“Whether you're in the middle of your high performance sport journey, are getting close to retirement or have already retired, the idea with Game Plan is that it's never too late to think about what comes next, so you're not worried about it while you're competing or while you're getting to the next stage in your high performance career. The idea is that you’re ready for that next stage when it's your time.” (Gavin McTavish, National Strategy and Business Design Leader at Deloitte)

Check out the Game Plan Day in Canada 2023 Recap Video!

TORONTO, ON (May 8, 2023) - This year, the Deloitte and Game Plan teams hosted Olympic, Paralympic, and national team athletes for Game Plan Day in Canada 2023! The hybrid event was delivered virtually on April 26th and in-person on May 3rd at Deloitte offices across the country - in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. This was our most successful GPDIC to date! If you were there, you KNOW what we are talking about. If you weren't, keep reading to learn more!

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Our virtual GPDIC saw over 70 athletes, Game Plan, COC and Deloitte staff tune in for an afternoon focused on hot topics in sport. Things kicked off with our Athlete Transition Panel, featuring Meaghan Mikkelson, OLY, Oluseyi Smith, OLY and Joel Dembe, PLY. The broad and insightful discussion ranged from gut feelings and knowing when you were ready to retire, to athlete-friendly organizations that allowed them to work while competing and the benefits of those experiences. While all shared the unique challenges and opportunities they had to navigate while deciding to transition out of sport, the support of Game Plan Advisors were praised as integral across the group;

“My Game Plan Advisor was my one on one resource, someone that I would always go to ask for help on random things or just someone to confide in, because I trusted her with that information … she was great when I had some frustration around finding grants and bursaries or any other things, she was a great person to chat to” (Oluseyi Smith, OLY)

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Speaker sessions were broken up by six different workshop offerings that piqued the interest of all attendees, providing a snapshot of industries to watch - investors and early career professionals pay attention -  including; net zero and carbon neutrality, tech and sport business trends and the future of content and health and well-being. 

Tying it all together, Tyler Mcgregor, PLY  - World champion, Paralympic silver medalist and captain of the Canadian Para Ice Hockey Team - closed out the virtual event by offering some inspiration in response to a question we all might have asked ourselves - If tomorrow, my life as an athlete was taken away, would I be okay?

“The answer would have been no … I was not prepared for what was next. And I think initially, that was the reason I reached out to try to build a life and a career that had meaning outside of sport … It was a difficult reality for me to accept and I think it is for everyone in sport. For me, being an athlete, in itself - singular, was not enough, it wasn’t leaving me fulfilled at the end of every day or every season and admitting and accepting that was a challenge, because I thought that meant I didn’t love it enough - but that’s just not true.” 

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Tyler then concluded his message stating, “ I love what I do more than ever. I just wanted to find a way to engage in my community and with valuable work and build a career both in sport and outside of sport that left me feeling fulfilled and proud at the end of every day and at the end of every season. So now, I feel a lot more confident in answering that question than I did 5-6 years ago, with the help of Game Plan. Don’t get me wrong, it would still hurt like hell if I couldn’t play hockey tomorrow - I would be heartbroken, but I know I'd survive and at least have the belief and confidence that I would not only survive, but thrive as that natural transition occurs”. 

Tyler’s speech drove home a message we hope all attendees left with - It's never too late to access the support you need to take your next steps in sport and life!

The success of the virtual event spilled over into great engagement at our in-person event. The schedule for the day was hands-on, with Deloitte experts leading sessions focused on nailing your resume and cover letter and networking like a pro! In true sport fashion, all athletes in attendance had the opportunity to hit the ground running and put their learnings into practice with mock interviews (and live feedback), followed by a lively networking event bustling with clients and partners who know and believe in bringing on National Team athletes as top quality talent. 

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“Everyone needs help at times.  It was wonderful to see the corporate community and athlete alumni join us at GPDIC to share their experiences and offer expertise to Team Canada athletes who are wanting to consider future career opportunities. Ultimately, it was encouraging to see athletes giving some thought and planning to their future career while in sport,” says Cara Button, Senior Manager of Game Plan.

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With excellent opportunities to learn about hot topics in sport, practice your learnings in real time and connect with peers, partners and professionals, we hope that all attendees of GPDIC 2023 are feeling more confident in leaving with lessons, learnings, tools and resources to kickstart their career!

Whether you are still competing, are retired or are thinking about retiring , at Game Plan - the Canadian Olympic Committee’s total athlete wellness program - we have people, programs, events and services to help you navigate what is next. Be sure to connect with your Game Plan Advisor for more support.