Sportonomics: Simon Whitfield in the Toronto Star

Curious as to what I’ve been up to over the past while? As I’ve transitioned from athlete to businessman, I’ve been involved with many different projects and companies, from the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation to Fantan Group, to Kicker, Velofix, and CIBC’s Team Next. Morgan Campbell from the Toronto Star interviewed me on life after competitive sport, and you can check out the video here.

Media Release – Canadian Men’s Health Foundation Launch

Source: www.newswire.ca

OTTAWA – Olympic medalist Simon Whitfield and Hockey legend Trevor Linden are helping the new Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF) let men know they don’t need to change much to feel better and live healthier.

CMHF officially launched today on Parliament Hill with senior federal and provincial government officials, national health organizations, sports celebrities and leaders from corporate Canada in attendance.

“Guys have a lot on their plates with careers and families, and not a lot of time.” says four-time Olympian Simon Whitfield, “We want to give them information they can understand and use. Small changes that will help them step up and stay with us.”

CMHF unveiled its national awareness campaign encouraging men to change—but not too much. The campaign inspires men to make small, healthy lifestyle changes that will have a big impact on their lives. The campaign’s website—www.DontChangeMuch.ca—is populated with simple, healthy lifestyle tips and messages from CMHF’s National Champions: Trevor Linden, Simon Whitfield, Alain Vigneault, Shea Emry, Adam Kreek, Ned Bell and Jim Hughson.

“Every year too many Canadian men go missing from our daily lives not because they die, but because they have become very unhealthy or sick,” says Trevor Linden, President, Hockey Operations, Vancouver Canucks. “We want men to know they can change that by making small changes now.”

CMHF is pilot testing You Check, the world’s first health awareness tool built specifically for men. Sponsored in part by Sun Life Financial, You Check takes 10 minutes, is free, anonymous and 100% confidential. You Check is unique because it assesses seven different diseases to provide a customized report and lifestyle advice to help men establish healthy habits.

CMHF also unveiled plans for the first ever Canadian Men’s Health Week (CMHW). From June 9th to 15th—Father’s Day—CMHF will partner with the Canadian Medical Association, the Dietitians of Canada, and the Canadian Mental Health Association to raise awareness of men’s health. Simon Whitfield will launch the Stand Up Paddle for Men’s Health, powered by Duracell, that same week.

Dr. Larry Goldenberg, CMHF Founder and Chairman of the Board, has been working towards this day for five years. “Canada and its families would be a better place if more men lived more active and healthier lives,” says Goldenberg. “CMHF will create a new social movement that will serve to motivate men with health information and lifestyle programs in a way they can truly hear, absorb and act on. In time, men’s attention to health will become second nature, like seatbelts.”

The Don’t Change Much campaign focuses on five core areas to improve men’s health: Nutrition, Activity, Sleep, Mental Health and Smoking & Drinking.

Joining Dr. Goldenberg for the official launch was the founder of the Men’s Health Caucus MP Dr. Colin Carrie and representatives from Sun Life Financial – a National Sponsor of CMHF.

“We can’t do this on our own,” says CMHF President Wayne Hartrick. “We need to trigger the involvement of organizations across the country—from community centres to health care organizations and NGOs—to start this conversation with men.”

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Find more details about the Stand Up for Men’s Health paddle at Don’t Change Much.

Media Release – Olympians Named to BC Games Society Board

Victoria – Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, Coralee Oakes, announced today the appointment of new members to the BC Games Society Board of Directors including Olympians Simon Whitfield (Triathlon) and Dave Calder (Rowing), as well as Provincial Sport Organization leader Rochelle Winterton of Vancouver, and Terrace based marketing and communications expert Sarah Zimmerman.

“These individuals bring a wealth of skill and experience to the table and I know that the BC Games Society—not to mention B.C.’s young emerging athletes—will benefit from their efforts,” said Minister Oakes. “Serving as a board member takes time and dedication, and I want to thank all of these talented people for making the commitment to our sport community.”

Simon Whitfield and Dave Calder have been synonymous with elite sport in Canada.  Both have had tremendous international success and won Olympic medals in their respective sports but, they have also translated that success into important leadership roles in sport and philanthropic endeavours.

“It is an honour to join the board of the BC Games Society and be part of an organization that provides such a valuable experience for our young athletes and has helped launch the careers of many of my fellow Olympians and Paralympians,” said Whitfield.

Rochelle Winterton is the Executive Director for the BC Lacrosse Association and a proven leader in the amateur sport sector.  She is joined by marketing and communications professional Sarah Zimmerman of Terrace who was previously a Director for the 2010 BC Winter Games held in her community.

Byron McCorkell, City of Kamloops Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, has served on the board since 2011 and now moves into the role of Chair replacing outgoing Chair, Cathy Priestner Allinger.  Also named to the board is Chris Graham who will sit as an ex-officio representative of the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

“The members of this board have extensive expertise which will help guide the BC Games Society and ensure the organization continues to be a leader in sport and community development,” said Kelly Mann, President and CEO of the BC Games Society.

The BC Games Society is the leadership organization that guides the BC Winter and BC Summer Games and prepares Team BC for national multi-sport Games.  The Ministerial appointed 13-member board is responsible for setting policy and direction to ensure the objectives of the Society are met.

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Find the release and further details on the BC Games website.

You’ve Reached the Finish Line. Now What? A Retired Olympian’s Tips for Lifelong Fitness – Series in the Globe and Mail

SWpaddle2

As I sat relaxed with a coffee in hand watching all of the amazing winter athletes at this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, it brought back memories of my career as competitor. Having competed in four Games myself, I know how much work goes into getting there – that ultimate goal of standing on a podium representing your country. It’s one of the hardest things to do, both physically and mentally, and when it’s over – no matter where you placed – there is an interesting comedown. Something you’ve been working toward for so long is now passed and the question is, now what?

Read the rest of the article here.

Simon Joins Advisory Board for Local Adventure Therapy Organization, Power To Be

I have recently joined the advisory board of Power To Be, a not-for-profit organization which provides outdoor, adventure-based programs designed for youth and families in need of support. Based in Victoria and Vancouver, the organization is celebrating 15 years of inspiring connections with nature and getting kids and families outdoors. I’m really looking forward to working with an organization with a mandate that fits so well with my outlook on health and wellness, and you can’t ask for a more beautiful location to run programs than the West Coast! 

You can find out more about Power To Be and the programs they offer here.

Why keeping fit is the best kind of personal therapy- New Series in the Globe and Mail

Paddle- Jan 14

I’ve been told that men shouldn’t take selfies, but in this case I’m calling for an exception. In the shot I’m smiling, clinging to my paddleboard, submerged up to my armpits in the ocean. The water temperature of Oak Bay in Victoria is around 8 degrees Celcius, the wind is blowing at 25 knots and I still can’t get it out of my head that I need to get out and paddle around the pilot light in the Bains Channel. It’s just something that has to be done – and I snapped a photo that is equal parts proof that I’m doing it and reminder that this is my kind of therapy.

Read the rest of the article here.