2021 AthletesCAN Forum Leadership Lab

As an extension of the Lyle Makosky Values and Ethics in Sport Fund and in partnership with AthletesCAN and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES), the True Sport Foundation contributed to the Ethical Decision-Making Workshop for athlete representatives at the 2021 AthletesCAN Forum Leadership Lab.

The goals of the virtual workshop were to uncover ethical concepts, explore examples of complex decisions through panelist’s stories, discover tools to support athlete representatives in navigating these issues, and provide an opportunity for athletes to network.

The workshop was attended by approximately 30 Athlete Representatives (AR):

  • The AR is an elected representative of the National Team and the foundational mechanism for direct athlete feedback to the organization.
  • The purpose of the AR is to represent and promote the views and interests of the national team athletes in their sport as well as their NSO’s Board of Directors and management on all issues that directly or indirectly affect athletes at the high-performance level.
  • The AR represent the voice of high-performance athletes and foster an athlete-centered sport environment in their sport through their work.

AthletesCAN past president Pierre-Luc Laliberté and Karri Dawson, representing the CCES and the True Sport Foundation, welcomed participants and opened the workshop.

Session 1: Finding True North: Navigating Ethical Decisions for Athlete Leaders
Olympian Oluwaseguen Makinde facilitated this session called Finding True North: Navigating Ethical Decisions for Athlete Leaders in which Mandy Bujold, Tony Walby and Haley Daniels spoke about how they’ve approached complex decisions in their personal, sport, and leadership journeys. They shared personal stories about influencing change in their sport, reflected on their personal values and shared sport values, as well as the lessons learned through their experiences

Tony Walby Quote Haley Daniels Quote

Session 2: The Roadmap: Your Guide to Making Ethical Decisions
True Sport Foundation board member Dr. Ann Pegoraro and Dr. Kathleen Rodenburg led The Roadmap: Your Guide to Making Ethical Decisions, in which they shared how leaders tactfully navigate ethical governance discussions with ease and presented a step-by-step guide for successful leaders to use when making ethical decisions.

Breakout Session: Values in Practice
During the facilitated breakout session, participants were led through an interactive scenario to navigate a contemporary ethical decision with their teammates. Breakout groups were given roles and perspectives to undertake while they navigated the ethical dilemma of boycotting the Beijing Olympics over China’s alleged human rights violations. Groups were assigned the viewpoints of the International Olympic Committee, the Canadian Olympic Committee, athletes, sponsors, and various countries.

Athlete representatives shared insights, networked and expressed that they felt better equipped to work through ethical decisions in their sport and the embrace their values as they advocate for what they believe in.

I can’t wait to apply this ethical thought process in sports and life.”
– Workshop participant

“Thank you so much for sharing this process and having us put it in practice. It’s such an empathetic approach to decision making, encouraging people to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and getting us to understand the various perspectives!”
– Workshop participant

About AthletesCAN
AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, is the only fully independent and most inclusive athlete organization in the country and the first organization of its kind in the world. As the voice of Canadian national team athletes, AthletesCAN ensures an athlete-centered sport system by developing athlete leaders who influence sport policy and, as role models, inspire a strong sport culture.