Quidditch Canada (QC) have announced that multiple paralympic gold medalist Chris Daw will be the organisation’s new Executive Director.
Daw will be replacing Tegan Bridge, who stepped down from her role as Executive Director in October 2015 after five years at the helm. In their statement, QC pointed to Daw’s significant experience with sport at the highest level, as well as his extensive business experience within the sporting sector, as the main reasons behind his hiring.
“Chris will be a tremendous leader for our league at an exciting time in its development,” said Communications Director Clare Hutchinson. "He brings a unique, world-class background, an incredible sports network, and a strong passion for supporting athletes to our organization."
Daw’s sporting achievements in the fields of adaptive track, marathons, wheelchair basketball, volleyball, wheelchair rugby, and curling include being considered the fastest wheelchair athlete from 1995-1997. He remains the only Canadian athlete to represent his country at multiple Paralympic Games, including one Olympic Games, for four different sports. He also holds the rare mantle of having represented Canada at both the summer and winter Paralympic Games, winning six gold medals and setting six world records in 1986. He was a member of the 1984 & 1988 Canadian Paralympic adaptive track teams, the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball team, and the Canadian Wheelchair Rugby Team at the 2000 Summer Paralympics before taking up wheelchair curling in 2006.
Daw has strong experience in working with emerging sports and bringing them to new heights. He was one of the key people who formulated the rules that went on to see curling adapted as full medal status in the 2006 Paralympic games, and event he became the first gold medal winner in. QC will be hoping that his experience in working with larger sports federations on behalf of emerging sports will give Canada a leading position in legitimising the sport on a global scale.
Daw is currently a member of several Canadian sport development bodies, and has previously been an Executive Director of Strong Enterprises Inc., a parachuting company, for four years between 2011 and 2015, and is well known for his role in managing other local sporting businesses. In 2012, he became the Executive Director of Ice Twice Rinks Inc. in Oakville, Ontario. In eight months, Daw was able to fully recover the facility from financial hardship and bring in experienced coaches to run programs in the multi-use facility, before leaving the organisation in 2015. QC will not only expect him to turn his business acumen to an organisation that has an increasingly pressing need to address the travel costs faced by teams travelling cross-country, but also to use his high profile to draw further positive attention to the sport from influential parties. Despite the significance of the hiring, Daw will be working as a volunteer with no salary.