Posted: Apr 04, 2014
Dr. Wayne Halliwell was Dawson College’s athletic director and hockey coach when he was approached with the idea of getting Quebec involved in a national championship organization. He was present at the initial 1972 meetings and shared the vision of providing college students with the opportunity to compete beyond their province, while also grappling with the idea of how to get it done.
“I had competed in sport at a high level, and felt our student-athletes deserved the same experience,” says Halliwell, who played hockey in the American college system and professionally in Switzerland. “We had a vision of going beyond provincials to a national championship. Once we looked at the number of students attending community colleges across Canada we realized very quickly we were deserving of the same kind of support as universities.”
Halliwell played a role in obtaining those numbers, conducting research in Quebec and the Maritimes to determine their sum of potential participants. These statistics were in turn referenced in the group’s successful funding application to Sport Canada.
Once established, Halliwell was named first vice-president of the CCAA under president Don Stouffer. He still remembers the road trip they took from Montreal to Quebec City, navigating the quaint villages of rural Quebec. Although he was only involved for a short time before leaving Dawson College in 1974, the CCAA “was exciting, just in terms of who was involved and what we were accomplishing. We were very focussed and committed but we also had a lot of fun, and there was a nice sense of achievement when it came together.”
Halliwell went on to earn a PhD from Florida State University, then returned to Montreal and joined the Université de Montréal department of kinesiology. Now a world-renowned high-performance sport psychologist, he’s worked with countless professional and amateur athletes. His services have been sought by several NHL franchises and he’s a fixture on the Canadian Olympic team, working with medalists Alex Bilodeau, Jennifer Heil, Joanie Rochette and Chloé and Justine Dufour-Lapointe, to name but a few.
Halliwell has also served as a sport psychology consultant for Hockey Canada's successful Program of Excellence for over 25 years, and has had the privilege of working with many gold medal winning national junior and under-18 teams at World Championships. In 2002 Halliwell received the prestigious Gordon Juckes Award, recognizing his dedicated service to Hockey Canada and ongoing contribution to the development of hockey in Canada.