SportWORKS - Making a Difference & Becoming Different

The Sport Leaders Abroad Program
sends qualified and experienced Canadian
sport leaders (administrators, coaches, officials, etc.) to assist their counterparts in their fields/sports of expertise in countries around
the world.

Graham Barton

Leader Bio: Graham Barton is currently a high performance advisor at Own The Podium. He has almost three decades of experience working at various levels within the Canadian sport system including 11 years as High-Performance Director at Canoe Kayak Canada. While at Canoe Kayak, Graham led Canada's national teams to almost 30 Olympic and World Championship Medals.

Placement Date: April 10-20, 2013

Placement Details: During his first two days in Botswana, Graham used a workshop format to work with participants from the organization to brainstorm a number of issues. They identified several main areas in need of improvement, including: talent identification of athletes, high performance center overview, high performance sport and athlete targeting, and strategic planning for the high performance sport system. Following the workshop and the departure of the majority of the participants, Graham remained in Botswana to work with ZoneVI staff. The primary objective for the remainder of his placement was to work with ZoneVI staff to add detail to the concepts discussed at the workshop, share expertise and information in developing High Performance Plans and finally to assist in establishing a plan for the next six months.

Supreme Council for Sport in Africa Zone VI, Botswana
Ottawa, Ontario
University of Western Ontario, Bachelor Degree Physical Education
When I left for Botswana I really couldn’t tell you what I was expecting. As always I did my research. What is the average temperature, what should I pack, international travel advisories, etc. Upon arriving in Botswana, my hosts Mr. Mrape and Ms Mokhehle were extremely friendly and informative. They took me on a brief drive around the city. The architecture was varied and spectacular. We visited a new football facility built in the rural part of Botswana where I had the opportunity to meet the manager and some of the athletes who were there for a mini training camp. We then visited one of the Game Reserves to fill out the afternoon. The next day was the start of the Workshop. It was nice to be noted as an expert but the real value in coming to an initiative like this is to come away with new ideas and I thank everyone who contributed to the workshop for this. I wish Zone VI all the best and future podium success. I hope when I watch the Games in Rio and 2020 we can say that one week in April of 2013 made a difference.