I remember when I won my first world title in 2003, many reporters asked me how I liked being a “role model”. My response: Who me? I was about to turn 23 and I had no clue such a title would come with being a high profile athlete. As I’ve become more seasoned and mature I realize the importance of using my platform to give back, and always believing I can make a difference.
In recent years I’ve had the opportunity to partner with a few wonderful and giving organizations, as well as be in a position to represent the voices of my peers.
Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) – Athlete Council Member 2008
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics I was elected to the COC Athletes Council for a four year term. The council represents high performance athletes in Canada and is an advisory council to the COC. As members we identify issues and present recommendations directly to the COC.
Athletics Canada Athlete Council (AC) – Sprints, Hurdles Athlete Rep 2009
The role of the AC Athlete Council’s role is to represent the concerns of all track and field athletes in Canada. To express ideas, generate suggestions and make sure that collective voice is heard by Athletics Canada. I am the representative for sprints and hurdles one of the eight event groups.
Right To Play Athlete Ambassador 2007
Right To Play is the leading international humanitarian and development organization using the transformative power of sport and play to build essential skills in children and thereby drive social change in communities affected by war, poverty and disease. Each week, more than 700,000 children take part in regular sport and play activities and a combined total of more than 1 million children attend regular programming and special sports events and festivals.
During my trip to Mali with Right To Play in October 2010 I saw first hand the joy, self esteem and enthusiasm these children experience. As an ambassador I work to make others aware of Right To Play’s message and hopefully inspire these children to go after their own dreams.
RBC After School Programs Supporter 2004
Since 1999 RBC has been a supporter of after school programs, these programs provide structured learning, play and social interaction using art, sport and music to name a few. Since 2004 I have had the pleasure of attending many of the programs RBC supports. I share my own experiences as a youth, though the best part for me is when I’m not talking but simply interacting with the kids and listening to their own stories.
UNA-Canada Sport in a Box Athlete Advocate 2005
The United Nations declared the year 2005 a year devoted to the power of physical activity and sport. That same year the United Nations Association in Canada began its sport- in-a box initiative to honor that legacy. Youth fill boxes with items that reflect their own individual ideas and cultural influences on what sport and physical activity mean. The boxes become a symbol of health and fitness, and are then exchanged with a partnering school or community. As an ambassador I have spoken about the merits of this engaging and interactive program, sharing my thoughts on why it is a powerful, relevant tool for communities everywhere.
Athletics Canada’s Run Jump Throw Supporter 2006
Run Jump Throw (RJT) is a fun program that teaches children the fundamentals of physical activity, it promotes an active lifestyle early in their lives. Children who learn fundamental running, jumping and throwing movement skills through track and field acquire a strong foundation for success in all other sports and physical activities to help prepare them for a lifetime of excellence and diversity in active living.
As a veteran member of Athletics Canada it is my passion to pass on the lessons and opportunities I have learned through sport and activity with kids right here at home. Since Athletics Canada offers the program to schools, clubs and communities across Canada I have had the pleasure of participating in many RJT days and promoting our joint message of a physical active lifestyle.