About Us

Our People

People are at the centre of what we do. Our staff provide best-in-class support for the athletes, coaches, and sport partners that we work with –constantly striving to elevate people and performances.

A group of CSIO staff posing for a photo.

Board of Directors

Ian Gordon
Chair
Ian Gordon
Chair

Ian Gordon recently retired as the Senior Vice President of Loblaw Brands Limited where he led the development and innovation behind some of Canada’s largest consumer brands; President’s Choice, no name and Life Brand. With the growing issue of plastic waste in the environment, Ian now leads Loblaw’s plastic reduction strategy, overseeing the company’s cross-functional steering committee. He brings a broad and unique perspective to the plastics challenge following senior sales and marketing roles at CPG companies, Unilever and International Multifoods, and as President of ACLC Advertising. He is a board member of Recycle BC, The Canada Plastics Pact, a member of the Strategic Advisory Board – University of Guelph Food From Thought research program, and a graduate of Queen’s University.

Phil Sanders
Treasurer
Phil Sanders
Treasurer

Phil Sanders holds a Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University and a Juris Doctorate from Osgoode Hall Law School. After playing hockey in Europe, Phil held a number of senior management positions in the Aerospace industry, before moving into the Financial sector where he is currently a Vice President and Investment Advisor with a major Canadian wealth management firm.

Anita Cormella
Director
Anita Cormella
Director

As Senior Director of Facilities Development at Tennis Canada, Anita leads facility development projects at both the grassroots and high-performance levels across the country. She has recently worked on the development of a world-class Atlantic Tennis Centre in Halifax, NS and is currently working on the development of a Pacific Tennis Centre in Burnaby, BC. At the grassroots level she leads a new national strategic initiative to increase the number of year-round covered tennis courts across the country to allow Canadians to play tennis in any community, any time of the year.

Prior to joining Tennis Canada, Anita was the Assistant Dean of Co-Curricular Physical Activity and Sport at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education.  Anita completed her Bachelor of Kinesiology at York University, her Bachelor of Education at University of Windsor and her Master of Education at University of Toronto. She has also sat on numerous federal/provincial sport committees and has held multiple sport development positions within the Government of Ontario including the Director of Sport and Recreation in the former Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport. With over two decades of sport and recreation experience, Anita has also been on the leadership team for multiple Canada Games Mission Teams, as well as Team Canada Mission Teams for Commonwealth and Paralympic Games.

Greg Westlake
Greg Westlake
Director
Greg Westlake
Greg Westlake
Director

Greg Westlake is a 4-Time Paralympic Medallist (Gold – 2006, Silver – 2018 and 2022, Bronze – 2014) and 5-Time Paralympian in Para Ice Hockey.

Westlake is a congenital bilateral below knee amputee, having had both legs amputated below the knee at age 18 months. The result of his feet being malformed from birth and never going to be fully functional.

He began playing para ice hockey with the Mississauga Cruisers in 2001 and made his debut in 2003 with Team Canada at age 17. Since joining Team Canada Westlake has been a major force on the squad ever since. He has played in eight IPC World Championships and five Paralympic Games.

In addition to para ice hockey, Westlake is developing a successful career as a broadcaster. He worked as a reporter for CBC at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. He currently co-hosts Beyond the Field on AMI with fellow Paralympian Travis Murao (Wheelchair Rugby).

Joseph Lo
Director
Joseph Lo
Director

Joseph is a partner in PwC’s Value Creation practice where he works with investors and portfolio companies through all stages of the deal lifecycle, applying an operator’s lens to create long term value.

Prior to joining PwC, Jo served as a private equity CEO in healthcare and consumer retail. Previously, he was an executive at BCE, where he spent a decade in senior roles in the Bell Business Markets and Field Services business units. Jo began his career at Kearney where he advised clients on matters of strategy and operational effectiveness.

Active in the community, he serves on the boards of Canadian Club Toronto, Harvard Business School Club of Toronto, Scarborough Health Network, Canadian Sport Institute Ontario and is a member of the Young Presidents Organization. In the winter season, Joseph continues to ply his passion as a CSIA and ACA certified ski professional, coaching athletes of all ages.

Joseph holds an HBA and MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University where he graduated with distinction and is also a graduate of the GMP program at Harvard Business School.

