Posted by Editor on 03/24/07
Changes at the CCA
The CCA has instituted some significant staffing changes to meet budgetary shortfalls, including the planned departure of National Mountain Bike coach Michel Leblanc and National Paralympic coach Stephen Burke. The text of the release is below our comments.
We reached CCA Director-General Lorraine Lafreniere in Winnipeg this evening, where she explained that "we are protecting High Performance programs. As you know, there has been a reduction in Podium (Olympic) funding, so we had to make some difficult decisions. We have had five coaches and we can't afford all those salaries ... it is all related to funding."
"The CCA has had quite a bit of growth - maybe it was a bit too rapid. So we are making some changes at the office. But I think we are do some good things."
Lafreniere explained that Houshang Amri will remain as the national coach based at the western national training centre in Victoria, while Vincent Jourdain will be based at an eastern base (anchored around Bromont). Leblanc and Burke will remain with the CCA until June, but Lafreniere "we hope to keep Michel and Stephen engaged on a redefined role if possible."
Other changes see Marketing Director Kim Sebrango leaving (for personal reasons, unrelated to budgetary concerns) as well as Chris Dodson (Finance). Brett Stewart will move to Director of Finance and Administration (from Domestic Programs), Remi Berube will remain as Competitions Coordinator and High Performance will be essentially untouched, with Kris Westwood as Director of HP Programs and Sean O'Donnell as Manager.
The COC pointed out in their post-budget comments that they were disappointed with the lack of funding for summer sports, and these changes reflect a sad reality for Canadian sports.
Changes to CCA Coaching Structure
As raised at last falls' AGM, the CCA projected revenue targets were not met for the fiscal year. We therefore decided to put in place a restructuring plan to immediately address the situation in order to protect program funds for national team athletes.
Earlier this month, three administrative staff positions at the CCA office were reduced as part of this restructuring. This has been followed up this week with a reduction in coaching staff. Regrettably, this has meant ending the contracts of Mountain Bike coach Michel Leblanc and Para-cycle coach Stephen Burke by the end of June.
Continued involvement of these coaches in some aspects of CCA programs, at least during a transition period, is under discussion. Details of this will be available shortly.
It is important to underline that these changes are not due to any lack of commitment or performance on the part of these coaches: the CCA is extremely grateful for the level of dedication and professionalism Michel and Stephen have demonstrated throughout their time with the national program.
With the reduction in the number of coaches, the structure for national team programs has been updated. Responsibility for Mountain bike, track, road and Para-cycle athletes is now shared between two National coaches, one based in the west and the other in the east. The intent of this change is to ensure each athlete has access to a coach and support services in his or her region of the country. Tanya Dubnicoff remains as national BMX coach.
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