Day 3 - Plenary Session 2

August 30, 2022, 9:30-10:50 PST

Power of Sport in Bridging Divides

Sport has a unique power for bridging divides. Our world is fractured along many fault lines, yet, throughout history, all stripes of people gathered around sport and sporting events despite their differences.  Nelson Mandela famously said “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.” This plenary session engages in a constructive conversation around the role of sport for bridging economic, social and environmental divides around the world. The panel of distinguished speakers will explore different constructive ideas and use cases (such as the Commonwealth lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) Sport Declaration on Truth, Reconciliation and Partnership with Indigenous Peoples) to develop solutions and recommendations.

Moderator

  • Richard Powers image

    Richard Powers

    Commonwealth Sport Canada
    Richard Powers image

    Richard Powers

    President Commonwealth Sport Canada

    After receiving his MBA and LLB from Queen’s University, Powers began his legal career in Toronto with Smith, Lyons, Torrance, Stevenson and Mayer (now Gowlings) before serving as Corporate Counsel for Honda Canada Inc. He joined the University of Toronto in 1992 where he currently holds the position of National Academic Director, Governance Programs at The Rotman School of Management at the University.

    Prior to teaching in Rotman’s MBA, Executive MBA, OMNIUM, and Executive Education Programs, Rick was deeply involved with U of T’s Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Business Administration. His areas of expertise include corporate governance, ethics, business and corporate law, and sports marketing, for which he’s received numerous teaching awards.

    In addition to providing frequent commentary on legal and governance issues in various media across Canada, Rick is an Academic Director of The Directors Education Program, the Governance Essentials Program (in partnership with the Institute of Corporate Directors – ICD), and currently sits on the Boards of several not-for-profit organizations including:

    • Rugby Canada (Representative to Canadian Olympic Committee and Past Vice-Chair)
    • Rugby Ontario (Past President)
    • Childhood Cancer Canada (Director)
    • eLearning Consortium Canada (Director)
    • Powers has been the Team Leader for the Canadian Maple Leafs Rugby 7s team at the World Games in Cali, Columbia (2013), and was also a representative of CSC at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    Prior to being elected President of Commonwealth Sport Canada, Powers served as CSC Treasurer of from 2006-2014 and currently resides in Toronto.

Panelists

  • Ava Hill image

    Ava Hill

    Commonwealth Sport Canada
    Ava Hill image

    Ava Hill

    Board Director Commonwealth Sport Canada

    Ava Hill, whose traditional name is Iohahatie, has extensive experience working with Indigenous organizations. She was elected Chief of the 56th and 57th Six Nations Elected Council, succeeding her fifteen years as a member. Ava is a member of the National Consortium for Indigenous Economic Development at the University of Victoria and is Co-Chair for a group working on a Declaration on Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples Through Sports.

    Ava is a Board Director for Commonwealth Sport Canada and has been appointed to the position of Indigenous Advisor to the Geographical Names Board of Canada. She was recently awarded the YMCA Peacemaker Medal for 2020. Ava was recruited for the Advisory Board in 2021.

  • Peter Lawless image

    Peter Lawless

    Canadian Paralympic Committee
    Peter Lawless image

    Peter Lawless

    Board Member Canadian Paralympic Committee

    Peter has been involved in High Performance sport for over 30 years. A recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and BC’s Medal of Good Citizenship in 2017 Peter is also a four time winner of a National Petro Canada Coaching Excellence Award (Cycling and Athletics) and has been BC’s Coach of the Year (2012 & 2016). Peter’s athletes have broken 27 World Records in athletics and won over a dozen Paralympic or World Championships medals in both cycling and athletics. Beyond direct coaching Peter spent over 10 years on the Board of the Canadian Olympic Committee including serving as the Vice President 2015-2021. He now sits on the Board of the Canadian Paralympic Committee and most recently was part of the leadership team that was awarded the 2025 Invictus Games. A practising lawyer, Peter has also taught at both the University of Victoria Law School and Camosun College on sport, law and ethics.

  • Dame Louise Livingstone Martin image

    Dame Louise Livingstone Martin

    Commonwealth Games Federation
    Dame Louise Livingstone Martin image

    Dame Louise Livingstone Martin

    President Commonwealth Games Federation

    President of the Commonwealth Games Federation. She is also a Scottish sports administrator, retired athlete, nutritionist and former educator. She is President of the Commonwealth Games Federation. She was elected to the role by the Commonwealth Sport Movement in September 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand, becoming the first female to hold the prestigious office. She was re-elected to a second term in September 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda.

    Dame Louise has a long and distinguished association with the Games as an athlete (swimming for Team Scotland at the Perth 1962 Commonwealth Games) and thereafter as Team Manager, Administrator and Honorary Secretary, while she was the first female elected to the CGF Executive Board. Dame Louise played a lead role in bringing the Commonwealth Games to Glasgow during the Bid, served as Vice Chair of the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, and was formerly chair of SportScotland from 2008 to 2015 and Commonwealth Games Scotland from 1999 until 2007.

    In 2008, she joined the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport, which she chaired from 2014-2018. In 2018, she was awarded a Damehood in the New Year’s Honours List for services to Commonwealth Sport. She was awarded the CBE in 2003 for services to the Commonwealth Games.

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