Marnie McBean, OC
Director
Marnie McBean, OC
Director

Marnie McBean is a three-time Olympic rowing champion, four-time Olympic medalist and was Team Canada’s Chef de Mission for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games. She has been inducted to Canada’s Olympic Hall of Fame (1994) and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (1997). Provincially, nationally and internationally, Marnie has been involved at the board level with variety of sport and activity programs promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, for over 25 years. For her work, she was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada (2013). Marnie continues this work as a speaker, mentor and writer.

Nancy J. Spotton
Director
Nancy J. Spotton
Director

After 20 years of leading high-performance teams in sport, entertainment & retail, Nancy embarked on a new journey, as an Executive Performance Coach. Nancy is now the leading expert in a new science of coaching, focused on data-powered personal and team connection. Working with the CEO of League, Nancy’s groundbreaking work in the technology start-up space helps leading entrepreneurs master the craft of catalyzing people to perform by cementing 3 meta leadership skills. Powered by data, Nancy helps companies hire, develop and scale better and faster than ever before.

Richard C. Powers
Director
Richard C. Powers
Director

After receiving his MBA and LLB from Queen’s University, Richard worked as a corporate lawyer for a national Canadian law firm. He later served as Corporate Counsel for Honda Canada Inc.

At the University of Toronto, Richard served as the Associate Dean of the Rotman School of Management where he was responsible for all full-time and part-time MBA programs as well as the Master of Finance Program. It was during this time that he began focusing his interests on governance-related matters.

An internationally recognized expert in both corporate and not-for-profit governance, Richard is the National Academic Director of The Directors Education Program (DEP) and the Not-For-Profit Governance Essentials Program (GEP) (in partnership with the Institute of Corporate Directors – ICD). Richard also serves as the Academic Director of the CUES Governance Programs in Canada. He also teaches in Rotman’s Executive MBA, OMNIUM, MBA and Executive Education Programs.

Richard has worked with numerous boards, associations and organizations in identifying, creating and developing best governance practices as well as assessing and achieving strategic and organizational goals. His work has taken him to over 20 countries.

He has been a director and committee member of over 30 organizations including Rugby Canada, Childhood Cancer Canada, St. Clement’s School, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Commonwealth Games Federation, and currently serves as President of Commonwealth Sport Canada. Richard currently serves as a Director of Pivotree Inc., a publicly-listed corporation and Spearhead Brewing Company. He also sits on the Board of the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre and the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario. He frequently comments on legal and governance matters in various media across Canada and the USA.

Spencer Orr
Director
Spencer Orr
Director

Spencer held a number of Senior Executive positions at Canada Goose with a focus on product strategy, design and development. Most recently acting as the President of Innovation Lab before departing to become an Independent Director and Advisor. Spencer holds a Masters of Business Administration from Ivey Business School at Western and a Honours Bachelor from Lakehead University.

Leadership Team

Debbie Low
President and Chief Executive Officer
Debbie Low
President and Chief Executive Officer

As President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario since November 2005, Debbie has established Ontario as a leader in high-performance sport in Canada. As a strategic thinker with a passion for sport, Debbie led the creation of Ontario’s first facility-based sport institute as a legacy of the Toronto 2015 Pan/Para Pan American Games. Debbie has successfully grown the organization from five full-time staff to over 50 full-time staff across three locations, delivering best-in-class programs and services to Ontario’s next generation of athletes and Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes and coaches.

Debbie’s leadership in the development and delivery of sport programs in Ontario includes her previous roles as Executive Director of Parasport Ontario and Director of Sport for Toronto’s 2008 Olympic Bid. In addition, Debbie worked for the Ontario Government in the former Ministry of Tourism and Recreation, working within the Multi-Sport Games unit.

The desire to empower Canadians who live with a disability led Debbie to roles as Team Canada’s Chef de Mission for the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games and Assistant Chef de Mission for the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. She strongly believes in the importance of volunteerism and has served on numerous boards and committees in leadership positions including: the Canadian Paralympic Committee; the Association of Sport Performance Centres; Ontario Sport Network; the International Paralympic Committee’s Games Committee; and as a Selection Committee member of the Toronto Sport Hall of Honour and the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame.

On three occasions, Debbie has been appointed to serve on the Government of Ontario’s Minister Advisory Sport Panels including as recent Co-Chair of the Minister’s COVID-19 Advisory Panel for Amateur Sport and Recreation.

