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Nordiq Canada recently announced the regional calendar which will feature an East and West competition schedule, mirroring each other with the same options to obtain points while minimizing travel by athletes. There is an international schedule in place, but that means that Boyd and her team will need to oversee increased COVID-19 testing while managing the various quarantine requirements for their athletes and staff.
Given her experience as a professional coach working with cross-country skiers at all levels, Boyd can relate to all sides of the equation. After having been recently selected to participate in Canada’s 27-member COVID-19 Return to Sport Task Force team, led by Own the Podium, she has unique insights on how to accomplish a successful 2020-21 season.
“It’s going to be all about creating a really robust plan and systems to support programs going forward,” she said. “But it’s equally important that we have the nation behind us and we’re all working towards a common goal. There’s a good chunk of medals that come out of nordic sports at the Games so for us to prepare our athletes to be contenders, it’s something we have to plan out and do well. It’s going to be absolutely a team effort to make that happen.”
Boyd joins the company of high-profile females in leadership positions such as Anne Merklinger (CEO of Own the Podium), Karen O’Neil (CEO of the Canadian Paralympic Committee), Lorrain Lafreniere (CEO of the Canadian Coaches Association of Canada), Tricia Smith (president of the Canadian Olympic Committee) and Patricia Chafe (director of winter sport, Own the Podium).
“I recognize the importance of (visible female role models) to the next generation that’s coming up who can see more strong female leaders in these positions,” she said. “Opportunities are available for them to do the things they want to do. It’s important and I recognize the responsibility that comes with that.
“It’ll always be something I carry with me.”