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What is Pursuit?

Pursuit is about making people better, in a safe and supportive environment, where they can be responsible for their own growth and learning.

About Pursuit

Name. The name shortens “pursuit of excellence”, referring to an ongoing and never ending strive to better oneself towards a higher state of being.

History. Born from a high performance coaching review done in 2014 and an implementation plan designed in 2015. Formerly the Coaching Enhancement program or CEP (since 2017), the program was rebranded as Pursuit (2022) to expand support to include Technical Leaders.

Mission: To support and enhance Canada’s high performance coaches and technical leaders in their inspired pursuit of excellence in Olympic and Paralympic sport. Alignment in the sport system. Ties to the Canadian High Performance Sport Strategy three pillars:
  • People (‘Canada’s high performance coaches and technical leaders’): Pursuit inspires passion in leadership excellence, grounded in trust, resilience, and wellness.
  • Systems (‘Olympic and Paralympic sport’): Pursuit is a world leader in high performance growth, with an evidence informed approach to continuous learning.
  • Culture (‘support and enhance… in their inspired pursuit of excellence’): Pursuit fosters a Canadian culture of safety and excellence, with uncompromising values, ethics, and integrity.
Vision and Purpose: To recruit, refine and retain...
  • Recruit coaches and technical leaders who embrace a Canadian culture of excellence.
  • Refine personal and professional knowledge to achieve excellence.
  • Retain expertise through an engaged community which fosters podium success.
Leadership. Pursuit is a product of and led by a partnership of five national multi-sport organizations: Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), Coaching Association of Canada (CAC), Own the Podium (OTP), and Sport Canada. It is designed and delivered by Own the Podium (OTP).


Core Principles

Pursuit is uncompromising in its commitment to the following factors in the pursuit of developing world-class high performance coaches and technical leaders.

Assessment. To create an effective and purposeful development plan, confidential self- and/or 360- assessments must take place. This important first step is critical to ensure that efforts and resources are targeted to specific growth opportunities. It is the intention of this initiative that every individual completes a thorough assessment before accessing development programs.

Flexible, Customized ProgramingPursuit provides several options for individuals who are motivated to develop and grow as world-class coaches and technical leaders. Given performance priorities, travel obligations and the complexities of Canada’s high performance system, establishing a flexible menu of development options is critical to success. Through flexible programming, Pursuit ensures that individuals receive support to fill gaps in the skills identified in the assessments required to coach and lead internationally competitive programs.

Motivation, Trust, and Expertise. These three elements must be in place for effective development to occur.Slide13-(1).jpg
  • Motivation. The participant must be motivated to learn more about how they impact those around them and can further develop their world-class competencies. For many, development is a challenging given workload and performance pressures, but the intrinsic motivation to learn is essential.
  • Trust. Separate to Pursuit, all NSOs regularly appraise the performance of their people as part of their high performance process. Pursuit is not part of the performance appraisal process, instead focusing entirely on the development of the individual. Separating these will provide clarity and result in improved commitment to initiatives.
  • Expertise. The quality of the development experience must be very high, in part to match the standards that the system places on coaches to produce world-class results. Pursuit strives to deliver “Gold medal standard” performances at every program initiative.
Program Costs. Pursuit covers the cost of all programing, travel, and meals, from the beginning of each initiative until the end. Additional transportation or accommodation costs (e.g., home-based travel to and from the initiative) are the responsibility of the individual or their National Sport Organization (NSO).

Individual and group support. Support can be targeted to individual coaches and leaders, or to group / teams such as an NSO leadership team of coaches and technical leaders.

Development, not Education. Pursuit is development, not education. Education teaches how to coach or lead, where development teaches how to be a coach or leader. The coach or leader is at the center of all that Pursuit does. There is no requirement to be here, there is no end or completion, there are no boxes to check. One must be motivated to get better. Development is a long term commitment.

Confidentiality. From 360-assessments to mentorship conversations, everything in Pursuit stays with the participant unless they choose to share it further. All persons involved sign confidentiality agreements, from the participants to the consultants or experts. 



Pursuit targets Canada’s high performance national team coaches and technical leaders from targeted Olympic and Paralympic sports, who work with athletes and teams who have the very best chance to deliver podium success.

  • Coaches working with podium potential athletes at the upcoming Games (0-4 years)
  • Coaches identified through NSO succession planning for the subsequent games (4-8 years)
  • Technical leaders from targeted sports (high performance directors and managers)


Nomination Process

Coaches and leaders selected for Pursuit initiatives and support are identified through an extensive nomination and approval process that involves individual approvals from the NSO (HPD or CEO), OTP HPA and VP, and COC/CPC respectively. All five partners must endorse and support the investment.


Identification of Pursuit opportunities start with conversations between potential participants and informed partners, emphasizing the relationship between HPDs and HPAs. High Performance Advisors (HPAs) nominate individuals for the various Pursuit initiatives on an ongoing basis.

For questions about eligibility or nominations, please contact:
  • For high performance coaches, contact your NSO High Performance Director (HPD)
  • For technical leaders, contact your OTP High Performance Advisor (HPA)
For information about Pursuit, contact

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