Hired Guns: Charmaine Crooks

What drives you to devote so much of your time to sports activism and charities?

I feel a sense of responsibility because sport gave me so much. If there are opportunities to drive change, I’m proud to be a part of that. Being an athlete who came through the 1980s—where we now know systematic doping was happening in many countries and the impact that had personally—competing in a system like that was oftentimes not fair. What I want to do now is be a part of that system and make it more fair for athletes today.

What issues are you focused on?

Accessibility. Making sure that people with mental and physical disabilities, aging communities and minority groups are able to have access to sport and are reflected in the Canadian sport mosaic system. I think we’re making strides with women and girls in sport particularly, but we have to keep the pedal to the metal when it comes to governance.

Proudest moment?

Standing on the podium with my teammates. The lessons I learned on the way to the podium, I continue to apply today.

An emerging industry trend that should be on everybody’s radar?

I think that sports needs to continue to embrace tech and how we attract youth from a tech and digital point of view. There are so many great stories that are happening in sport but we need to tell the story differently, use the platforms available and engage deeply.


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