Former Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association President Glenn Ruiter was inducted into the CCAA Hall of Fame in the Builder Category.
Ruiter served on the CCAA Executive from 1985-94 and 2000-2008. The former Athletic Director at John Abbott College was the President of the CCAA from 1987-90.
“During his 26-year career as Athletic Director at John Abbott, Glenn made a major contribution to the CCAA,” said Chris Hunter, Manager Sports & Recreation at John Abbott. “Perhaps the most significant contribution over his long involvement with the CCAA was developing a solution to Sport Canada’s funding cuts that threatened the survival of the Association.”
After his retirement from athletics, “Senator Glenn” has continued to make appearances at CCAA annual general meetings across the country. And in 2014, as the CCAA celebrated its 40th anniversary, Ruiter penned Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association - The First Forty Years, which chronicled the complete history of the CCAA.
Ruiter was first introduced to the CCAA at the AGM in June 1983, ahead of the 1984 CCAA Volleyball National Championships which were hosted by John Abbott. In Toronto, Ruiter met Athletic Directors from across Canada, who as volunteers were contributing as members of the executive, sport convenors and provincial delegates.
Their objective was to provide opportunities for student-athletes to compete at the highest level of their sport in Canada. After hosting Nationals in 1984, Ruiter would soon join the CCAA Executive.
He served as 1st Vice President (1985-86), VP Public Relations (1986-87), President (1987-90), Past President (1990-94), VP Marketing (2000-03), FQSE Member at Large (2003-06) and VP Governance (2006-08).
“As colleagues, we gathered at CCAA meetings and National Championships, sharing the task of building and sustaining the CCAA,” said Ruiter. “There were opportunities as well for professional development and time set aside for sharing experiences – beyond all that there were friendships established which along with the CCAA have stood the test of time.”
Ruiter believes the path of learning should never end and the CCAA provided him with that opportunity. Meeting with so many Athletic Directors at different events became an undeclared professional development program for him.
“My CCAA colleagues represent all parts of the country and it should be expected that participation at the national level would provide us with an understanding of the foundation of diverse opinions,” said Ruiter.
“For me, that was a valuable contribution for the development of relationships at all levels of my role in the presentation of sport opportunities – be it at John Abbott, the RSEQ or the CCAA.”
Ruiter would host a total of six National Championships at John Abbott and it’s the atmosphere at CCAA Nationals that he remembers most. To this day, he can still be spotted at CCAA National Championships that are hosted in the RSEQ.
“There is considerable excitement when a provincial championship is won but there is even a more remarkable moment when the gold medalists realize that they are going to a CCAA National Championship,” he said.
From the moment the student-athletes arrive in the host city, through the practice sessions, the All-Canadian awards banquet and ultimately the competition, there is a sense that they are part of something special.
“This is simply the best and the athletes will carry memories for a lifetime,” said Ruiter. “It is all of this and the atmosphere of a National Championship which I have enjoyed the most.”