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Swimming Canada has brought in J.B. Lavoie to lead the Paralympic program on an interim basis

Swimming Canada has brought in J.B. Lavoie to lead the Paralympic program on an interim basis

Courtesy: Swimming Canada

Swimming Canada welcomes an experienced Canadian athlete leader to guide its Paralympic program over the coming year.

J.B. Lavoie He will join the High Performance Leadership Team on May 1 in the role of Interim Head Coach and Program Leader for the Paralympic Program.

Lavoie served as Wheelchair Rugby Canada's High Performance Director from 2020 until earlier this year. He was responsible for planning and implementing the High Performance Programme, increasing targeted High Performance funding and driving Wheelchair Rugby to be one of only three team sports to be designated as the primary OTP sport for the quadrennial Paris 2024 Championships. He is experienced in multiple sports including WRC team captain roles at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and Santiago 2023 Parapan American Games.

“The opportunity to join Swimming Canada and the Paralympic program is out of this world. Swimming Canada and its Paralympic program are recognized as a leader in high-performance sport programming in Canada and the world,” said Lavoie. “I am humbled, grateful and excited.”

Lavoie will lead the program through at least next spring, and his first month will include time working alongside outgoing Assistant Director of the Paralympic Program, Wayne Lomas, who will conclude his role on May 31. Both will participate in the Olympic and Paralympic trials. Bill presented it from May 13 to 19 in Montreal, along with other key program staff.

“JB’s appointment will allow for a smooth transition of his leadership from Wayne,” said Director of High Performance and National Coach John Atkinson. “The most important factor is that all athletes will continue to implement the good plans they made at the trials, from the trials to the games. This is a very positive situation and we have taken it into account at the forefront of all our plans.

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Lavoie was previously a sports advisor to high-performance summer teams with Own the Podium from 2011 to 2020. He led Canada's team sports strategy which saw Canada increase the number of teams qualifying for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in two consecutive four-year periods. Provide advice and assistance to national sports organizations in developing and implementing high-performance plans aimed at providing quality

Training and competition environments, identifying gaps and prioritizing areas of focus.

“JP brings a tremendous amount of experience to this role,” said Susan Pullins, acting CEO. “It will provide stability to the team leading up to and during the 2024 Paris Paralympics, allowing current Canadian Swimming staff to focus on their roles in preparing the team for Paris.”

In addition, he has experience working with other high-performance partners such as the Canadian Paralympic Committee, the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network (COPSIN), Sport Canada and Own the Podium. He will work with High Performance Director and National Coach John Atkinson to build the high performance Paralympic program plan for the quadrennial Los Angeles 2028 Games.

“JP will help us define and build what the structure of the Paralympic program will look like in the next four years,” Atkinson said. “We look forward to his leadership as we review the program and its needs toward the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games and beyond,” he added.

Vice President of Podium, SummerSport, Alex Davidson, added: “OTP looks forward to working closely with JP in this interim role to support and strengthen the Paralympic program and its people leading up to the 2024 Paralympic Games.”

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Lavoie's experience also includes serving on the Canadian High Performance Directors' Advisory Committee, serving for three years as a High Performance Advisor for the Canadian Coaching Association, and back coaching in alpine skiing and rugby.

“Swimming Canada has a great program. The opportunity to work alongside John and the Swimming Canada team, it's really interesting to work with them and do what I can do to complement Swimming Canada's success,” said Lavoie. “We're in the people business, from the athletes to the coaches. To the employees. How can we connect human first, build trust and relationships and move forward together?

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