What We’re Watching in 2017

This blogpost is our annual ‘what to watch’ post where we review the important topics and issues we will be paying attention to in the coming year. We write a similar post ever year (2016, 2015) and earlier this month we hosted a free webinar on the subject.

Dina – Along with my strategic planning work and the risk management project, I continue to focus on the expanding field of coaching for sport executives. One of the risks often identified by sport leaders is a ‘lack of professional development training’. That gap can be filled by coaching. As an Integral Master Coach™, I use various tools to help sport executives explore how they can improve their public speaking, manage relationships, find their voice, prioritize, and become less judgmental in the workplace. In 2016, I assisted nine high-level sport leaders with their professional development training and I look forward to expanding my services in the new year. I am always happy to chat with people interested in professional coaching so please feel free to send me an email – DBL@sportlaw.ca

Steve – Last year I watched when Ontario became the first province to take steps to potentially enact provincial concussion legislation (Rowan’s Law). This year, the federal government will be focusing on national concussion legislation and I’m watching how and if that will be implemented and its eventual impact on sport organizations. I’m also watching the fallout from Game ON and Ontario’s new sport recognition policy (which we wrote about in May and September). All sport organizations in Ontario will be affected by that policy and Ontario PSOs will need to enhance their operations to meet the requirements of that policy. I also continue to work with organizations to manage their human resources issues, employee contracts, and screening. SJI@sportlaw.ca

Rachel – This year I continue to lecture full-time at Brock University and serve as a Doping Control Officer with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES). I’m also watching with interest the evolving field of cyber risk management. The CCES was a recent victim of a cyber attack that caused huge challenges in the administration of Canada’s anti-doping program for an extended period of time. Incidents of cyber attacks are increasing yet most can be avoided by using simple precautions. Education of employees and volunteers is key, and insurance is also available. Watch for a blog on the topic, and later this year I will be co-hosting a webinar with insurance specialist Nancy Au of Pearson Dunn/Jones Brown. RMC@sportlaw.ca

Jason – I continue to support organizations in identifying and mitigating the risks associated with their sanctioned tournaments, competitions, and other hosted events. Along with these event risk management audits, I have also helped our clients address high level risks via an emergency preparedness plan (EPP). An EPP is necessary for event emergencies that could cause serious injury or significant event disruption. My webinar on March 29th will offer guidance in this important area. In addition to my event risk work, I continue to assist sport organizations with their sponsorship property valuation and sponsorship package development. I am also acquiring my Certified Parliamentarian designation in 2017. JER@sportlaw.ca

Kathy – Project management and HR reviews occupied most of my 2016 and I’m excited to continue that work into 2017. I have directed strategic plans and been involved with large-scale multi-sport initiatives. One area I am watching this year, which I will discuss in an April webinar, is financial literacy for Directors and staff. I have nearly twenty years of experience with non-profit financial management and I have helped train Directors, staff, and committee members on how to manage and understand an organization’s financial statements. In addition, in early 2017 I will be offering parliamentarian services to sport organizations assisting staff and Boards with developing meaningful agendas and facilitating effective meetings. KEH@sportlaw.ca

Kevin – The BC Societies Act came into force in late 2016 and we have already helped over a dozen BC-based sport organizations on their transition to compliance with the new legislation. Organizations cannot change their bylaws until they have completed transition – and transition must be completed within two years! I also continue to help organizations develop their social media policies and pay more attention to developments in that area – but this year I will focus more on how Directors and staff are using social media to interact with their colleagues. My webinar on February 22nd will explore what is happening when we communicate ‘hyperpersonally’ and how to avoid the potential pitfalls that come with computer-mediated communication. KRL@sportlaw.ca

LeeAnn – A large portion of my work continues to be assisting clients with the case management of disciplinary issues, complaints and selection appeals, so I am always on the watch for new and old trends in that regard and thinking about the ways we can improve the manner in which disputes are handled in sport. In addition, I have recently expanded my services to include Workplace Harassment Investigations as well as AODA training so that I can help our clients comply with the statutory requirements set out in the applicable legislation. Finally, together with my colleague Jason, we expect to expand upon the number of Risk Management Workshops being presented at the Provincial level, and we encourage you to consider signing up for this valuable one-day workshop. If you have any questions relating to any of these areas, please reach out – LLC@sportlaw.ca

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