Ontario Sports And Olympic Youth Academy Ooya Shape Our Leaders Beyond The 2010 Winter Olympics

Ontario Sports And Olympic Youth Academy Ooya Shape Our Leaders Beyond
The 2010 Winter Olympics

Leadership in​ our Canadian youth is​ pervasive and active. as​ a​ volunteer,​ I was witness and observer to​ an​ extraordinary 4-day conference hosted by the​ University of​ Ottawa (May 11-14). This year's theme was “Making a​ Difference”. the​ delegates to​ this 2006 Ontario Olympic Youth Academy,​ were fifteen Ontario students representing their high schools. These students confirmed that our youth will bring a​ new order of​ leadership to​ this country,​ their province and their communities.

OOYA is​ sponsored by Sport Alliance of​ Ontario,​ OFSAA (Ontario Federation of​ School Athletic Associations),​ and the​ Canadian Olympic Committee.

The Ontario Olympic Youth Academy is​ held each year and serves 2 purposes:

  1. 1) to​ share the​ magic of​ the​ Olympic Games in​ a​ 'hands on' format by debating,​ discussing,​ discovering,​ meeting,​ networking,​ playing,​ laughing in​ an​ active & dynamic 4-day conference.

  2. 2) to​ meet Olympic athletes,​ coaches,​ organizers and managers and hear them speak about the​ impact the​ Olympic Games has had on​ their lives.

Working long hours,​ this group of​ engaging teenagers were involved in​ interactive presentations and group workshops. Through the​ team sports of​ Dragon Boat Racing and a​ modified Olympic Games event,​ the​ group showed their ability to​ focus as​ a​ unit and meet goals. the​ delegates developed Sports and Exercise programs that can easily and immediately be introduced in​ their respective schools and communities. Programs are like:

  1. 1) “Clean Play Starts with a​ Clean Place to​ Play”,​

  2. 2) “Mini Olympic Days” to​ promote a​ healthy and active lifestyle to​ Grades 5 & 6,​

are designed for both athletes and non-athletes and help shape high school students into leaders.

Appearance by guest speakers included:

  1. 1) Sue Holloway,​ Honorary Chair of​ OOYA - Silver and Bronze Olympic Medalist for kayaking (1980-Los Angeles). Ms. Holloway is​ the​ first female to​ compete in​ both the​ Summer and Winter Olympics (1976 - kayaking and cross-country skiing).

  2. 2) Shaunna Burke - second Canadian female to​ reach the​ summit of​ Mount Everest (spring 2005).

  3. 3) Pierre Lafontaine,​ CEO Swimming Canada - recently,​ Head coach for Australian Institute of​ Sport,​ and before that the​ Phoenix Swim Club of​ Arizona. Mr. Lafontaine led 4 and 8 medal swimmers to​ Olympic victories in​ 2004 and 2000 respectively.

  4. 4) Marg McGregor - Chef de Mission 2002 Commonwealth Games in​ Manchester,​ England.

  5. 5) Greg Joy - Silver Medalist and world record for high jumping 1976 Montreal Olympics.

  6. 6) Marc Leger – 2005 Canadian delegate at​ the​ International Olympic Academy in​ Greece.

  7. 7) Dr. Gene Sutton,​ Chair OOYA and National Olympic Academy,​ Director of​ the​ COC Board,​ and Canada’s Chef de Mission for the​ 2003 Pan American Games team.

  8. 8) Michael Chambers - President Canadian Olympic Committee (COC).

These speakers had a​ profound impact on​ the​ delegates. the​ Academy ended on​ a​ high note with an​ emotional closing ceremony during which each delegate lit a​ candle from the​ 1988 Calgary Olympic Winter Games Torch!

However subtle,​ a​ key message was woven throughout the​ conference presentations by the​ Canadian Olympic athletes,​ Olympic coaches,​ and Sports executives. And that message: to​ have these future leaders consider sports management,​ sports coaching,​ and sports education as​ career options. This message was effectively introduced and appreciated by the​ delegates. Some delegates openly shared their renewed consideration for sports education/management as​ a​ career choice.

Currently,​ there are a​ number of​ active Provincial/Territorial (PTOAs) Olympic Youth Academy Programs:

  1. 1) Quebec Youth Olympic Academy

  2. 2) Ontario Olympic Youth Academy

  3. 3) Alberta Youth Olympic Symposium

  4. 4) BC Olympic & Paralympic Youth Leadership Academy

  5. 5) Nunavut Youth Olympic Academy

As a​ youth sport educational forum,​ the​ various Olympic Youth Academies,​ are an​ excellent way to​ introduce Canadian Youth to​ career and volunteer opportunities and rewards associated with national,​ provincial,​ community sports management/coaching,​ and sports education. the​ Olympic Youth Academies provide an​ expanded opportunity to​ share the​ Canadian Olympic Dream whether as​ an​ athlete,​ a​ coach,​ an​ organizer or​ a​ volunteer.

Expanding and funding the​ Olympic Youth Academy Programs to​ each and every Canadian Province and Territory has been an​ ongoing initiative of​ the​ Canadian Olympic Committee (COC). Each province should embrace this youth leadership forum. it​ is​ a​ perfect program to​ parallel the​ COC initiative Own the​ Podium 2010

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