The Sport Solution Clinic is a program of AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s National Team and Olympic Athletes, in conjunction with Western Law School. Sport Solution is the only program of its kind in North America and is available to all members of AthletesCAN.
Sport Solution is committed to supporting an athlete-centred sport system and strives to achieve this objective by counselling and advocating on behalf of Canada’s high performance athletes. The Clinic ensures the voices of athletes are well represented and provides an outlet for the effective resolution of legal issues that affect athletes in the Canadian sport system. The Clinic also offers athletes guidance on how to prevent conflict and understand the fair administration of sport.
Sport Solution offers Western Law students the opportunity to assist Canadian athletes in preventing and resolving sport-related legal issues. Each year 12 first-year law students join the Clinic as caseworkers, whose responsibilities range from legal research to drafting of athlete agreements. 8 upper-year students provide mentor support as case managers, facilitating the relationship between athletes and caseworkers. 3 upper-year Program Managers oversee the Clinic as a whole, interacting with athletes and National Sport Organizations (NSOs) while directing the day-to-day operation of the Clinic in a leadership role. Program Managers are hired following their first year and hold the position until graduation, but are able to seek summer employment away from the Clinic following second year.
Michael is currently a third year law student at Western. He also completed his undergraduate degree at UWO, obtaining a Bachelor of Science with an Honours Specialization in Kinesiology. Prior to entering law school, Michael was employed in the scientific department at Jamieson Laboratories, Canada’s largest manufacturer of natural health products.
Michael has been actively involved in hockey and baseball as a player, coach, referee and umpire for many years. Currently, he enjoys competing for a variety of the law faculty’s sport teams. He has spent several summers coaching a Special Olympics baseball and golf team. Michael is passionate about ensuring that the voices of Canada’s high performance athletes are well represented.
James is a second year law student at Western. Growing up in Ottawa, James was active in a number of competitive sports including hockey, soccer and lacrosse. James completed his undergraduate degree in Economics at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, PA, where he played hockey at the NCAA Division 1 level. James was a conference All-Academic and letterwinner in each of his four seasons with the Colonials, serving as a team captain in his final season. Prior to suiting up for RMU, he played Jr. A hockey for the Smiths Falls Bears of the CCHL. James continues to stay active by representing the law school in intramural sports such as hockey and dodgeball.
Although his career as a competitive athlete as come to an end, James looks forward to serving the needs of Canada’s best athletes through the Sport Solution program.
Meredith is a third year law student at Western. Prior to law school Meredith completed her BBA at Simon Fraser University and ran Track and Field and Cross Country for the SFU Clan. After Graduation, Meredith represented Canada at the 2009 World Student Games and the 2009 Francophone Games. She continues to train and compete in Track and loves being able to pursue both her law and athletics goals simultaneously. Meredith is inspired daily by the passion and commitment of Canadian athletes and looks forward to developing the Sport Solution program.
Sport Solution responds to the needs of athletes on a full range of issues including:
General Inquiries and Concerns
Call Early! Sport Solution provides athletes with the relevant information to answer any sport-related legal question. This can often have a preventative function – if the athlete is given the proper information regarding a seemingly small inquiry at an early stage, this will reduce the likelihood that the situation will evolve into a more serious issue in the future.
National Sport Organization Procedures
National Sport Organizations (NSOs) are the bodies that govern sports in Canada (for example, Volleyball Canada). When procedural issues between athletes and NSOs arise, Sport Solution students research and analyze established policies to provide athletes with a clear understanding of their claim or the tools to resolve the situation.
Mediation and Arbitration
The Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC) is a national alternative dispute mechanism tailored to the fit the needs of the Canadian sport community. If an athlete has an issue that is serious enough to require the services of the SDRCC, Sport Solution students advocate on behalf of athletes throughout the entire process, whether it is through mediation or the more advanced stages of an arbitration.
If an NSO renders a decision that an athlete disagrees with, Sport Solution can assist the athlete in appealing the decision (on procedural grounds). Common appeal issues include team selection, funding and doping. Sport Solution students assist athletes at all levels of appeal, from the internal appeal within the NSO to the SDRCC.
AthletesCAN produces a quarterly newsletter called AthletesNOW. Sport Solution provides regular content that reviews common concerns within the sporting community and tips on how to deal with these topics.
The 2008 Western Law Alumni Magazine featured an article about the Sport Solution Clinic.
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Prospective Students: If you have any questions regarding Sport Solution, or how to get involved, do not hesitate to email us.
Athletes: CALL EARLY! Sport Solution can better address your needs before the problem escalates. At the Sport Solution, you, the athlete, control the dispute resolution process - we're here to give you the tools to resolve the problem.
Before making contact, it is recommended to organize any relevant information you may have available into digital files creating a background of your situation. This will allow the program managers to efficiently investigate the issue and provide you with a timely response.
Sport Solution is a program of AthletesCAN, the association of Canada's national team athletes. The Program Managers, case managers and caseworkers of the Sport Solution program are law students who can provide athletes with legal information and resources on: sport dispute resolution procedures, athlete agreements and contracts, selection and discipline procedures in sport, and related legal and policy issues.
The Sport Solution Program Managers, case managers and caseworkers are not lawyers and they cannot provide legal advice or opinion. AthletesCAN respects an individual's privacy and any personal or confidential information that is provided to the Sport Solution will be used solely to assist the athlete with their issue or concern, and will not be shared with others without the athlete's consent.