• Ellen McCann wins gold in Digital Products
  • Serena Adatia and Taran Kandhola win double gold in Kardashian knowledge, beating out Ellen for the title
Photo: Jessica Zelinka via Twitter
Photo: Jessica Zelinka via Twitter

Game Plan: Smith School of Business helps athletes go back to school

Game Plan is Canada’s total athlete wellness program that strives to support national team members to live better and more holistic lives.

For many athletes, training to representing Team Canada at the Olympic Games is a full-time job. However, through Game Plan, Smith School of Business is helping athletes prepare for life after sport with education opportunities.

Since 2016, Smith School of Business and Game Plan have helped elite athletes pursue higher education through full tuition scholarships. Whether they’re ready to transition from being athletes to full-time students or they want to study while they continue to train, Smith has options to support athletes in every phase.

Annually, this partnership gives more than 150 of Canada’s eligible elite athletes the opportunity to pursue a variety of programs from a Certificate in Business to a Masters of Business Administration (MBA).

Here’s a look at what some of Team Canada’s athletes have been up to at Smith.

RELATED: Game Plan makes mental health services accessible

Benjamin Russell and Gabriel Beauchesne-Sevigny with their Pan Am Games gold medals in C-2 1000m on July 13, 2015.

Ben Russell and Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny were two of the first students at Smith School of Business when the Game Plan partnership began in 2016. Before they were accepted into Queen’s MBA program, the pair competed together in canoe, and won gold at the 2015 Pan American Games. Since trading their paddles for textbooks in January 2017, the two have wrapped up their studies at Smith and transitioned into new careers. Beauchesne-Sévigny is now assistant product manager at a notable Fortune 500 consumer packaged goods company.

Read more about their experience at Smith here

RELATED: The school/sport balancing act

The variety of programs offered by Smith has allowed athletes to combine training with higher education, which for many athletes is a dream situation. For Rio 2016 Olympian Michael Tayler, relocating to Kingston to pursue a Graduate Diploma in Business at Smith was more than worth it, even if it meant finishing his course only four weeks before the 2017 Canoe Slalom World Championships.

“It was a step outside of my comfort zone to go back to school in a new subject, but working hard at something outside of sport has meant that when I do turn back to training full time, it will be with a fresh and motivated mindset.” – Tayler told Game Plan.

With many athletes successfully pursuing – and graduating from – Smith programs, fans can expect more great stories from Team Canada outside of the field of play. Read more about athletes’ experiences at Smith School of Business here.