Canadian Paralympic Committee Welcomes Catherine Gosselin-Després as new Executive Director of Sport

OTTAWA, Oct. 15, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Paralympic Committee is proud to announce that Catherine Gosselin-Després will lead the organization's Sport Department as Executive Director, Sport.

"We are truly excited to welcome Catherine to the CPC leadership team," said Karen O'Neill, Chief Executive Officer for the Canadian Paralympic Committee. "Catherine has a strong track record as a sport technical leader within the Canadian sport community and is an outstanding choice to build on the success of the CPC."

In her new role Catherine will be responsible for overseeing CPC's sport department and focus on key areas such as delivery of Games, high performance programs as well as athlete recruitment, development and retention.

"Her strong leadership skills, strategic thinking, and reputation within the Canadian sport system mixed with her energetic and passionate personality will propel the CPC into a new and exciting era," adds O'Neill.

As CEO of Synchro Canada, Catherine Gosselin-Després was instrumental in leading the organization through a number of successful initiatives and necessary transformational changes. She successfully led sport technical and administrative personnel in the creation and implementation of a new strategic plan for the organization.

"Catherine is an outstanding talent who rapidly became a successful leader in her career," said Mario Welsh, President of Synchro Canada. "Since joining Synchro Canada in 2005, her contributions for both International and National areas have been exceptional.  She has succeeded the accomplishment of the centralization of our National team, as we know it today, and the structure of our National competitions is noteworthy."

Prior to joining Synchro Canada, Catherine worked at CanoeKayak Canada as Program Coordinator where she was responsible for developing and implementing the very successful Paddle All initiative for people with a disability at the grassroots level which resulted later in a great advocacy effort to have canoe and kayak included in the Paralympic Games program.

"Leadership is a critical resource Canada's athletes require in order to position our country as a world-leader in Paralympic sport," said Anne Merklinger, chief executive officer, Own the Podium. "Catherine is a proven performer who knows what it takes to develop successful high-performance sport programs in Canada.  Her passion and experience will be an asset to our Paralympic program."

Gosselin-Després is set to start on Monday, November 4, 2013.

"I'm very excited about joining the CPC and leading a very talented and dedicated group of individuals," said Gosselin-Després. "The CPC has laid such a great foundation through the leadership of Rob Needham (former Executive Director of Sport) and I'm looking forward to working with our sport community to continue building a vibrant and sustainable parasport system."

About the Canadian Paralympic Committee
The Canadian Paralympic Committee is a non-profit, private organization with 25 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic Movement. The Canadian Paralympic Committee's vision is to be the world's leading Paralympic nation. Its mission is to lead the development of a sustainable Paralympic sport system in Canada to enable athletes to reach the podium at the Paralympic Games. By supporting Canadian high performance athletes with a disability and promoting their success, the Canadian Paralympic Committee inspires all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organizations. For more information, visit www.paralympic.ca

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BACKGROUNDER: CATHERINE GOSSELIN-DESPRÉS

Since 2005 Catherine Gosselin-Després has been instrumental in leading Synchro Canada through a number of successful initiatives and necessary transformational changes in different leadership roles such as Chief Operating Officer and CEO by providing strong leadership to her team of staff, valued volunteers, coaches, officials and athletes.

She also played different roles in High Performance as she led twice the high-performance portfolio within Synchro Canada and was Team Leader at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Catherine also participated as Head of Delegation and Team Leader at many World Aquatics Championships as well as other FINA events where Canada competed. Catherine was a Team Services Officer on the Canadian Mission Team at 2007 Pan American Games in Rio and a Family and Friends Coordinator for Synchro at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Catherine was Program Coordinator with Canoe Kayak Canada (2002 to 2005) and was involved in starting the Paddle All Initiative at the grassroots level which resulted later in a great advocacy effort to have canoe and kayak included in the Paralympic program.

In her career Catherine has also been involved with the Canadian Olympic Committee as a member of the session for Synchro and is currently a member of the Outreach and Education Committee. In 2007, Catherine was selected to represent Canada at the International Olympic Academy in Olympia, Greece.

Originally from Quebec City, she has a Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology specialized in high performance sport from Laval University which she also completed through an exchange program with the Université Libre de Bruxelles. She also has a Masters degree in Sport Management from University of Ottawa.

She is fully bilingual in both Canada's official languages and efficient in Spanish. These are the words best describing Catherine: Energetic, passionate, loyal, creative, team player and a leader by example. She is also committed to her community and has been involved in a number of volunteer opportunities as well as giving back to her universities by supporting up and coming students and future sport leaders.

SOURCE Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)

Image with caption: "The Canadian Paralympic Committee is proud to announce that Catherine Gosselin-Després will lead the organization's Sport Department as Executive Director, Sport. (CNW Group/Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131015_C9926_PHOTO_EN_32031.jpg



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