Julie Healy to depart; Kerri Morgan to assume Chief Sport Officer role
Fresh from an incredible Olympic Games that saw Canada achieve its best results since 2012, Chief Sport Officer Julie Healy is leaving Canada Artistic Swimming (CAS) to pursue other interests.
“It has been a privilege to have worked on behalf of the stakeholders in this amazing sport these past four years. Following a successful performance in Tokyo, the timing is right to hand the reins over to the next Chief Sport Officer to continue building towards Paris 2024,” said Healy. “I want to thank all those in the community who believed in the organization’s vision and whose hard work and support contributed to all that was accomplished during my time at CAS. It was a true team effort and it has been an honour to have worked with so many to affect change.”
Healy brought much-needed consistency to the structure of high-performance programming in artistic swimming. During her four-year tenure, she spearheaded the development and revision of the organization’s key high performance-related projects, including:
- led the development of the sport’s Podium Pathway, which included the creation of a unique and objective Winning Style of Performance that drove the evolution of the Gold Medal
- successfully secured funding from Own the Podium (OTP), re-establishing artistic swimming as an OTP targeted sport.
- put in place a “best in class” Performance Services Team to support the athletes training full-time in Montreal.
- introduced a national talent identification process.
- spearheaded the submission process for artistic swimming to be moved to the Canada Summer Games.
- led the development of the Guiding Principles and COVID Return to Sport Protocol for the 2021 competitive season.
- working with stakeholders and CAS staff, led the process to update Canada Artistic Swimming’s Coach Development Pathway and coach education programs to meet the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) requirements and standards.
The 2020 Olympics were a particular focus when Healy joined CAS in 2017. Working with coaching and Performance Services Team staff at the full-time training centre at INS in Montreal, the goal of qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was realized. The duet and team not only qualified by winning the 2019 Pan Am Games, the goal of improving international scores and ranking from seventh place in 2017 to fifth place in 2021 was achieved.
Witnessing the reaction of the Olympic Duet (Holzner / Simoneau) when they saw their Duet Free final scores at the Tokyo Olympics, as well as that same joy on the faces of the athletes following the completion of their technical team performance, was a highlight for Healy.
Healy was particularly proud that despite the gaps in training this season, the Olympic duet and team had their best possible performances. In addition to the athletes’ hard work, Healy credits much of this success to the commitment, resilience and “we can do this” attitude of the support team that was assembled for the final eight weeks of preparation – under Healy’s guidance – before the team left for Games, feeling that everything possible that the athletes needed to succeed was provided to them.
Healy has committed to assist the organization while the new Chief Sport Officer transitions into the full-time position.
Kerri Morgan joins organization as new Chief Sport Officer
On the heels of Healy’s departure, CAS is extremely pleased to announce that veteran coach and High Performance administrator Kerri Morgan will assume the duties of the CAS Chief Sport Officer effective September 7, 2021.
As Head Coach of the Olympium Artistic Swimming Club in Etobicoke, as well as a Mental Game Coach, Morgan has a strong background and proven success in leading high-performance programs and coaching teams. Her coaching and mentoring experience includes athletes, coaches and organizations at varying stages of development from beginner to elite. As a Head Coach and Coach Mentor, Morgan has had consistent success in identifying, developing, and nurturing coach talent, which she believes is of paramount importance for long-term success in any sport organization.
Morgan worked with CAS national team athletes and coaches during their final preparation phase for Tokyo including at the FINA Artistic Swimming Super Final in Barcelona in early June and their training camps in Budapest, Hungary and Victoria, BC. She outlined “I feel privileged to have an understanding of the challenging journey the national team experienced through the pandemic period and to have contributed to the culture work. I am truly excited about the road that lies ahead for the national team program, and I am eager to be a part of it.”
She is committed to “working with CAS provincial partners, clubs and coaches in an atmosphere of sharing, development and support to further develop artistic swimming in Canada “– carrying forward the high-performance culture work begun this past season.” She believes Canada has a strong club system with talented and committed people running those clubs across the country. Morgan is thankful for the work that has been done by Healy and is looking forward to continuing to build upon the structure that she has established.
“Julie and her team have created important processes and systems that have laid the much- needed groundwork for continued success,” said Morgan. “ I am excited to implement those processes as we work to bring artistic swimming in our country to the next level. Working with Julie this fall will help ensure that I help bring these systems to life in a way that builds upon our momentum.”
“We are enthusiastic and optimistic about the accomplishments in Tokyo by our national team athletes, “ said Jackie Buckingham, CEO, Canada Artistic Swimming. “We’re very confident about the work being done in the background to continue the path of success to 2024. Our organization would like to recognize and thank Julie for her leadership and foundational work to establish a strong High Performance system. We welcome Kerri to the team to carry this important work forward to 2024 and beyond.”