Debbie is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal; and was previously named as one of the Top 20 Most Influential Women in Sport in Canada by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport.

David Chu
Director, Corporate Services
David Chu
Director, Corporate Services

David has been with CSIO since 2018 and oversees the Finance, Human Resource, IT, and Facility Operations of the organization. He brings over 17 years of experience in a leadership role, inspiring successful collaborative interdisciplinary teams, with a diversity of experience and expertise in back-of-house operations. David has led the Corporate Services department at several charities and non-profits, including the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, Goodwill Industries, and Housing Services Corporation. Prior to working at Housing Services, David was an Account Manager in Commercial Banking with HSBC, specializing in commercial lending to medium-sized businesses.

David holds a Master of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University, with a dual major in Marketing and Strategic Management, and a Bachelor of Commerce from the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, specializing in Finance.

Education:
Joseph L. Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto), BComm
Schulich School of Business (York University), MBA

James Brough
Director, Performance Pathways
James Brough
Director, Performance Pathways

As the Director, Performance Pathways at CSIO, James combines his business and high-performance acumen to deliver programs and pathway support to the Ontario sport sector in the areas of Athlete Development and High Performance Planning, Coach Education and Athlete Services.

James competed in an array of sports in his native Australia, including Field Hockey, Track and Field, Cricket, Surf Lifesaving and Swimming. During his studies at university, James held a coaching position at a Brisbane-based swim club. Helping his athletes excel and attain performance success provided James with the opportunity to coach internationally at the 2004 Open Water World Championships and lecture for FINA at the 2005 Talent Identification Project Ccamp in Bangkok. Working for and with Queensland Swimming and the Queensland Academy of Sport, James honed his high performance knowledge and experience.

After moving to Canada in 2005, James spent 13 years in the Canadian Swimming system before transitioning into the role of High Performance Athlete Development Advisor at the CSIO. In this role, he worked with sports targeted through the Ontario High Performance Sport Initiative to develop and improve their provincial high performance programming. After several years in this role, James moved into the role of Director, Performance Pathways at CSIO in 2020.

 

Education:
Queensland University of Technology, Australia – Bachelor of Business (BBus), Majors – Accounting & International Business

Professional Affiliations & Certifications:
National Coaching Certificate Program, Certified: Senior Coach – Level 3, Swimming

Ryan Atkison
Director, Performance Services
Ryan Atkison
Director, Performance Services

Ryan is currently the Director, Performance Services for CSIO. In this role, Ryan is accountable for the leadership of CSIO Performance Sciences, Research and Innovation staff, programs and services, providing best-in-class performance, health and research solutions to CSIO performance partners.

Ryan began working in Olympic sport in 2008 and has supported champions in freestyle skiing, snowboarding, and swimming. Most recently, Ryan worked with Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre-Ontario as a Biomechanist, Strength Coach, and Integrated Support Team Lead, helping develop the physical, technical, and tactical capabilities of multiple 2016 and 2020 Olympic medallists.

In addition to sport servicing roles, Ryan has been committed to the leadership and advancement of applied sport science in Canada. Ryan served as Biomechanics and Performance Analysis Lead for Own the Podium’s High Performance Advisory Council from 2016 to 2020, and during that time spearheaded the recognition of Data Science as a standalone discipline, contributed to the development of the High Performance Certification Program, and chaired the development and launch of the Canadian Performance Sciences Leadership Training Program known as LEAD.

Laura Albright
Senior Advisor, Communications & Marketing
Laura Albright
Senior Advisor, Communications & Marketing

Laura has been with Canadian Sport Institute Ontario since 2014. In her role at Senior Advisor, Communications & Marketing, Laura is responsible for overseeing the organization’s communications and social media strategy, website development, media relations, brand management, and event planning. She is a graduate of the Schulich School of Business at York University. Combining her business background with a passion for sports, Laura has worked in communications and marketing related roles in the provincial sports sector throughout her career. Prior to joining CSIO, Laura worked at Squash Ontario and Ontario Volleyball Association. Laura is an avid volunteer in the sport community and currently sits on Ontario Sport Network’s Marketing & Communications Committee. She was a member of Team Ontario’s Mission Staff for the 2017 Canada Summer Games and has held volunteer roles with KidSport Ontario and the Durham Region 2019 Ontario Parasport Games.

