On the eve of the organization’s 2020 Annual General Meeting, Kate Boyd will be first-ever woman to take the reins of Nordiq Canada’s high-performance program.
A quiet, yet confident leader from Ottawa who is passionate and driven, Boyd’s goals as Nordiq Canada’s new high-performance director are completely clear – to get Canadian cross-country skiers back on the Olympic podium and continue the tradition of medal-winning performances in the national Para-Nordic program.
“I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the future of our sport in Canada. I believe this position comes with a responsibility to lead our athletes, staff and community at large with integrity while developing a robust high-performance Nordic skiing system focused on excellence,” said Boyd, who is currently the lone female winter Para-sport coach at the national level in the country.
“I have been surrounded by strong female leaders throughout my entire career – and while working with the Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium, and Canadian Olympic Committee – who have greatly influenced the person and leader I am today. I never felt there wasn’t anything I could do because I was a woman and I am honoured to be the first female to take on the responsibility of Nordiq Canada’s high-performance director.”
Building on her success of fostering depth and driving medal-winning performances for Canada’s Para-Nordic program since 2015 as Nordiq Canada’s NextGen coach and program coordinator, Boyd stepped up in 2018 to share high-performance manager duties with Joel Jaques.
She brings more than two decades of leadership experience; sport development; and stakeholder engagement to her new position.
Throughout her career while serving a variety of leadership and program management positions for organizations including YMCA-YWCA in the National Capital Region, City of Kawartha Lakes Boys and Girls Club, Nakkertok Ski Club, and Kanata Nordic Ski Club prior to joining Nordiq Canada, Boyd has led critical change that resulted in renewed trust, credibility and sustained financial viability while working with administrators, athletes and coaches from the club and provincial levels to the nation’s best.
“Kate is a highly-motivated professional who knows what it takes for athletes and coaches to reach their full potential, and ultimately, win,” said Stephane Barrette, interim chief executive officer, Nordiq Canada. “She has a keen understanding of program management, our development pathway from the grassroots to elite level, and the sport system in Canada, which will provide a relatively seamless transition to this new role. Kate understands the patience and time investment required to build a medal-winning program. I am confident her experience will result in Canadian athletes and coaches excelling on the world stage at all levels.”
In an effort to regain the Canadian identity of cross-country skiing in Canada, Boyd is determined to develop a coach-driven, athlete-focused program in Canada that is accountable and reliable with a determination to excel at all levels.
“Working with our entire team of dedicated staff, my first priority is to get fully up to speed with our Olympic stream to gain as much clarity with that program as I currently have with the Para-Nordic stream,” said Boyd.
“With the global pandemic very much still a challenge for all of us in the world, I am also committed to ensuring our athletes and staff have the resources they require to train and have the opportunity to get on a start line, and race, while staying healthy.
“There is no doubt we have challenging days ahead of us, but I’m here for the long haul. Together with our sport partners, staff at Nordiq Canada and our coaches, we will be relentless in our collaborative pursuit of developing this program from the ground up, and making cross-country skiing in Canada a winner.”
A registered professional coach who has worked with cross-country skiers at all levels, Boyd has led teams while also providing coaching support at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, along with multiple World Championship and World Cup events.
Boyd was recently selected to participate on Canada’s 27-member COVID-19 Return To Sport Task Force led by Own the Podium. She currently lives in Canmore, Alta. where she will continue to work out of Nordiq Canada’s head office.
Nordiq Canada is the governing body of para-nordic and cross-country skiing in Canada, which is the nation’s optimal sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually. Its 60,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities.