Rhonda Jewett was recently appointed to the Cross Country Canada Board of Directors and hopes that she will be able to help shape the future of Canada’s athletes. As a former racer, she realized how many hours were put into the Canadian ski racing program by volunteers and staff alike.
“Now that I’m done ski racing, I feel that I have the time to give back so that younger skiers can have even more opportunities than I did,” she said in an interview.
Being an athlete certainly has helped Jewett bring a unique set of skills to the table. Her insider experience with the technical aspects of the organization such as racing, coaching and officiating will make her a valuable asset to the board. Her position includes representing CCC’s membership and offering direction that will be in its best interest.
She believes athletes have a very strong personal and emotional tie to the sport and it’s far too draining for them to become involved in the underlying politics that govern their ski career. “Now that I don’t have a personal interest in the decisions made by CCC, I feel that I can apply my experiences as a ski racer to not only address issues that face ski racers but also assist in directing CCC towards an environment that will promote success at all levels of xc development in Canada,” she said.
In terms of changes within the CCC board, she’s hoping to see more transparency in the decision making processes. She doesn’t believe there is any reason to do things ‘under the table’ or for there to be delays in informing CCC’s membership of decisions being made. She also wants to see better communication between CCC’s levels.
Jewett is also looking to create equal opportunity for the ski racer memberships, including equal opportunities for women and men, National Team and independent racers, and ‘sprinters’ or ‘distance racers,’ whether for selections for teams, races, and training opportunities.
CCC has a history of not having many women in leadership roles and Jewett hopes that by having three women on the board of directors, more women will become involved in the organization, especially in decision-making positions. “I think that it is crucial that women be involved in the decision making processes of the organization, especially when the decisions concern female racers and coaches,” she said.
For the upcoming year, she hopes to have a woman directly involved in the high performance committee’s decisions. “I believe that this will foster equal representation and opportunities for both female and male athletes,” she said.
Jewett is in the first year of a two year term on the CCC Board of Directors.