Thomaidis among 20 leaders in women’s sports, physical activity

Lisa Thomaidis leading Team Canada to silver at the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship for Women. (Photo: Samuel Vélez/FIBA Americas)

Lisa Thomaidis leading Team Canada to silver at the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship for Women. (Photo: Samuel Vélez/FIBA Americas)

Dundas native Lisa Thomaidis and McMaster University Medical School faculty member Dr. Margo Mountjoy are among 20 outstanding women named to the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity’s list of most influential women of 2013. The annual list celebrates and highlights Canadians who influenced sport and physical activity here and on the international stage.

This marks the 12th time CAAWS has presented the list, noted executive director Karin Lofstrom. “Our goal is to assist in raising the profile of these leaders as well as celebrate women who make a significant contribution to physical activity through to high performance.”

Last year, Canada Basketball named Thomaidis head coach of the national senior women’s team after 11 years as an assistant, making for a seamless transition. Thomaidis is a two-time Canadian Interuniversity Sport and four-time Canada West coach of the year with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.

She garnered valuable experience working as assistant coach with Allison McNeill on the team’s inspiring run to the quarter-finals at the London Olympic Games. At the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship for Women, Thomaidis led the squad to a silver medal, the team’s best finish since 1995. By making the tournament final, Canada qualified for a berth in the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women.

This is her inaugural appearance on the CAAWS Most Influential Women List.

A highly respected leader, Mountjoy is a member of the International Olympic Committee’s Medical Commission, a member of the FINA Bureau (Executive Board) with the portfolio of Sports Medicine and is a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee.

The former competitive synchronized swimmer, Mountjoy has served as the team physician for Synchro Canada since 1987, is a consultant for the University of Guelph’s Health and Performance Centre, and is on faculty of McMaster University’s Medical School. Her areas of specialty include female athlete health, elite child athlete health, prevention of sexual harassment and abuse in sport, and anti-doping.

She presented at the International Sport and Exercise Nutrition Conference 2013 on Female athlete triad update: New IOC Position Stand.

Other making the list included:

Caroline ASSALIAN, Chief Sport Officer, Canadian Olympic Committee (Montreal, QC);

Beverly BOYS, Official; “A Level” International judge; coach / diving (Surrey, BC);

Jill BREWER, Coach; Mentor; Master Learning Facilitator and Evaluator / diving (St. John’s, NL);

Jennifer CAMPBELL, Chef de mission of Team Canada, Special Olympics (Winnipeg, MB);

Jane EDSTROM, Official, International Association of Athletics Federations / athletics (Winnipeg, MB);

Cyndie FLETT, VP Research and Development, Coaching Association of Canada (Ottawa, ON);

Jennifer HEIL, Because I am a Girl Campaign / freestyle skiing (Spruce Grove, AB);

Kaillie HUMPHRIES, Olympian; role model / bobsleigh (Calgary, AB);

Carol HUYNH, FILA Panellist to IOC to Save Olympic Wrestling / wrestling (Hazelton, AB);

Monique LEFEBVRE, Executive Director, AlterGo; founder of Défi sportif AlterGo (Montreal, QC);

Monique F. LEROUX, President, Sherbrooke 2013 Canada Summer Games (Montreal, QC);

Anne MERKLINGER, CEO, Own the Podium; Board, Special Olympics Canada (Ottawa, ON);

Dr. Jane MORAN, Chair, International Skating Union’s Medical Commission / figure skating (Victoria, BC);

Jane RIDDELL, COO GoodLife Fitness Clubs Inc. / fitness (London, ON);

Christine SINCLAIR, Captain, Canadian Women’s Soccer Team / soccer (Burnaby, BC);

Tricia SMITH, VP, International Rowing Federation / rowing (Vancouver, BC);

Michelle STILWELL, Paralympian; MLA; Advocate / basketball & athletics (Parksville, BC);

Dr. Joan WHARF HIGGINS, Professor & Research Chair; Volunteer / physical education (Victoria, BC).

The final list was compiled by a CAAWS selection panel, from both public nominations and from contributions from knowledgeable sport and physical activity leaders. The panel reviewed the submissions and based its decision on accomplishment and scope of activities in the 2013 calendar year.

CAAWS is a national non-profit organization dedicated to creating an equitable sport and physical activity system in which girls and women are actively engaged as participants and leaders. It provides a number of services, programs and resources to a variety of clients, including sport and physical activity organizations, teachers, coaches, athletes, volunteers, health professionals and recreation leaders. Since 1981, the association has worked in close cooperation with government and non-government organizations on activities and initiatives that advocate for positive change for girls and women in sport and physical activity.