This past week I had the pleasure of attending the Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L) summit in Gatineau, Quebec. It was a two day conference and it was a natural choice since my company, SIRC, was to be an exhibitor. Since I’m the primary person at the booth, it was easy to use this event as a networking tool as well as squeezing in some professional development whenever I got the chance to attend a session.
Since I was at the booth, I met around 30-40 people and had some interesting conversations in the two days I was there. I had two firm connections with Francois Gravelle from the University of Ottawa who is researching physical literacy for Olympic weightlifters and Jennifer Scott who is the Director of Communications for the Canadian Dermatology Association who led a project in partnership with Baseball Canada to increase awareness of UV rays and skin cancer in baseball players. Both were extremely friendly, Francois had some research questions for me which I managed to answer via email for him while he was in session and Jennifer kindly answered my questions about obtaining resources for our library after her presentation was over. She also mentioned the use of social media to create awareness for her project so I was interested in picking her brain on what worked and what didn’t in order to apply it to my own position.
One of the most unique experiences was listening to the keynote speakers who came from an unlikely source considering the whole conference is about Canadian sport. Two representives, Gil Favreau and Patrice Aubertin from Cirque du Soleil and The National Circus School spoke about the application of long term athlete development and their particular organizations. I was surprised to find that many of the students at the school were former athletes, although in retrospect it makes sense. The the two gentlemen knew each other very well so they played off of one another while they spoke so it was interesting and informative at the same time. This is a quote from Gil (which I actually tweeted that day) “We are believing in the dreams of youth”.
Overall the conference was great and I got to meet a lot of new and interesting people, coaches, CEO’s, an aquafit instructor, dieticians, researchers and doctors. It was a great experience and I look forward to attending the conference again next year.