 

Education:
Schulich School of Business (York University), BBA

Sheldon Persad
Senior Advisor, Business Performance
Sheldon Persad
Senior Advisor, Business Performance

As Senior Advisor, Business Performance at CSIO, Sheldon leads the strategic planning of the organization and oversees strategic partnerships with external clientele. Sheldon has over 30 years of experience in business management, governance, facility oversight, corporate programming, and event planning. He is the co-founder of two different national organizations, and he feels privileged to have worked with the CSIO in different capacities for over 20 years.

Additionally, Sheldon has been a coach for close to 40 years, is certified through the NCCP in several different sports, and a former NCCP course facilitator and co-creator (triathlon). He works with athletes at all ends of the spectrum and continues to mentor practitioners from across the country. He has developed courses for coaches and taught at two different colleges for over 10 years. Sheldon is also an author, former radio and TV show segment host, and an award-winning conference presenter.

 

Professional Affiliations & Certifications: 

  • National Coaching Certification Program, Certified: NCCP Coach Boxing, Rugby, Hockey, Athletics
  • Canadian Strength and Conditioning Association, Co-Founder and Inaugural President
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association, Certified: CSCS
  • Canadian Institute of Stress and The Hans Selye Foundation, Certified: SWC
  • Certified Professional Trainers Network, Certified: CPTN – Award of Merit
  • Sport Scientist Canada, Certified: HP Certified Leader

Education:
McMaster University, BPE
University of Toronto, MSc

Steven Dilkas
MD, FRCPC, CSCN Dip (EMG), Dip Sport Med
Chief Medical Officer
Steven Dilkas
MD, FRCPC, CSCN Dip (EMG), Dip Sport Med Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Dilkas is a Physiatrist and Sport and Exercise Medicine Physician based in Toronto. He is the Chief Medical Officer of the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, where he cares for Olympic and Paralympic athletes. He also practices at West Park Healthcare Centre, where he specializes in Amputee and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation. Dr. Dilkas is a member of the Own the Podium Sport Medicine Advisory Committee and Chair of the Health Monitoring Task Group. He is the team physician for Wheelchair Basketball Canada and the Swimming Canada High Performance Centre in Ontario. Dr. Dilkas was previously the team physician for the National Wheelchair Curling Team. He is also an international level classifier in the sport of Wheelchair Rugby. Dr. Dilkas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Toronto where he is actively involved in clinical teaching and rehabilitation research.

CSIO Staff

Alice Sobiesiak
Sport Therapy Apprentice
Aly Hodgins
Physiotherapist
Amy Stefaniuk
Athletic Therapist
Andrew Cochran
Strength & Conditioning Coach / IST Lead - Volleyball Canada (Beach)
Bruna Mavignier
Jr. Physical Preparation Coach
Charlotte Chase
Coordinator, Communications and Business Performance
Chloe Werle
Physical Performance Manager, Women's Excel Program
Chris Cooper
Jr. Sport Scientist (Apprentice)
Christine Camozzi
Strength & Conditioning Coach
Christine St. Clair
Sport Nutritionist
Colby Hathaway
Strength & Conditioning Coach
David Chu
Director, Corporate Services
David Chu
Director, Corporate Services

David has been with CSIO since 2018 and oversees the Finance, Human Resource, IT, and Facility Operations of the organization. He brings over 17 years of experience in a leadership role, inspiring successful collaborative interdisciplinary teams, with a diversity of experience and expertise in back-of-house operations. David has led the Corporate Services department at several charities and non-profits, including the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, Goodwill Industries, and Housing Services Corporation. Prior to working at Housing Services, David was an Account Manager in Commercial Banking with HSBC, specializing in commercial lending to medium-sized businesses.

David holds a Master of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University, with a dual major in Marketing and Strategic Management, and a Bachelor of Commerce from the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, specializing in Finance.

Education:
Joseph L. Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto), BComm
Schulich School of Business (York University), MBA

Debbie Low
President and Chief Executive Officer
Debbie Low
President and Chief Executive Officer

As President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario since November 2005, Debbie has established Ontario as a leader in high-performance sport in Canada. As a strategic thinker with a passion for sport, Debbie led the creation of Ontario’s first facility-based sport institute as a legacy of the Toronto 2015 Pan/Para Pan American Games. Debbie has successfully grown the organization from five full-time staff to over 50 full-time staff across three locations, delivering best-in-class programs and services to Ontario’s next generation of athletes and Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes and coaches.

