Swimming Canada CEO Pierre Lafontaine leaves for CIS


OTTAWA – Swimming Canada President David de Vlieger announced today that CEO Pierre Lafontaine will be leaving the organization to take on new challenges as CEO of Canadian Interuniversity Sport effective March 1, 2013.

“The swimming community is very grateful to Pierre Lafontaine for his accomplishments as CEO and National Coach since 2005 and we wish him well in his new role,” said de Vlieger.

“Lafontaine’s passion, energy and determination in guiding Swimming Canada during the past eight years has positioned Canada as a leading swimming nation. We have accomplished many great things under Pierre’s leadership, and we will continue to make our mark on the international stage.”

Swimming Canada’s focus is to build on the momentum and successes the organization has gained while continuing to pursue the goals it has set in its “Vision 2020” strategic plan.

A search for a new CEO has already commenced and Swimming Canada’s Board of Directors is aiming to have the successful candidate in place by Sept. 1, 2013.

In the interim, Ken Radford will oversee the leadership of Swimming Canada operations and work closely with the Board of Directors and the management team to ensure a smooth transition.

Radford, Swimming Canada’s director of swimming operations, has been with the organization for nearly 15 years. He was also appointed Interim CEO in early 2000.

As Lafontaine announces his decision to move on from his leadership role at Swimming Canada, he reflects on the growth of the sport in Canada.

“While I’m excited to take on new challenges, I’m feeling truly proud of being part of the immense progress of Canadian swimming in the past decade,” said Lafontaine.

“Our country has seen an incredible shift forward in the pool. Our swimmers are now household names, which is a testament to their commitment to excellence and guidance from their coaches. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to work with incredible colleagues who have shared my passion for the sport, and with the Swimming Canada Board of Directors for their continued support and belief in our vision.”

During his tenure as CEO and national coach, Lafontaine led the organization to consistent podium performances at major international games including three swimming medals at the recent Olympics and 16 at Paralympics, as well as several world record performances.

His ongoing commitments to the development of a sustainable sport system resulted in nearly doubling its membership and budget. The junior program has positioned itself as second in the world and Canadian swimmers have re-written 68 per cent of the record books.

Lafontaine also helped build a stronger corporate brand through innovative media strategies, including a six-day live broadcast of the Swimming Canada Olympic and Paralympic Trials.

Scott Harrigan
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