Coaching Association of Canada

About the Conference

The Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif conference (#SLS17) is Canada’s conference for coaches, researchers, sport executives, and administrators. It consists of three full days of learning, professional development, and networking with the top minds and leaders of the Canadian sport, business, and education communities. 

  • Conference Objectives

    The conference will strengthen leadership in the Canadian sport system with the following objectives:

    - Educate delegates through collaborative and quality breakout sessions with tangible take-away skills;
    - Inspire delegates with topical and respected keynote speakers;
    - Unite colleagues from sport organizations and energize and broaden potential networks of interest; and
    - Recognize and celebrate Canada’s top coaches at the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership Awards Gala. 



    In 2017, many organizations from both public and private industries are being impacted by disruption. With accelerated advancements in technology, improved service-delivery models, and innovative marketing and communication tactics, coupled with the impressive rise of the millennial generation in our workforce, Canada is developing at an unprecedented rate. Disruption is driving significant change.

    Is our Canadian sport community ready to embrace disruptive innovation in our industry?

    Conference speakers, delegates, and workshop participants, will examine how we can harness and optimize these opportunities to drive leadership growth and influence positive change in sport.

    In an industry with a strong-hold on the amateur sport market which relies dominantly on government funding support, the Canadian sport industry is often isolated from the true grips of disruption. Delegates will explore if, and how, our sport community can shift our performance to grow and retain our leadership position in providing impactful sport programs to all Canadians.

    At this year’s Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif conference, we’re inviting Canada’s sport leaders and influencers to cultivate disruptive innovation. Join us and be inspired by the digitally-savvy, the tenacious, and the forward-thinking, as industry leaders from all sectors share a fresh perspective on how to fast-track progress on the status quo, optimize challenges presented by disruption, and cultivate them to have a meaningful impact for your sport and organization.

    Each speaker and session will challenge you to identify, shape, and shift the culture of innovation in sport amidst the demands of technological, entrepreneurial, and social change. Learn from the best disrupters in the business on how best to harness potential, technology, leadership, and millennials, to create a united and powerful vision for sport over the next 150 years.

    As the largest cross-section of Canadian sport influencers assembles in Calgary for professional development and leadership training, don’t miss your opportunity to contribute your expertise and experience in optimizing innovative changes for positive growth in Canadian sport.

  • Who Attends

    A common theme in the sports sector is passion, and as a result, those involved in sports end up wearing a variety of hats. One delegate could be a coach, while volunteering on a National Sport Organizations' Board of Directors, and working in the sport industry as a Sport Administrator or Executive Director.

    The Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif conference is a unique conference in the sport system because it speaks to issues affecting a wide range of sport leaders. The largest delegate base is sport administrators, followed closely by coaches, then sport executives, and sport researchers. The conference also attracts National Sport Organization (NSOs) representatives, Provincial and Territorial Sport Organization (P/TSOs) representatives, government officials, tourism representatives, sport technology leaders, international sport representatives, and more.

    Content is carefully selected to ensure that every plenary speaker and breakout session presents content relevant to one of our major audiences. Topics such as coach education, sponsorship, marketing and brand development, communications and social media, leadership, mentorship, and technical research, are all covered during the conference.

    Annually, conference organizers work closely with each speaker to develop learning objectives so that conference delegates can carefully choose sessions that are relevant to their work. With each session, delegates can take away tangible skills and knowledge that can be implemented in their professional and personal lives. Content is carefully curated and shaped to ensure delegates emerge from the conference as better sport leaders.  

  • Obtaining Permission to Attend

    Conference organizers understand the levels of approval required to attend conferences. To facilitate the process for delegates to obtain permission, a template letter is available for delegates to complete and submit to their supervisor. Delegates are welcome to personalize the letter to suit their needs.

    Click HERE to access the template letter.

    Click HERE to access the Return on Investment (ROI) worksheet.

  • Future Conferences

    2018: Ottawa

  • History of the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif Conference

    A national conference of some kind and hosted by the Coaching Association of Canada, it has been around for over 36 years and more recently has taken the shape of the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif conference. The conference began in Ottawa in 1979 as the National Coaches Seminar. It took place over three days and drew approximately 250 high performance coaches. The coaches were exposed to the latest information on coaching theory and practice, introduced to recent sport-science findings, and had an opportunity to meet and discuss common concerns.

    In 1987, the conference began awarding coaching Excellence Awards as part of its program. The awards, still given out today have not changed in their recognition focus and recognize coaches whose athletes have excelled at world championships, Olympic and Paralympic Games, and at the Special Olympics World Games... Petro-Canada became the official sponsor of the Coaching Excellence Awards in the year 2000.

    In 1991, the conference became the NCCP Trainers Conference, and Coach Conductors (known today as Coach Developers) made up the majority of the delegates.

    In 2003, Petro-Canada became the title sponsor of our annual conference, a partnership that continues today.