Debbie’s leadership in the development and delivery of sport programs in Ontario includes her previous roles as Executive Director of Parasport Ontario and Director of Sport for Toronto’s 2008 Olympic Bid. In addition, Debbie worked for the Ontario Government in the former Ministry of Tourism and Recreation, working within the Multi-Sport Games unit.

The desire to empower Canadians who live with a disability led Debbie to roles as Team Canada’s Chef de Mission for the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games and Assistant Chef de Mission for the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. She strongly believes in the importance of volunteerism and has served on numerous boards and committees in leadership positions including: the Canadian Paralympic Committee; the Association of Sport Performance Centres; Ontario Sport Network; the International Paralympic Committee’s Games Committee; and as a Selection Committee member of the Toronto Sport Hall of Honour and the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame.

On three occasions, Debbie has been appointed to serve on the Government of Ontario’s Minister Advisory Sport Panels including as recent Co-Chair of the Minister’s COVID-19 Advisory Panel for Amateur Sport and Recreation.

Debbie is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal; and was previously named as one of the Top 20 Most Influential Women in Sport in Canada by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport.

Diane Pinchak
Manager, Human Resources
Dominique Bosshart
Game Plan Advisor
Elton Fernandes
Sport Scientist
Gary McGrath
Strength & Conditioning Coach
Greg Lewandowski
Strength & Conditioning Coach
Haginaa Sivapunniyan
Coordinator, Performance Sciences, Research & Innovation
Heather Wheeler
Heather Wheeler
Clinical Psychologist
James Brough
Director, Performance Pathways
James Brough
Director, Performance Pathways

As the Director, Performance Pathways at CSIO, James combines his business and high-performance acumen to deliver programs and pathway support to the Ontario sport sector in the areas of Athlete Development and High Performance Planning, Coach Education and Athlete Services.

James competed in an array of sports in his native Australia, including Field Hockey, Track and Field, Cricket, Surf Lifesaving and Swimming. During his studies at university, James held a coaching position at a Brisbane-based swim club. Helping his athletes excel and attain performance success provided James with the opportunity to coach internationally at the 2004 Open Water World Championships and lecture for FINA at the 2005 Talent Identification Project Ccamp in Bangkok. Working for and with Queensland Swimming and the Queensland Academy of Sport, James honed his high performance knowledge and experience.

After moving to Canada in 2005, James spent 13 years in the Canadian Swimming system before transitioning into the role of High Performance Athlete Development Advisor at the CSIO. In this role, he worked with sports targeted through the Ontario High Performance Sport Initiative to develop and improve their provincial high performance programming. After several years in this role, James moved into the role of Director, Performance Pathways at CSIO in 2020.

 

Education:
Queensland University of Technology, Australia – Bachelor of Business (BBus), Majors – Accounting & International Business

Professional Affiliations & Certifications:
National Coaching Certificate Program, Certified: Senior Coach – Level 3, Swimming

Jonathan Lasnier
Mental Performance Consultant
Kate Perry
Manager, Performance Solutions
Kayla Bugeya Miller
Jr. Sport Scientist & Lab Coordinator
Kevin Iwasa-Madge
Sport Nutritionist
Kim Coros
MD, MSc.CH, FRCPC, Dip. Sport Med.
Sport Physician
Kolton Kowalchuk
Performance Pathway Advisor
Krista McHardy
Athletic Therapist
Laura Albright
Senior Advisor, Communications & Marketing
Laura Albright
Senior Advisor, Communications & Marketing

Laura has been with Canadian Sport Institute Ontario since 2014. In her role at Senior Advisor, Communications & Marketing, Laura is responsible for overseeing the organization’s communications and social media strategy, website development, media relations, brand management, and event planning. She is a graduate of the Schulich School of Business at York University. Combining her business background with a passion for sports, Laura has worked in communications and marketing related roles in the provincial sports sector throughout her career. Prior to joining CSIO, Laura worked at Squash Ontario and Ontario Volleyball Association. Laura is an avid volunteer in the sport community and currently sits on Ontario Sport Network’s Marketing & Communications Committee. She was a member of Team Ontario’s Mission Staff for the 2017 Canada Summer Games and has held volunteer roles with KidSport Ontario and the Durham Region 2019 Ontario Parasport Games.

