Conference Schedule and Keynote Speakers
For descriptions of the Conference sessions, please click here. For the full conference schedule, please click here. For a full list of the speakers and their bios, please click here
Dame Katherine Grainger - is the current Chair of UK Sport. She was appointed for a term of four years in April 2017 with the approval of the Prime Minister.
Katherine is Britain’s most decorated female Olympic athlete of all time and the first British woman to win medals at five successive Olympic Games. These include a memorable gold medal at London 2012, which followed silver medals at Sydney, Athens and Beijing. Following a two-year break from the GB Rowing Squad, Katherine returned to the team at the end of 2014. The move resulted in success when Katherine’s silver medal at Rio 2016 gave her the record breaking fifth medal from five Olympics.
In November 2009, Katherine was named as Scottish Sportsperson of the Year and awarded the “Emirates Lonsdale Trophy” by Commonwealth Games Scotland, the first female to win this prestigious award. In 2016, her fellow Olympians voted her Britain’s first Olympians’ Olympian. On retiring from rowing, Katherine was awarded the world of rowing’s most prestigious prize, the Thomas Keller Medal, for an Outstanding Career in Rowing. She is the Honorary President of the Scottish Amateur Rowing Association.
Katherine was born and educated in Scotland, graduating in law from Edinburgh University. She went on to achieve an MPhil in Medical Law and Medical Ethics from Glasgow University. In May 2013, she completed a PhD in the sentencing of homicide at King’s College, University of London. She is a Fellow of King’s College and a Regent of Edinburgh University and has received honorary doctorates from nine universities. In March 2015, Katherine was inaugurated as Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, a role she will hold for a seven-year tenure.
For services to rowing, Katherine was awarded an MBE in 2006 and a CBE in 2013. She serves as an ambassador, patron or board member of various charities and sporting bodies and this was recognised when, to round off an exceptional 20 year career in sport, she became Dame Katherine Grainger in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List for services to sport and charity.
Dr. Cari Din - holds a PhD in Kinesiology with a specialization in Leadership Behaviour. She is an Olympic silver medallist, coach, NCCP Master Coach Developer and member of the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Kinesiology. Cari teaches leadership that enables positive human development – with a specific focus on sport. She is a CAAWS Women and Leadership facilitator and a member of the Alberta Women in Sport Leadership Impact Program, supported by the Status of Women Canada. She is deeply committed to creating environments that enable meaningful learning for participants. Cari has been nominated for and won the University of Calgary’s Teaching Excellence Award numerous times and is known for taking active learning risks in her classrooms to enhance student engagement. Her enthusiasm pervades her work – she is committed to developing leaders who support inclusive and meaningful physical activity. Cari lives in Calgary with her family and appreciates the nearby mountains.
Melody Davidson - Melody was Head Coach for the gold medal winning Canadian Olympic women's hockey team in 2006 & 2010. She moved into role of General Manager of the Women’s National hockey team from 2013 to 2018, winning a silver medal in 2018 at the Winter Olympics.
Melody is a level 4 certified coach who was inducted into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame in April 2011. She was the only person to be named to the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity’s most influential women list for five straight years (2007-2011).
Melody was the recipient of the 2010 Jack Donohue Coach of the Year Award from the Coaches Association of Canada and received the 2010 C. Vivian Stringer Coaching Award from the United States Sports Academy.