Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Friday, July 19, 2013
Friday, July 12, 2013
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
I was not wrong. My club became one of the largest at the championship and even held their own Open Water meet this June. I have been told that this is a niche sport, but have found that it is a great way to empower an athlete (or a club) that hasn't quite found their niche.
Congrats to everyone that competed today (especially all of the HHBF and OAK swimmers). HHBF results can be found here. Congrats to medalists Britney Dortona, Lauren Monhemius & Michael Jans. Sorry I couldn't be there to take the picture (below) myself.
Full results can be found here.
OTTAWA – One of Canada’s best-known and most accomplished leaders in aquatic sports is diving into a new challenge.
After five strong years at the helm of Water Polo Canada, Ahmed El-Awadi will become the new CEO of Swimming Canada, the two organizations announced today.
Swimming Canada’s Board of Directors has chosen El-Awadi to lead the organization after an extensive search process. No stranger to the water, the Beaconsfield, Que., resident was an Olympic water polo coach and has been executive director of Water Polo Canada since 2008.
“My sports journey began with swimming many years ago and I am thrilled to reconnect with these roots,” El-Awadi said. “Even though it feels strange to leave behind my water polo family of fifteen years, I could not be more excited to join Swimming Canada’s team.”
El-Awadi was assistant coach and manager of the women’s national team through the 2004 Olympics in Athens, and the 2005 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Montreal, where they won a bronze medal on home soil. On the business side, El-Awadi has been instrumental in developing and carrying out Water Polo Canada’s strategic plan and establishing a sound organization from a structural, financial and ethical perspective. He has also served as chair of the Canadian Team Sport Coalition since 2012.
“We are really excited by the hire and about where Ahmed can take us,” said Swimming Canada President David de Vlieger.
After years of a combined CEO/national coach leadership model, Swimming Canada made a decision more than a year ago to split the roles. El-Awadi will work as the organization’s top executive, while John Atkinson, who was hired as high performance director in January, will oversee Canada’s competitive teams.
“We are very pleased by the hire of John Atkinson to lead us on the high performance side and Ahmed will provide strong leadership on the business management side,” de Vlieger said. “Having capable people in both of those positions should allow us to meet our future goals.”
El-Awadi, who is fluently bilingual in English and French, is also an accomplished large enterprise software and services sales executive, most recently with SAP Inc.
His official start date with Swimming Canada is Aug. 19. He plans to conduct an internal business review during his first 90 days on the job.
“I’m confident the organization is healthy and strong and will be looking to see where we can build on those strengths,” El-Awadi said.
Swimming Canada’s Board of Directors undertook a five-month search to hire the new CEO. A committee was formed including members of the board who worked in conjunction with such partners as Own the Podium and Sport Canada to identify top candidates. The board interviewed the final candidates and de Vlieger said El-Awadi stood out due to his passion for swimming and his knowledge of the Canadian sport system and aquatics world.
“Hiring a leader is one of most important things a board does,” de Vlieger said. “We’re very pleased with the results and confident we were able to identify the best candidates for the position.”
El-Awadi will remain with Water Polo Canada through the end of the FINA World Championships, which run from July 19 to Aug. 4 in Barcelona.
“Ahmed has been a cornerstone of Water Polo Canada in the last five years and will be greatly missed. We would like to wish him continued success in his new role and are convinced that he will dedicate the same energy, organizational skills and talent to significantly contribute to Swimming Canada,” Water Polo Canada President Conrad Hadubiak said.
“I would like to thank the board, staff, athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and partners with whom I had the privilege to work at Water Polo Canada over the years,” El-Awadi added. “The sport of water polo is moving toward a bright future and I am honoured to have been part of that community for such a long time.”
Interim CEO Ken Radford will return to his role as Director of Swimming Operations.
“We very much appreciated Ken Radford stepping into the breach to handle the reins as interim CEO and we thank him for his contributions and hard work on behalf of the organization,” de Vlieger said. “Swimming Canada is fortunate to have a strong team dedicated to excellence in Canadian swimming.”
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Friday July 5, 2013
- When to start the process
- The options /The questions to ask
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
How are we making our sport falsely"fail safe"?
Over the years, younger swimmers have tended to use the "time trial" bail out system for qualification times; can't do it at the meet so we try again and again later. This is sort of asinine because it teaches athletes that there is always another chance... when in many cases there is not really.
Lets use Canadian Age Group Championships as an example; Ontario athletes have had all season to qualify for 3 events at CAGC and will have 1 final shot in Brantford this weekend at the Ontario Age Group Championships. I feel that athletes should really use this opportunity to swim fast and qualify. If they cannot qualify at this championship meet due to the pressure (or you feel that it is too much pressure to put on an athlete), what is achieving a qualification time at a later time trial going to achieve? There is no less pressure at the Canadian Age Group Championships than there is at the Provincial Age Group Championships. In reality, this athlete has really done everything that they can just to qualify for the event... what more can be expected at another meet in 2 weeks time? Especially when the athlete could not get the time in a stressful environment of a Provincial Championship. Yes the athlete will participate in the Canadian Age Group Championships... but is that what we really want..? I mean... I know that no one is happy when Ontario Athletes just participate in tour teams. I know that no one is happy when Canadian athletes just participated in NACC in the past. I KNOW FOR SURE that no one will be happy if our Canadian Athletes go to Barcelona just to participate in World Championships. We need to be teaching competitiveness.
I hope that my message will get across properly and not misconstrued (as it often is) as being harsh or mean spirited. Yes, it is wonderful to allow people to participate in championships, and yes it may keep them interested in the sport for another season, but for the athlete that requires that gratification just to move forward with their career, another road block will very likely deter them sometime soon. There is purpose in failing your goal sometimes, and often, it serves some good. Learning to cope with disappointment can be very beneficial down the road if your athlete fails to make the Canada Games Team or make the World Championship team, or ends up as a coach whose athletes fail to make either.
Sport is great because its brings out the best in us. It make us want to see people succeed and warm our hearts when they do. It makes us sad and sympathetic when athletes don't succeed, especially when they are our own children. But never underestimate the determination of an athlete; under the tears and disappointment there is hope and the acceptance of a challenge. If parents and coaches are doing their jobs propperly, this athlete still enjoys competition, still enjoys racing and understands that the sun will still come up tomorrow, their parents still them them and the square rout of pi is still 1.77245385091 (I'm right on that one, trust me).
Our sport offers many opportunities to build successful people and athletes, but it also offers many opportunities to circumnavigate those opportunities and settle for instant gratification. Please use failure (especially failure to qualify) as a means to build a more successful and hungry athlete and person and not search for 20 more opportunities to get it right... because life and our sport beyond age 14 do not work that way. We need to prepare our athletes, the future of Canadian sport, to perform when it matters - to perform on command - and not teach them that there is always next week's time trial.