Paralympic “Golden Girl” is changing the game for sport in British Columbia

Mar 25, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2014
 

Paralympic “Golden Girl” is changing the game for sport in British Columbia
Lauren Woolstencroft invites athletes and leaders to join her in the BC-wide initiative

Vancouver, BC – The first Paralympian to ever win five gold medals for Canada at a single Winter Paralympic Games, BC’s “Golden Girl” Lauren Woolstencroft is making the transition from champion in sport on the mountain to ambassador of sport at the leadership table.

Part of the team behind changing the future of sport in BC, Woolstencroft sits on the Board of Directors for viaSport British Columbia, the new provincial organization tasked to create a more effective, unified sport sector by driving increased participation in sport and physical activity. She’s currently recruiting other leaders to join her in the BC-wide initiative.

“Now that I’ve retired from high performance competition, sitting on the viaSport Board of Directors has been a fulfilling role for me because I’m able to stay connected to sport,” says Woolstencroft. “I’m excited to extend the opportunity to join the viaSport leadership team as we enter our second year of operation and continue to grow. We’re ready to dive into new ideas and strategies for developing sport in BC and looking for new talent to join us.”

Recruitment is now underway for up to nine (9) leaders for the viaSport Board of Directors, eight to twelve (8 – 12) members for the Sport Leadership Committee and a Chief Executive Officer. Woolstencroft says they are looking for diverse and passionate applicants with strong skill sets from both within and outside of the sport sector, who share the belief in the power of sport as a force for positive change.

“The vision behind viaSport really hits home for me, which was one of the reasons I connected with the organization in their early days,” adds Woolstencroft. “The heart of their work is to increase opportunities to participate in sport or physical activity, no matter who you are, where you live or the challenges you face. Creating more equity in sport opens so many doors for possibilities in our province and I can’t wait to be part of that.”

A high-achiever from an early age, Woolstencroft was born missing both legs below the knee and her left arm below the elbow, none of which hampered her ability to grace the international stage winning 10 Paralympic medals, more than 80 world cup medals and eight world championship titles. Now transitioning from a life of vigorous competition to the day-to-day workforce as an electrical engineer, she is looking forward to playing a key role with viaSport in leading an unprecedented movement in changing how sport is delivered in BC.

Alongside Woolstencroft sits viaSport board chair Cathy Priestner Allinger, an Olympian, former coach, administrator and television broadcaster, and board member Sheila Bouman, Chief People and Performance Officer with PEER 1 Hosting and long-time community sport volunteer. For more information on the available viaSport leadership positions and the application process, see the application page on the viaSport website.

-30-

Media Contact:
Amanda Brkich
Manager, Communications – viaSport
E | AmandaB@viaSport.ca
T | 778.331.8657

*About Lauren Woolstencroft:
Known as the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games “Golden Girl,” Lauren Woolstencroft is a three- time Paralympic skier with eight gold, one silver, and one bronze medal. In 2010, Lauren became the first Canadian winter Paralympian to win five gold medals at a single Games. Lauren was also named Canada’s flag bearer for the 2010 Paralympic Games closing ceremonies. Like most Paralympic athletes, Lauren did not have the luxury of lucrative contracts and sponsorships to support her in pursuit of Paralympic gold. It has taken great dedication and passion to pursue both a career as an electrical engineer and as a world-class athlete.

Born missing both legs below the knee and her left arm below the elbow, the Calgary native joined BC Hydro as an electrical engineer after graduating from the University of Victoria, and was able to juggle a career in engineering while preparing for the Paralympics.

*Lauren is available for interviews upon request
 

About viaSport:
viaSport British Columbia is a not-for-profit organization established in 2011 for providing strategic leadership to sport in BC, and increasing levels of physical activity in all communities at every stage of life. A legacy organization of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, viaSport is leading a new, unified approach to sport delivery across the province in collaboration with partners across the sector.
Formed in partnership with the Province of BC and provincial sport sector, viaSport is shaping a new, more effective model for sport delivery and funding support which drives increased participation, powers sport excellence and promotes British Columbia as a sport hosting destination.

More info:
• viaSport fact sheet
• Web: www.viaSport.ca
• Twitter: @viaSport_