Rachel co-founded the Centre for Sport and Law in 1992 and since that date has worked exclusively as a consultant and educator in the sport community. Rachel studied at McGill University and the University of Calgary, and initially pursued a career in municipal planning. This involved interesting work with the Calgary Parks and Recreation Department and later with smaller municipalities throughout northeastern Alberta, as a staff planner with Alberta Municipal Affairs.
Living in the cultural capital of western Canada (Edmonton!) led to opportunities to volunteer in the arts community which in turn led to consulting work with non-profit associations in the recreation and cultural sector. Rachel also served for a time as Vice-Chair of the City Recreation, Parks and Culture Board. Rachel’s planning background and skills served her well in these pursuits, and eventually Rachel left her day job to start the Centre for Sport and Law with Hilary Findlay, who was then a practicing lawyer in Edmonton.
From its humble beginnings, the Centre for Sport and Law (now the Sport Law & Strategy Group) has grown into a thriving company based in Ontario and providing services nationally. Rachel’s work with the group includes consulting in strategic planning, risk management, governance, policy development, dispute resolution, and general research. From 2000 to 2014, Rachel was a part-time Lecturer in the Department of Sport Management at Brock University, teaching courses such as Sport and Law, Sport Policy, Negotiation, Human Resources Management, Sponsorship, Organization Theory and advanced courses in Management Studies and Sport Policy and Politics. Since 2014, this position has become full-time. Rachel finds this work both exhausting and rewarding – if you can communicate something complex to a 20-year old, then almost anything is possible!
Rachel has now lived in the Niagara region for over 15 years. In 2015, she became a Doping Control Officer with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport and does this work on a part-time basis. When not working with the Sport Law & Strategy Group, teaching at Brock University or doing drug-testing, Rachel enjoys sailing and canoeing at her cottage, kayaking in Georgian Bay, hiking and fixing up old houses. A recent highlight and a way to give back to sport was serving as Ombudsman for Team Canada at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland (a role she also held in 2010 when those Games were in Delhi, India, an experience she shared in a blog). Rachel is also involved in a national charity called Read for the Cure, supported by Penguin/Random House Canada and the Cancer Research Society, which combines fundraising for cancer research with reading books.