Introducing Jackie Deschenes, Young IOA Participant

I started playing Ringette in Ajax, Ontario in 1987 and so began my lifelong love of sports. Over the years I have played basketball, curling, hockey, soccer, swimming and more. I’m a fan of all sports and, of course, the Olympics. Watching athletes perform at their top level always inspires me to be the best person I can be.

When it came to the time in my life that I had to choose a career I believed nothing could be better than working in sport for a living. With that in mind I chose to attend Laurentian University in pursuit of an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree in Sports Administration. It was during my time at school in Sudbury that I first learned of the International Olympic Academy and became interested in attending it.

After some private sector jobs I finally began work in the non-profit sports sector as the Technical Director at Ontario Ringette Association. I quickly discovered that I was correct back in high school – nothing is better than working in sport! After four years with Ringette I began work as the Executive Director of the Ontario Speed Skating Association. My current job has provided personal and professional growth for me, including the chance to volunteer at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games at Speed Skating Canada House.

After several years and many other phenomenal experiences such as attending the Olympic Academy of Canada and volunteering at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, I now have the chance to achieve a goal I set more than ten years ago, attending the International Olympic Academy. I could not be more excited to have an adventure at the 2011 IOA Session for Young Participants on the horizon. I expect to learn a lot about how other countries educate their population about the Olympics, how they celebrate their Olympians and, of course, to create lifelong connections with other participants. The trips to the beach and touring archaeological sites will be great “side benefits” of visiting Greece – ha ha!

When I’m not pursuing volunteer opportunities in sport, I enjoy camping, running, and volunteering as a Girl Guide leader and as the National Communications Adviser for Girl Guides of Canada. I continue to curl and play Ringette and I also manage a few websites for different groups including the Otonabee Squares dance club of which I am a member. When I have free time, I like to spend it at the cottage with my parents Betty and Dan, who are the reason I have achieved so many of my goals, or at home with my boyfriend Mike and our two cats.