The 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games were memorable for several reasons: seeing our athletes perform at home, experiencing the excitement up-close, not to mention the Canadian domination of all competitions (14 gold medals in 9 of the 15 disciplines).
The Vancouver Games were also an opportunity to analyze the athletes' preparation for the Games, their performance and their subsequent planning. What happens to athletes after the Olympic Games? What resources are available to them? Are they supported enough to take on the challenges of a new life? The answers to these questions were presented in the document Own The Podium – 2010 Olympic Preparation and Post Games Feedback Report, written by Dr. Kirsten Barnes (ANP). Two main recommendations emerge from this report: the importance for athletes to find a better balance between life and high-performance sports and their need of support for their athletic retirement. Inspired by these findings, proven international practices, extensive feedback from active and retired athletes, as well as identified gaps within service offerings, many recommendations have been made for the implementation of a world-class program to cater to the unique transition needs of Canadian athletes.
This is how, in a collaboration between the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network (COPSI Network) and Sport Canada, the Canadian program Game Plan (powered by Deloitte) came to light in 2015. Focused on the holistic well-being of athletes, the program provides support services through five pillars: career, education, health, skill development and networking.
Through its sports medicine and sports science services, as well as its facilities across the country, the COPSI Network benefits from its close proximity to all of Canada's carded athletes. Adding Game Plan to the existing service offering allows COPSI Network members to broaden their services of personal support to athletes and helps ensure that all components of the athletes’ performance are covered.
Nine Game plan advisors, all across the COPSI Network share the same goal: support athletes in their personal development and in managing a better life balance. Their responsibilities include informing athletes of the various possibilities available to them and helping them discover options they might have not considered. For example, they can help them develop an academic plan that is compatible with their sporting career, support them in setting personal and professional goals, or making decisions.
When it comes to sports performance, athletes are surrounded by a team of professionals to ensure that all performance components are taken into account. The goal of Game Plan is to help athletes manage everything surrounding their sports performance. This way, they can focus on their sports goals while knowing that their personal and professional goals are also looked after.
For more information on Game Plan | https://mygameplan.ca |
Written By: Institut national du sport du Québec for the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network