It’s been almost a year since my father passed away. In that time, several people – athletes, coaches and others from the skating community – have told me stories about how much he personally helped them. Many people are familiar with my father’s contributions to skating throughout the course of his career and are aware of his leadership positions. To me, these two elements help define leadership. The ability to not just have a vision for an entire organization, but also to quietly be aware of the people participating in that vision at all levels and help them succeed with their individual goals. He understood that the more individuals succeed, the more room the sport has to grow and benefit all participants.
Last year, Skate Canada established the David Dore Mentorship Fund to provide an opportunity for a leader in the skating community to participate in the 2017 Ice Summit in Ottawa. The recipient will attend the summit (all expenses paid) and be able to shadow and participate in a one-on-one Q & A session with a Skate Canada leader.
No one becomes a leader overnight, it’s more an accumulation of experiences and being exposed to mentors. When my dad became President of the Canadian Figure Skating Association (before it became Skate Canada) in 1980, he made a speech outlining his vision of how the organization could develop and grow over the next few decades. This vision came from his many years as an athlete, judge and volunteer. Those years built within him a tremendous respect and appreciation for volunteers and the many people that work tirelessly behind-the-scenes, from the club level to sectional organizations to the national level.
My dad’s first mentors in skating were his coaches, who not only taught him technical skills, but instilled a passion for the sport that would last his entire life. As a judge, he continually sought out more experienced officials and had ongoing discussions with them about how he could improve. My dad spoke often about the many people that taught him leadership skills as he made his way from president to Directer General of Skate Canada. As he retired from Skate Canada to become the Vice President of the International Skating Union, it was important to him to pass along all the experiences he learned to others. He was constantly looking for more mentors and more knowledge.
So, what does this fund mean to me personally? In a letter, my dad wrote, “I have seen life as a journey of exploration. On the road you meet many people – some who can help you directly, some from whom you can learn, but in all cases mentors have been my greatest resource.” I’ve now been involved with skating for almost 30 years as an athlete, coach and television broadcaster. In a similar way to my father, the sport has provided mentors that have significantly impacted my life – from my coaches as a skater all the way up to those I worked with in Sochi for the 2014 Olympic Games. This fund is a way to keep alive what he accomplished in the past, but also, it’s a continuation of his legacy to help those that have the same passion for the sport as my father. To aid in supporting the Skate Canada leaders of today and tomorrow.
If you are one of those leaders, find out more information and apply through the links below.
David Dore Mentorship Fund: https://info.skatecanada.ca/hc/en-ca/categories/115000157183-Skate-Canada-Fund