 

Education:
Schulich School of Business (York University), BBA

Lauren Buschmann
Sport Scientist / IST Manager Women’s Basketball
Lindsay Musalem
Sport Biomechanist
Luke Vanderheyden
Strength & Conditioning Coach
Mahua Gulfam
Coordinator, Human Resources
Mark Barker
Manager, IT
Mary Karamitos
Manager, Operations
Meena Sharif
Strength & Conditioning Coach
Meghan Buttle
Manager, Health Solutions 
Melissa Lacroix
Physiologist
Murray McCullough
Manager, Performance Pathways
Nicole Jenicek
Strength & Conditioning Coach
Nicole Springle
Sport Nutritionist
Nilo Soltani
Manager, Finance
Ollie Armstrong
Lead, Physiology (Cycling)
Remo Bucci
Registered Massage Therapist
Ryan Atkison
Director, Performance Services
Ryan Atkison
Director, Performance Services

Ryan is currently the Director, Performance Services for CSIO. In this role, Ryan is accountable for the leadership of CSIO Performance Sciences, Research and Innovation staff, programs and services, providing best-in-class performance, health and research solutions to CSIO performance partners.

Ryan began working in Olympic sport in 2008 and has supported champions in freestyle skiing, snowboarding, and swimming. Most recently, Ryan worked with Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre-Ontario as a Biomechanist, Strength Coach, and Integrated Support Team Lead, helping develop the physical, technical, and tactical capabilities of multiple 2016 and 2020 Olympic medallists.

In addition to sport servicing roles, Ryan has been committed to the leadership and advancement of applied sport science in Canada. Ryan served as Biomechanics and Performance Analysis Lead for Own the Podium’s High Performance Advisory Council from 2016 to 2020, and during that time spearheaded the recognition of Data Science as a standalone discipline, contributed to the development of the High Performance Certification Program, and chaired the development and launch of the Canadian Performance Sciences Leadership Training Program known as LEAD.

Sari Kraft
MD, CCFP(SEM), Dip. Sport Med
Sport Physician
Sheldon Persad
Senior Advisor, Business Performance
Sheldon Persad
Senior Advisor, Business Performance

As Senior Advisor, Business Performance at CSIO, Sheldon leads the strategic planning of the organization and oversees strategic partnerships with external clientele. Sheldon has over 30 years of experience in business management, governance, facility oversight, corporate programming, and event planning. He is the co-founder of two different national organizations, and he feels privileged to have worked with the CSIO in different capacities for over 20 years.

Additionally, Sheldon has been a coach for close to 40 years, is certified through the NCCP in several different sports, and a former NCCP course facilitator and co-creator (triathlon). He works with athletes at all ends of the spectrum and continues to mentor practitioners from across the country. He has developed courses for coaches and taught at two different colleges for over 10 years. Sheldon is also an author, former radio and TV show segment host, and an award-winning conference presenter.

 

Professional Affiliations & Certifications: 

  • National Coaching Certification Program, Certified: NCCP Coach Boxing, Rugby, Hockey, Athletics
  • Canadian Strength and Conditioning Association, Co-Founder and Inaugural President
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association, Certified: CSCS
  • Canadian Institute of Stress and The Hans Selye Foundation, Certified: SWC
  • Certified Professional Trainers Network, Certified: CPTN – Award of Merit
  • Sport Scientist Canada, Certified: HP Certified Leader

Education:
McMaster University, BPE
University of Toronto, MSc

Shirley Wong
Medical Coordinator
Shirly Tumandao
Accounting Clerk
Stephen McMullan
Strength & Conditioning Coach
Steven Dilkas
MD, FRCPC, CSCN Dip (EMG), Dip Sport Med
Chief Medical Officer
Steven Dilkas
MD, FRCPC, CSCN Dip (EMG), Dip Sport Med Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Dilkas is a Physiatrist and Sport and Exercise Medicine Physician based in Toronto. He is the Chief Medical Officer of the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, where he cares for Olympic and Paralympic athletes. He also practices at West Park Healthcare Centre, where he specializes in Amputee and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation. Dr. Dilkas is a member of the Own the Podium Sport Medicine Advisory Committee and Chair of the Health Monitoring Task Group. He is the team physician for Wheelchair Basketball Canada and the Swimming Canada High Performance Centre in Ontario. Dr. Dilkas was previously the team physician for the National Wheelchair Curling Team. He is also an international level classifier in the sport of Wheelchair Rugby. Dr. Dilkas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Toronto where he is actively involved in clinical teaching and rehabilitation research.

