John Davidson, who represented Quebec for more than 20 years at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association table, was inducted into the CCAA Hall of Fame in the Builder Category.
Davidson, the long-time Athletic Director at Dawson College, served on the CCAA Executive from 1991-96 as VP of Finance and continued to be a Quebec voting delegate up until his retirement in 2006, when he was named the CCAA Athletic Director of the Year.
“Over his 23 years of involvement in the CCAA, John contributed to the growth and stability of the CCAA and always had the needs of the student-athletes in mind when making decisions,” said Dan Boyer, Coordinator of Student Services & Athletics at Dawson College. “John met many people throughout the country due to his involvement in the CCAA and still keeps in touch with many of them today.”
A career in athletics wasn’t originally the plan for Davidson. He had worked as a Computer Science teacher, was a bit of a hippie and working in the Student Affairs Department when Dawson asked him to become Athletic Director.
Then, his Men’s Basketball squad was victorious at provincials and earned a trip to the 1983 CCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship at Humber College.
Davidson attended along with his team and his first CCAA experience was certainly memorable – and not just because his team captured a National Championship title with a victory over Vancouver Community College.
“In hindsight, I was just so impressed with the Championship, the job Humber did, and most of all what it meant to the student-athletes that the next year I applied on behalf of Dawson to host,” he said.
Dawson would indeed host the CCAA Nationals the following season – the first of six times during his time at the Westmount, QC, institution.
Davidson’s tenure on the CCAA Executive wasn’t always quite as smooth. It was while he was VP Finance that the Canadian government withdrew its funding and the CCAA was forced to find a way to remain viable.
“It wasn’t easy to see how we would survive,” said Davidson. “The meetings were tough, and the accounting was tough but what struck me was that no one across the country was going to let the National Championships die.”
While there may have been disagreements on how the CCAA would survive, representatives from across the country worked together to find a solution.
“Thanks to the dedication and commitment of those delegates, look where we are now,” he said.
Davidson fondly remembers the AGM social activities such as an East vs. West baseball game, a round of golf or an excursion to one of the local attractions in the area.
“While there was often much disagreement from conference to conference, these social interactions allowed us to get to know each other and understand that we were all there for the student-athletes,” he said.
This, Davidson believes, went a long way in delegates being able to come to a consensus on issues or at least understand the motivations behind the various positions by conferences.
“I think I stayed being a Quebec representative for all those years because of the people I met across the country, many of whom became good friends,” said Davidson.
Over time, Dawson was fortunate to attend and host many National Championships and Davidson was able to see first-hand what those experiences meant to student-athletes.
“This is why I felt that it was important to be involved and help keep CCAA Nationals alive and help develop them in a way that worked for all the conferences no matter the differences that existed.”