Vikes promote safe sport principles through new initiatives

Vikes athletics is advancing the package of initiatives announced earlier this year that further its commitment to providing a supportive high-performance athletic environment aligned with the principles of safe sport. Safe sport principles recognize that all athletes and coaches have the right to participate in a safe and inclusive training environment that is free of abuse, harassment or discrimination.

The initiatives respond to the university’s need for enhanced supports and leadership capacity within Vikes athletics, while also reflecting the growing movement across Canada to better support student athletes and coaches. Guided by a newly formed external advisory working group, the initiatives include a UVic-specific professional code for coaches, a student-athlete leadership council, improvements to the complaint process for varsity athletes, and new staffing positions to lead and support high-performance athletics.

Additionally, Vikes athletics has engaged Marilyn and Howard Campbell, UVic alumni and internationally respected leaders in the rowing world, to serve as key advisors to UVic’s rowing programs.  The move is part of UVic’s ongoing commitment to support members of the women’s rowing program and the rowing environment and to invest in coaching development. It also responds to concerns expressed by some participants about the program environment last year. This pilot project will provide additional support for program leaders and coaches and will inform future mentorship initiatives for UVic’s other varsity programs.

“We are thrilled to have Marilyn and Howard onboard,” says Clint Hamilton, director of Vikes athletics and recreation. “Over the past year, we have learned a great deal about how we can improve our rowing program. Marilyn and Howard have each contributed immensely to UVic and our Vikes program in the past, and they will each bring a wealth of valuable leadership and coaching experience to our program going forward.”

Marilyn Campbell is a leader in women’s athletics, having spent 15 years in sport administration and 12 years in education administration. She is the owner and operator of West Coast Rowing, as well as a 1984 Olympic silver medalist, former national team coordinator with Rowing Canada, and former Vikes rower. Howard Campbell has been a professional coach for 34 years and has coached teams at the Olympics, World Championships and Pan American Games. He was the men’s rowing coach at UVic for more than 20 years until 2014. He is currently the lead developer for the High Performance Coach Stream under design by Rowing Canada Aviron.

“We are proud UVic Vikes alumni and we look forward to supporting the Vikes rowing program and working with the coaching staff,” say the Campbells.

The external advisory working group is key to moving the suite of initiatives forward. The group—composed of nationally recognized experts in safe sport, coach evaluation and development, education, leadership and mentorship—is providing advice and guidance to Vikes leadership on the development and implementation of the new initiatives. The members will share best practices across their fields of expertise and support Vikes athletics in advancing a culture of excellence aligned with safe sport principles.

Coleen Dufresne, former athletic director for the University of Manitoba, is chairing the group. She has extensive coaching experience at both the university and international levels and has held numerous leadership positions there, including on Canada’s U SPORTS board of directors.

“I am honoured to work alongside such distinguished members of the advisory group on these important activities,” says Dufresne. “Their experience will provide valuable insight into the needs of both athletes and coaches.

“UVic’s commitment to their athletes and coaches is clearly demonstrated through these initiatives, which will, once in place, guide both athletes and coaches as they seek the best environment in which to excel.”

Wendy Pattenden, another member of the advisory group, has been the CEO of Canadian Sport Institute (CSI) Pacific since 1999. Pattenden is an established community leader and adjunct professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia.

“I am excited to contribute to this work,” says Pattenden. “The bold vision being contemplated will validate UVic as a recognized leader in performance sport among post-secondary institutions in Canada.”

The advisory group includes current and former members of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, BC Games Society, and the Coaching Association of Canada. Together, they represent decades of coaching and athletics experience from academic, community and business backgrounds.

The advisory group has progressed work on a UVic-specific professional code for coaches (currently undergoing consultations with stakeholders) as well as on the new and changing leadership and student support positions specific to varsity athletics. The group will also provide input on the new student-athlete handbook; onboarding strategies for new coaches; professional development opportunities for all coaches and student athlete leaders; and the student complaint process.

“The university is making these important changes because we want to be a leader in the evolving and important conversation on appropriately aligning safe sport principles with the university sport environment across the country,” explains Hamilton.

“I want to express my sincere appreciation to the members of the advisory group and to Marilyn and Howard,” says Jim Dunsdon, UVic’s associate vice president of student affairs. “Together, we will advance UVic’s goal of providing the best possible environment for our student athletes and coaches to aspire to the highest levels of national and international sport, and we will do so in a fashion that aligns with safe sport in Canada.”

The university aims to have the new initiatives and changes in place for the 2020/21 varsity season.

Vikes External Advisory Working Group


Coleen Dufresne 

Retired Athletic Director, University of Manitoba; former President Canada West, former board member at U SPORTS

Coleen Dufresne served as the University of Manitoba Bisons’ women’s basketball coach for 17 years and athletic director for 15. She is a member of the Canada West Hall of Fame. Dufresne has held numerous leadership positions at the national and conference level, including a number of roles on the U SPORTS Board of Directors and a two-year term as Canada West Conference President from 2005-07. Dufresne also served as a member of the FISU (World University Games) Executive and served on the FISU CIC (Control Commission), only the second Canadian to hold the position.