Will George
Sport Biomechanist

CSIO Quick Contacts

Dominique Bosshart
Game Plan Inquiries
Haginaa Sivapunniyan
Athlete Services Inquiries
Laura Albright
Media Inquiry
Shirley Wong
Sport Medicine Inquiries

Athlete Council

Steven Takahashi
Athlete Council Chair
Steven Takahashi
Athlete Council Chair

Steven Takahashi is the President of the CSIO Athlete Council and a recently retired member of the Canadian national wrestling team. He has represented Canada at numerous international events over the past 10 years. Most recently, in 2018 he won silver at the Commonwealth Games (AUS), in 2017, he won gold at the Francophone Games (CIV), and in 2016, he won bronze at the World University Championships (TUR). Steven’s goal was to represent Canada at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, however a neck injury forced him into early retirement. This presented him with a new future in sport and he has since moved into a coaching career. He is currently an assistant coach at Western University, helps with the London Western Wrestling Club, and coaches at the high school at which he works.

Angela Whyte
Athlete Council Member
Megan Farrell
Athlete Council Member
Megan Farrell
Athlete Council Member

Megan Farrell is a member of the Canadian National Snowboard Team and competed at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games in Parallel Giant Slalom. Inspired by her grandparents and parents, all avid skiers, Megan began skiing at a young age but switched to snowboarding at four years old. For the next ten years, she continued to compete in USASA Nationals. At the age of 16, she qualified for her first FIS Snowboard Junior World Championship and by 18, she was selected for the Canadian National Team. Megan completed her BScH at Queen’s University in 4 years while claiming the North American Overall title. She is a three-time North American Cup Overall Winner and her career-best on the World Cup tour is 2nd at World Cup finals in 2022. Megan has also competed in three World Championships; In 2021, she finished 4th and 8th.

Michelle Long
Athlete Council Member
Michelle Long
Athlete Council Member

Michelle Long has been figure skating for over 25 years but was considered a late bloomer as a competitor. At the age of 22, Michelle accomplished her goal of competing at the National Championships, and competed at the 2015 Canadian Tire National Championship, where she not only qualified but placed 7th. She most recently placed 4th at the 2022 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships.  Over the course of her skating career, Michelle has proudly represented Canada at international competitions. notably competing at the 2018 ISU Four Continent Championships, in Taipei City.

Throughout her ongoing career, Michelle is fortunate to have learned from some of Canada’s top coaches and skaters, both on and off the ice. She is a Skate Canada NCCP provincial coach and choreographer with over 10 years of experience. Michelle is also a certified Personal Training Specialist and teaches group fitness classes to skaters of all ages and abilities. Michelle is very involved in her skating community, and loves to perform in ice shows and teach at seminars.

In the Fall of 2022, Michelle will be starting a Master’s program at York University in Toronto, Ontario to study Sport Psychology. She is passionate about helping the future generation of athletes.

Rio Kanda Kovac
Athlete Council Member
Rio Kanda Kovac
Athlete Council Member

Rio Kanda Kovac is one of the youngest-ever members of the Canadian national Wheelchair Rugby team. Rio’s first introduction to wheelchair rugby was at the 2015 Toronto Para-Pan Am Games, when they were just 12 years old. Rio was born with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorder that causes motor and sensory neuropathy. As a child, Rio has always dreamt of competing in the Paralympics and when they were 14, they purchased their first wheelchair rugby chair. In September 2018, Rio was invited by Team Canada Assistant Coach Dave Willsie to train with Team Canada in Misawa, Japan. Rio has not looked back. They have since moved back to Toronto and have been with the team for the past three years. Off the court, Rio helped the rebranded World Wheelchair Rugby (WWR) with their debut trailer in 2021.

Where Next?

Who We Are

CSIO is a best-in-class sport institute that strives to elevate people and performances in the pursuit of building champions. We are committed to working synergistically with our p...

Our Facilities

Our best-in-class facilities provide Ontario and Canadian high performance athletes with access to premier daily training environments and support from CSIO’s team of practitione...

Our Partners

CSIO is proud to work with all of our partners – it is because of their support that we can continue to elevate people and performances.