Ken Marchant attended his first Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association meeting in 1973 as a representative of the Nova Scotia College Conference, now known as the ACAA (Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association). From then on he continually served the national organization in various capacities until his retirement in 1994.
A founding member of the CCAA executive, he served as six years as treasurer (1974-80), during which he oversaw an evolving budget and was responsible for purchasing airline tickets for all national championship participants. He served a total of seven years as a regional representative (1981-84, 90-94), as well as men’s soccer convenor (1983-86), and men’s hockey convenor (1985-90), where he used his expertise to establish national championship rules and oversee disciplinary hearings.
Through it all he held the post of athletic director at Nova Scotia Agricultural College, now known as Dalhousie Agricultural Campus. He served as host chair of four CCAA national championships during his 30-year career, and NSAC has the distinction of having hosted 14 overall, more than any other member institution.
“Because of my own background as an athlete, I wanted to provide the opportunity to do your best and give it your all, whatever the level,” says former UNB hockey All-Canadian Marchant. “To give athletes the opportunity to compete at the highest level and further test their skills against other member conferences across this great country, to travel and meet other athletes; they were the reason we did this."
Marchant’s other highlights from the CCAA include attending the first CCAA hockey national championship in Sydney, Nova Scotia in 1975, witnessing an incredible 12-1 comeback in Winnipeg while serving as CCAA hockey convenor, and hosting NSAC’s first CCAA Men’s Soccer National Championship on their newly refurbished soccer field in 1990.
There were also the CCAA annual general meetings, which featured spring skiing at Whistler and beachside lobster boils on Nova Scotia’s north shore. “The meetings were for business but also for socializing,” says Marchant. “It was exciting to meet other administrators from across the country, talk shop and hear their ideas and suggestions for improving the programs for our athletes.”
Despite retirement Marchant is still a welcome presence at the CCAA, attending both the 25th and 30th anniversary celebrations.
“As far as being a part of the CCAA, it was a great ride, and I enjoyed the whole experience. I did the best I could for the national body, and I always felt satisfied about what I did for the athletes.”