Joshua Liendo swims butterfly stroke in a white capStephen Hosier/COC

Director, Sport System and Athlete Relations

Be part of building a national brand. Headquartered in Toronto, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) is a national, private, not-for-profit organization committed to high-performance sports excellence. We are the largest private supporter of high-performance sport in Canada and we are responsible for all aspects of Canada’s involvement in the Olympic Movement, including the participation in the Olympic and Pan American Games.

Reporting to the Chief Sport Officer, the Director, Sport System & Athlete Relations provides senior leadership to the COC Sport System Excellence & Athlete Relations unit and the broader Sport Department at the COC. The Director is responsible for advancing the strategic pillar of Sports System Capacity Building. This includes enhancing the sport system to support a safe, welcoming, athlete focused and winning environment and optimal performance at all levels. The scope of work is broad and includes the following core areas:

  1. National Sport Organizations Leadership
  2. Athlete Services and Relations
  3. Canadian Sport System Relations
  4. Safe, Clean and Ethical Sport
  5. Game Plan
  6. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  7. Alignment with provincial partners and agencies
  8. Olympic Solidarity
  9. Next Gen Initiatives

LOCATION

This position may be located in either of the COC offices in Toronto, ON at 250 Yonge St. Suite 3000 or in Montreal, QC, at 500 René-Lévesque Boulevard West. The COC offers a hybrid work model that allows for up to two days of remote work each week.


CORE RESPONSIBILITIES AND PRIORITIES

Strategic Planning

  • Provide leadership in creating quadrennial and annual strategy, plans, objectives and KPIs for the Sport System Excellence & Athlete Relations unit that support the overall COC strategy
  • Develop and oversee the team’s budgets
  • Work with managers of this unit to ensure goals cascade to all staff
  • Evaluate overall performance of the team’s deliverables by gathering, analyzing and interpreting data and metrics
  • Evaluate the efficiency of business procedures, employee engagement and apply improvements
  • Work with peers in the COC Sport Department, Brand and Commercial, Digital, Communications, Finance and IT to ensure collaboration for shared goals and alignment of COC priorities.
  • Prepare reports for the COC Board of Directors and committees
  • Contribute to the development and execution of the COC’s purpose work.

NSO Leadership

  • Provide leadership and customized guidance to support the National Sport Organizations who are members of the COC (currently 56 NSOs). Regular and ongoing contact and liaison with the NSO CEOs and Presidents/Chairs to strengthen collaboration, build strong relationships, and improve communication
  • NSO Recognition System: Design and implement strategies for recognizing and supporting new sports aspiring to become members of the COC
  • Oversee all NSO enhancement activities (including but not limited to NSO Return to Sport initiatives, Governance education and Governance Code adoption, Smith educational webinar series, Leadership initiatives, sport community workshops at COC Sessions, and alignment/modernization activities)

Athletes Relations and services

  • Contribute to the development of the athlete relations strategy for the COC
  • Oversee and provide leadership and direction to the Athlete Relations and Services unit
  • Collaborate and provide leadership for Game Plan

Sport Partner and Sport System Relationships and Alignment

  • Contribute to the development of sport system enhancements and increased alignment. Serve as a connector and convener
  • Develop, nurture, manage and sustain strong relationships, and in some instances, manage agreements with external sport partners and stakeholders
  • Contribute to consultations on key issues (e.g., Canadian Sport Policy, etc.)

Safe Sport

  • Work with the Deputy General Counsel and the Chief Sport Officer to lead the COC’s safe sport work
  • Working with external partners, and without stepping into NSOs governance, lead the development of a short- and long-term plan to address athlete safety, accelerate efforts to prevent abuse, harassment, concussions, etc.
  • Chair or co-chair the COC Safe Sport Working Group

Clean and Ethical Sport

  • Work with the COC President and CEO to design and deliver on the COC Board’s identified priority of clean and ethical sport. This involves working with external agencies (WADA, CCES, SDRCC, etc.), academics, NSOs, IFs and athletes

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  • As a member of the COC Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Team, oversee the development and implementation of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy for the Canadian Sport System
  • Act as a subject matter expert, change agent, influencer, thought leader, key enabler and champion to the COC’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Identify and contribute to initiatives that support a more diverse and inclusive Sport system in Canada
  • Act as an ambassador for the COC Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy with the Canadian Sport System stakeholders