Gail Donohue 

Coaching Consultant; former Coaching Association of Canada board member 

Gail Donohue is a former national-level synchronized swimmer and Olympic coach. She holds a science degree in kinesiology from Simon Fraser University and is a Chartered Professional Coach. In addition, she is a Coach Developer and Coach Evaluator for viaSport and Canada Artistic Swimming. Currently, Donohue is the leadership theme mentor for the Advanced Coaching Diploma program with Canadian Sport Institute (CSI) Pacific and mentors more than 25 coaches nationally. She left Sport BC as Director of Strategic Membership Systems to become a full time consultant. Donohue is a Trainer at One Smart World, the former Vice President of the Coaches of Canada, and was formerly on the board of Coaches BC and the Coaching Association of Canada. She is also an Advanced Learning Facilitator for the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). 

Gail Donahue

Jim Dunsdon

Associate Vice-President Student Affairs, University of Victoria

Jim Dunsdon was appointed Associate Vice-President Student Affairs in May 2009. He reports to the Vice-President Academic and Provost and is responsible for providing leadership, strategic direction and overall management for the Division of Student Affairs. His portfolio encompasses Athletics and Recreation; Campus Services; Student Services; and the Office of the Registrar. Prior to his appointment, Dunsdon served as Associate Vice-Provost (Student Services) at the University of Calgary. He received a Bachelor of Education from the University of Victoria in 1995 and an MBA in Education Management from the University of Leicester in 2005.

Jim Dunsdon

Glen Grunwald

CEO, Canada Basketball; former Athletic Director, McMaster University; former GM New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors

Glen Grunwald is an attorney and basketball executive who currently serves as the CEO of Canada Basketball. He was an NBA general manager with both the Toronto Raptors and the New York Knicks. Prior to accepting his current role, Grunwald served as the Director, Athletics and Recreation at McMaster University. He also currently serves as a consultant to the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies.

Glen Grunwald

Clint Hamilton 

Director, Athletics and Recreation, University of Victoria

Clint Hamilton assumed his current position with the Vikes Athletics and Recreation in January 2005, and since that time has worked to grow athletics and recreation programs with a strategic focus on student support, recognition, high performance athletics, alumni and community engagement, and active healthy living. A respected national sport leader, Hamilton accepted a two-year term as President, Canada West Athletic Association in 2018, his second stint in this capacity. He currently sits as the Canada West Representative/Director on the U SPORTS Board and is a former President of Canadian Interuniversity Sports (U SPORTS’ predecessor) from 2008-11.

Clint Hamilton

David Hill

Director, System Excellence, CSI-Pacific

David Hill is the Director, System Enhancement at the Canadian Sport Institute (CSI) Pacific and the Associate Director, Industry for UBC Kinesiology. He is a graduate of the National Coaching Institute BC, and holds a Masters of Science from UVic. He brings more than 30 years of coaching experience in alpine skiing and rugby, where he coached from grassroots to national team programs. Hill continues to be a key contributor to the development of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), having played a lead role in coaching evaluation and the development of the new Advanced Coaching Diploma. He has enormous passion for legitimizing the role of coaching in Canada by increasing the professional status of coaches and advocating for the value of coach education, and coaching and athlete development.

David Hill

Alison Noble

CEO, BC Games Society

Alison Noble is the President and CEO of the BC Games Society and has overall responsibility for staging the BC Summer and BC Winter Games and the operations of Team BC.

Prior to this, Noble was the Associate Director of Community & Government Relations at the University of Victoria and the Manager of the departments of Corporate Relations and Ceremonies & Events at the university. She was also Director of Operations for the Toronto 2017 Invictus Games. Noble is a member of the BC Sports Hall of Fame Board of Trustees, a founding Chair of both KidSport Greater Victoria and Promotion Plus Victoria, and has served as mission staff for two Canada Games.

Alison Noble

Wendy Pattenden

CEO, CSI Pacific

Wendy Pattenden has been the CEO of Canadian Sport Institute (CSI) Pacific since 1999 and is one of the country’s leading advocates for sport, athlete and coaching development. Pattenden’s legacy of executive leadership and community philanthropy includes her role as one of the main architects of the PacificSport regional network and the guiding force behind the Canadian Sport For Life (CS4L) framework—a Federal-Provincial/Territorial framework promoting competency in fundamental motor skills. Pattenden serves on several community boards as well as the Canadian Olympic Committee (B Member), and as Vice Chair, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Director for the Canadian Sport For Life Society. She is an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia and holds an MBA from Royal Roads University.

Wendy Pattenden

David Zussman

Former Chair, Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport

David Zussman has held executive positions in academia, government and the not-for-profit sector. Zussman is the former Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport and former Jarislowsky Chair in Public Sector Management and Governance at the University of Ottawa. He is also President Emeritus of the Public Policy Forum, and serves as an order-in-council appointee on UVic’s Board of Governors, an adjunct professor at the School of Public Administration at UVic, and a Senior Fellow at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. Zussman won the prestigious 2017 Vanier Medal from Canada’s Institute of Public Administration for his leadership and contributions to the field.

David Zussman


In this story

Keywords: athletics, sports, coaching, education

People: Clint Hamilton, Jim Dunsdon, Marilyn Campbell, Howard Campbell

Publication: The Ring

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