Smith School of Business Extends Partnership with Team Canada and Game Plan – Team Canada

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TORONTO (June 12, 2024) – On Wednesday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Game Plan and Smith School of Business announced an extension of their strategic partnership, effective through 2032.

Smith School of Business is the Official National Business Education Partner of Team Canada, as well as a Founding Partner of Game Plan, Canada’s total athlete wellness program. The partnership renewal extends existing programming and education opportunities for Team Canada athletes while offering new opportunities for the Canadian sport community and Smith students.

Smith has been a partner of the COC and Game Plan since 2016. To date, 124 athletes have received full tuition awards to attend professional graduate programs and 130 athletes have received full tuition awards to complete their Certificate in Business.

Through the extended partnership with Game Plan, Smith will continue to support Game Plan-eligible athletes – including Olympians and Paralympians – with business education along their career and competition journeys. This includes full tuition awards for Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs, Certificate in Business, and other Smith professional graduate master’s programs.

In addition, the partnership will provide eligible athletes with the opportunity to complete Queen’s Executive Education programs, and educational workshops led by Smith faculty on a variety of business topics including negotiation and leadership. Programs are offered in locations across Canada, some with flexible learning options that can accommodate athletes who are training.

As part of this renewed commitment to supporting the sport community in Canada, Smith will provide one full tuition award for eligible National Sport Organization employees annually, beginning in 2025. This partnership will also continue to support the COC by delivering enhanced business leadership training to the COC and National Sport Organization staff via Custom Executive Education courses and a select number of seats for Queen’s Executive Education programs.

Smith and the COC will also work together to enhance educational opportunities for Smith students, via real-world case studies and COC internship opportunities through Smith’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Indigenization Internship Program.

QUOTES

“We’re thrilled to extend this partnership with the Smith School of Business. Over the past eight years, Smith has been such an important supporter of Team Canada, offering invaluable opportunities for athletes and the entire sport community. We believe that like sport, education should be safe, inclusive and barrier-free, and we’re grateful to partners like Smith School of Business  that share those values.”

– Jacqueline Ryan, Chief Brand and Commercial Officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee, and CEO of the Canadian Olympic Foundation

“We are delighted to see this partnership renewal with Smith School of Business. This collaboration continues to provide our high performance athletes with the exceptional educational support they need to excel both on and off the field of play, empowering them to reach their full potential.”

– Cara Button, Senior Manager, Game Plan

“Team Canada’s athletes thrive in Smith’s dynamic learning environment and inspire their peers to do the same. The COC and Game Plan’s commitment to empower personal growth, work with purpose and principle, and promote equity and diversity aligns with the way business works today. We are proud to be continuing this valuable partnership as we train the business leaders of today and tomorrow.”

– Wanda Costen, Dean, Smith School of Business

“After I retired from professional soccer and the women’s national team, I knew I wanted to be involved in the business side of sport, and in building the women’s professional game in Canada. Being one of the Game Plan athletes selected to take the Smith EMBA National Program was one of the best, and most impactful decisions of my life. In addition to learning from the incredible curriculum and professors, I met my business partner and co-founder of Project 8 through the program. Smith School of Business through its partnership with the COC and Game Plan, literally set me on the trajectory I am on now, and made the push to build a women’s professional soccer league in Canada possible.”

– Diana Matheson, two-time Olympian and founder, Northern Super League

“After finishing my undergrad, I changed career paths entirely, from physical education to working in the film industry, and didn’t see how continued education would benefit me. Game Plan not only showed me what was available to me, but they guided me into education that truly moved me forward in my career. I completed a Masters in Management Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Smith School of Business and the network it opened up for me is worth its weight in gold. I’ve learned extremely valuable lessons beyond what can be taught in a classroom and met so many phenomenal people that have all pushed and guided me to building my business. The experience with Game Plan and Smith has been valuable beyond measure and still continues to pay dividends.”

– Curtis Halladay, Paralympic Bronze medallist

About Smith School of Business
Smith School of Business at Queen’s University is renowned for its excellence, innovation, and leadership in business education. From establishing the first undergraduate business degree over a century ago to creating groundbreaking programs and courses in emerging areas, Smith is at the forefront of preparing students for the business marketplace. In addition to its rich tradition of academic and teaching excellence, Smith is known for delivering an outstanding learning and development experience. Personal attention, individual and team coaching, opportunities for specialization and a deep commitment to student success characterize the Smith experience. To learn more visit: smithqueens.com.

About Game Plan
Game Plan is a world-leading program which supports the well-being and performance of thousands of eligible athletes along each stage of their Olympic and Paralympic journey. Athletes receive one-on-one support from expert Advisors in communities across Canada. This support helps them develop personalized strategies for their individual futures on and off the field of play, resulting in happier and healthier athletes who perform better in sport and life. Game Plan is a collaboration between the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), Sport Canada and the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network (COPSIN).

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Peter Saltsman
Senior Manager, Public Relations
Canadian Olympic Committee
C: 647-382-6986
E: [email protected]

Julia Lefebvre
Associate Director, Communications & Digital Engagement
Smith School of Business, Queen’s University
C: 613.305.4437
E: [email protected]

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