic institution marks a significant step toward this commitment. We simply cannot ask our athletes to set aside their personal goals and aspirations for sport and for Canada and then not have a plan for them after they are done. We are excited to partner with such a world-class business school.”

Arash Madani from Rogers Sportsnet with Olympic athletes at the Smith-COC partnership launch on November 3.

Up to 1,200 Game Plan athletes will be eligible for scholarships for a broad range of Smith School of Business programs, such as the Graduate Diploma in Business, the Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Smith’s suite of MBA programs, among others. Programs are offered in a variety of locations across Canada, some with flexible learning options that can accommodate athletes who are
still training.

"Smith School of Business students, Olympic and Paralympic athletes have much in common," said David Saunders. "All are known for their dedication, leadership and performance under pressure, and now they will collaborate and learn from each other in our classrooms. Similarly, we are thrilled to add the best practices of Olympic coaching to the team-based learning experience for all our students.”

David Saunders, Stephen Smith and Christopher Overholt.

Both the COC and Smith share a high-performance coaching culture. By sharing best practices through workshops and networking, Smith will develop “Coaching 2.0” — the next level of coaching — to enhance team-based learning and coaching in business education at Smith.

“This partnership will help to solidify the many transferable skills that athletes develop over the course of their competitive careers and open up new career options for Canadian athletes,” said Jennifer Heil, three-time Olympian, two-time Olympic medallist. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to elevate my skills at a world-class institution and to start the EMBA program at Smith.”

The COC will also invest in enhanced leadership training with Smith for COC staff and other sporting-community members through customized and open-enrolment executive-education programs.