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Kate Boyd named first female high-performance director at Nordiq Canada

CANMORE, Alta. — Kate Boyd has been named high-performance director for the national governing body of cross-country and para-Nordic skiing.

Boyd is the first woman to hold the position with Nordiq Canada. She's been an HPD and NextGen coach for the para-Nordic team for the last five years.

"I have been surrounded by strong female leaders throughout my entire career, while working with the Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium, and Canadian Olympic Committee, who have greatly influenced the person and leader I am today," Boyd said Tuesday in a Nordiq Canada statement.

"I never felt there wasn’t anything I could do because I was a woman and I am honoured to be the first female to take on the responsibility of Nordiq Canada’s high-performance director."

The Ottawa native is based in Canmore, Alta., where Nordiq Canada's headquarters are located. The organization was known as Cross Country Canada until a rebranding in 2019.

The national cross-country team is in a rebuilding phase following the retirement of Alex Harvey, but remains an international contender on the para side led by Paralympic champions Brian McKeever and Mark Arendz.

The HPD position has been in flux since Tom Holland retired in 2018. Boyd replaces Nic Lemyre, who served part-time in the role while working as a University of Oslo professor.

“Kate is a highly-motivated professional who knows what it takes for athletes and coaches to reach their full potential, and ultimately, win,” Nordiq Canada interim chief executive officer Stephane Barrette said in the statement. 

"She has a keen understanding of program management, our development pathway from the grassroots to elite level, and the sport system in Canada, which will provide a relatively seamless transition to this new role."

Nordiq Canada has created a series of regional races for the 2020-21 season, which provides the country's top athletes the chance to compete while limiting travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the global pandemic very much still a challenge for all of us in the world, I am also committed to ensuring our athletes and staff have the resources they require to train and have the opportunity to get on a start line, and race, while staying healthy," Boyd said.

“There is no doubt we have challenging days ahead of us, but I’m here for the long haul."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 8, 2020.

The Canadian Press