Games

  • Develop and lead the execution of an NSO and Sport Partner Executives Games Services plan (accreditation, pre-Games communications, at-Games support).
  • Contribute to the Games Business Unit leadership

Guidance & Oversight

  • Hire, coach, support, and direct the staff, contractors and interns working in the Sport System Excellence & Athlete Relations Unit
  • Monitor and support their growth, development, and performance. Inspire a culture of recognition.
  • Evaluate overall performance of the team’s deliverables by gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data and metrics

Liaison and external representation

Lead and/or collaborate to the COC liaison with:

  • Caucuses (Summer, Winter, MSO, etc.)
  • Coaching Association of Canada (Safe Sport and at-Games)
  • Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (scientific elements are led by the COC Chief Medical Officer)
  • Own The Podium, B2Ten, CAC (at Games only for senior executives)
  • Canadian Women and Sport, Aboriginal Sport Circle, Sport Information Research Centre, uSports, Canada Games Council, SDRCC
  • Sport Canada (Safe Sport and Olympic Solidarity alignment)
  • Provincial organizations and agencies

Additional External representation

  • Support the Chief Sport Officer and serve as proxy as requested, in other relationship and alignment, and sport assignments such as COPSIN projects, Sport For Social Change, Building A Stronger Canada Through Sport Roundtable, Game Plan Steering Committee, etc.

Serve on

  • Federal Provincial Territorial Sport Committee working groups

International

  • Liaise with select National Olympic Committee (NOC) peers and select International Federations around the world to continually stay aware of trends, best practices, benchmarks, successes and challenges in the areas of System Excellence
  • Liaise with IOC and PASO (for Olympic Solidarity)


QUALIFICATIONS AND CRITICAL SKILLS

Education and Experience

  • 7-10 years of relevant experience within a National Sport Organization or Multi-Sport Organizations, with at least 5 years in senior leadership positions
  • Deep specialized knowledge and understanding of the Canadian and International Sport System. Experience working as a CEO of a National Sport Organization is an asset

Skills and Abilities

  • Possess the breadth of capabilities and skills to allow for effective leadership in all areas of the position including:
    • An understanding of diversity and inclusion issues faced in sport
    • An understanding of athlete transition issues
    • An understanding of clean and ethical sport issues
    • A solid understanding of best practices in not-for-profit governance
  • Ability to perform and lead effectively in environments with frequent workload changes, competing demands, and a dispersed workforce
  • Bilingualism (EN/FR) a preferred asset
  • Strong written, verbal and interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively
  • Familiarity and proven ability to build/maintain relationships with the national sport community, multi-sport organizations, governments and provincial agencies
  • Analytical, organizational and management abilities, combined with team building and leadership skills
  • Trailblazer and innovator. Program initiation, development and design skills
  • Excellent planning, follow through and time management skills
  • Self-motivated, creative team player
  • Ability and willingness to travel nationally (up to 24 times a year) and internationally (up to two times a year)
  • Proficiency in PowerPoint and Word, Excel, and Google Docs
  • Demonstrates and embodies the COC values of Accountability, Excellence, Fun, Respect and Bravery

COMPENSATION:

Competitive salary based on experience, excellent benefits package.

CONTACT:

Please send all cover letters and resumes by December 4, 2022, to applications@olympic.ca, citing the position title in the subject line. No telephone calls please. We thank all applicants for their interest; however only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

The COC is committed to ensuring our recruitment and selection processes and work environment are inclusive and barrier-free. At the COC, we celebrate and welcome the diversity of all employees and believe that having a team of individuals with different backgrounds, views, experience and capability working together makes us stronger and better as an organization.

As a condition of employment, and in order to ensure the health and safety of the Canadian Olympic Committee’s employees, a successful applicant will be expected and agrees to confirm and provide proof of vaccination from COVID-19. This condition of employment is subject to any accommodation requirements as may be required by human rights legislation, including for religious needs, disability or any other protected ground under human rights legislation.

Accommodation is also available upon request for individuals taking part in all stages of our recruitment and selection processes. Please advise the recruiter to ensure your accessibility needs due to a disability are accommodated. Information received relating to accommodation will be addressed confidentially.