Coaching Association of Canada

About the Conference

The Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif conference (#SLS19) 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.

2019 Conference Theme


An athlete’s body must be strong but supple. A coach’s mindset must be firm but flexible. A sport administrator’s vision must be inspirational but pragmatic. Alongside their skills, it will be their ability to recover and return following an injury, a loss, or a challenge. Their resilience will lead them to success.

Our sport community must be resilient as well. Its success demands commitment, cooperation, and courage. Just as participants must overcome obstacles and recover from their setbacks in sport, so must we be resilient in the face of the challenges with our sport system. We can learn to be more resilient by learning from each other.

A resilient sport community understands that achieving success in sport is not easy. It does not shy from adversity. Instead, it confronts adversity directly and overcomes it with confidence. What’s more, a resilient sport community shares knowledge, skills, and resources to build effective partnerships. A resilient sport community knows that the learning never stops.

At this year’s Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif conference, we invite you to join Mission: Resilience to strengthen your organization and improve performance. Learn the latest techniques to build resilience in your athletes and coaches from the sharpest minds in sport. Exchange hard-won lessons in achieving growth through adversity with your like-minded peers. And make valuable professional connections that will take you and your organization forward. In doing so, we will collectively reaffirm our commitment to our athletes, our coaches, our organizations, and ourselves.

Join your fellow sport leaders for this unique sharing and learning experience. Be inspired and come away with a new resilience to succeed. This is our mission, should we choose to accept it.

What's in store for #SLS19?

As the largest cross-section of sport influencers in Canada assembles in Richmond for professional development and leadership training, don’t miss your opportunity to contribute your expertise and experience in building resilience for positive and performance growth in sport.

The 2019 Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif conference is raising the bar for professional development for sport administrators, researchers, executives, and coaches – not only in Canada, but internationally. By collecting an exceptional line-up of speakers and facilitators prepared to challenge, the Coaching Association of Canada welcomes delegates who are eager to learn and be inspired.

Speaking topics will include:

  • Building resilience and effective self-management
  • The Art of Resilience: Understanding the benefits of failure
  • NextGen model of hope inspired by youth-led resilience
  • Leadership secrets: Dealing with setbacks

 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.

History of the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif Conference

A national coaching conference has been hosted by the Coaching Association of Canada for more than 36 years. Initiated in 1979 as the National Coaches Seminar, the conference drew 250 high performance coaches over three days. 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. Since then, the awards have stayed true to their recognition of 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. Register now.