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RRU is an Athlete Friendly University!

June 30, 2016
Dr. Jennifer Walinga
Royal Roads is an Athlete Friendly University!

Royal Roads University has signed a partnership agreement with GamePlan which offers career and educational support to Canada’s elite athletes in partnership with Sport Canada and the Canadian Olympic/Paralympic Committees. Victoria is a hub of national sport with Canadian National Rugby, Rowing, Golf, Swimming, Cycling, Athletics (Middle Distance & Distance Running), Diving, Para-Yachting, ParaSwimming, and Triathlon all based locally, and over 10 other sport centers located nearby in Whistler, Vancouver and Kelowna. Royal Roads University is a natural fit! Please check out our new website for elite athletes and coaches applying to RRU.

As a former athlete, and RRU alumni (MA Leadership, 2001), I can attest to the value that an RRU Masters in Leadership degree brought me. During the degree, I distilled my prior learning through sport, and also came to realize that what I learned while competing and training for Canada (two time Olympian, Commonwealth, World and Olympic gold medalist) had relevance to my teaching and consulting in the areas of organizational change, creativity and communication. My research thesis built on my experience in rowing and examined the value of an experiential learning program in rowing can benefit an organization’s performance and development. During my doctoral studies, I developed a model and process for creative problem solving that built on the optimal performance strategies I had learned while competing. I now speak, mentor and facilitate on team and organizational performance in a variety of contexts yet always drawing on my prior learning through sport.

Royal Roads University has welcomed many elite athletes over the years. Among them, Andrea Burk, who completed her MA Leadership while competing for Canada’s Rugby Team and earned a World Cup silver medal mid-degree! She will soon be commentating the Sevens Rugby at the Rio Olympics.

Others include

  • Erin Carter – cycling – MA Professional Communication - cycling
  • Annie Bellemare – B Commerce – skating
  • Jeffrey Christie – B Commerce – luge
  • Jason Cheperdak – B Commerce – ice dance
  • Matt Weingart – B Commerce – rugby
  • Connor Braid – B Commerce - rugby
  • Trevor White – B Commerce – skiing
  • Wendy Pattenden – M Business Administration – tennis
  • Lori Barlow – B Commerce - tennis
  • Pat Conacher – B Commerce – hockey

By its very nature, Royal Roads University offers what elite athletes and coaches seek during or post sport career: the flexibility of blended learning, the support of a small university community, the network of belonging to one or more cohorts, and the relevance of integrated programming.

As part of our flexible admission policy, we recognize international competitive experience as prior learning. While competing and training internationally, elite athletes and coaches learn important professional skills including: intercultural and international communication; discipline, dedication, perseverance and self-management; interpersonal and conflict resolution; promotion and lobbying; goal setting and strategic planning; systems thinking; team based learning including coordination, cooperation and collaboration; managing learning and change processes; and managing and navigating political environments.