Sport Solution Clinic

Sport Solution Clinic logo

The Sport Solution Clinic is a program of AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s National Team and Olympic Athletes, in conjunction with Western Law School.

AthletesCAN is the only fully independent and most inclusive athlete organization in the country and the first organization of its kind in the world.  As the collective voice of Canadian national team athletes, AthletesCAN ensures an athlete centered sport system by developing athlete leaders who influence sport policy and, as role models, inspire a strong sport culture.

Sport Solution is the only program of its kind in North America and is available to all members of AthletesCAN. To keep up-to-date with all things Sport Solution, please follow us @sportsolutionclinic on Instagram.

Our Mission

Sport Solution is committed to supporting an athlete-centred sport system and strives to achieve this objective by counselling and advocating on behalf of Canada’s high performance athletes so their voices are properly represented when resolving the sport related issues that affect them.

The Clinic

Sport Solution offers Western Law students the opportunity to assist Canadian athletes in preventing and resolving sport-related legal issues. Each year 8 first-year law students join the Clinic as caseworkers, whose responsibilities range from legal research to drafting of athlete agreements. 4 upper-year students provide mentor support as case managers, facilitating the relationship between athletes and caseworkers. 5 upper-year Program Managers oversee the Clinic as a whole, interacting with athletes and National Sport Organizations (NSOs) while directing the day-to-day operation of the Clinic in a leadership role. Program Managers are hired following their first year and hold the position until graduation, but are able to seek summer employment away from the Clinic following second year.

Supervising Lawyer

Amanda FowlerAmanda Fowler

Amanda Fowler is the Supervising Lawyer of the Sport Solution Clinic at Western’s Faculty of Law. Amanda started her sports law career when she represented a college baseball player who was drafted to a major league team. Shortly after, she began practicing sports law by representing Olympic, high-performance and amateur athletes in various sport disputes, including team non-selections, improper carding nominations, human rights and doping infractions. Amanda has successfully represented Canadian and international athletes at the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada and the Court of Arbitration for Sport. One of her most memorable cases was being involved with the Caster Semenya appeal. She continues to advise professional athletes, sport organization and teams. In 2017, Amanda was a pro bono lawyer for the Invictus Games in Toronto.

Program Managers

Hannah DobieHannah Dobie

Hannah is a second-year law student at Western University. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree at Queen’s University, with an Honours Specialization in Global Development. During Hannah’s first year of law school, she volunteered as a case worker with the Sport Solution Clinic. Hannah also works for a tech company on the customer support team, where she has gained valuable and transferable skills for serving client’s interests and communicating with sport organizations.

Hannah is a former USPORTS varsity athlete with the Queen’s women’s soccer team. In her third season, Hannah experienced a season-ending knee injury which inspired her advocacy for athletes’ access to resources and a safe sport environment.

Hannah is looking forward to taking on an expanded role within the Sport Solution clinic as a Program Manager. She is passionate about the unique value the clinic’s athlete-centered approach provides for conflict resolution. She is looking forward to advocating on behalf of athletes, while empowering them to become advocates within their own National Sport Organizations.

Samuel GanSamuel Gan

Samuel Gan is a second-year JD/MBA student at Western. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from St. Francis Xavier University before working for two years in a technology start-up. During Sam’s first year of law school, he volunteered with Project Consent for Pro Bono Students Canada, where he provided consent education to local high school students.

Sam recently completed his U SPORTS varsity athletics career with the Western Mustangs track and field team after initially competing with the St. Francis Xavier X-Men varsity football and track teams. With extensive experience in team and individual sports, Sam values the diversity of approaches to high-performance athletics and understands the challenges of balancing the pursuit of greatness in sport with the stresses of everyday responsibilities.

Sam is excited to be joining the Sport Solution Clinic as a Program Manager and eager to contribute to the important work of supporting Canadian athletes. Through his work, Sam hopes to remove obstacles and issues faced by athletes so they can focus on being the best that they can be.

Rheanna GeiselRheanna Geisel

Rheanna is a second-year law student at Western University. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree at Lakehead University, with Honours Specialization in Psychology and Philosophy. During Rheanna’s first year of law school she volunteered as a case worker with the Sport Solution Clinic.

Rheanna is a former USPORTS varsity athlete where she competed for the Lakehead women’s volleyball team for five seasons. She has also spent time coaching and mentoring various age groups for the Superior North Volleyball Club. Outside of sport, Rheanna has sat on numerous committees, including the Varsity Council and Senate Academic Committee at Lakehead University, where she acted as a voice on behalf of the student and student-athlete population in seeking improvements in areas such as treatment of athletes, access to support services and course accessibility and diversity.

Rheanna is excited to take on a new role as a Program Manager at the Sport Solution Clinic. The opportunity to combine her passion for advocacy and sport with her legal education will allow her to support and empower Canadian athletes. Rheanna is committed to preserving the Clinic’s standard of excellence in serving and supporting Canadian athletes.

Safiya NanjiSafiya Nanji

Safiya Nanji is a second-year law student at Western University. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University and a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University, where she specialized in human rights. Her thesis focused on the exploitation and abuse pertaining to restorative justice in international conflict zones. 

Prior to law school, Safiya interned at Parliament and Physicians for Human Rights, where she gained valuable experience instituting change at both the grassroots and macro-policy levels. These transferable skills will be particularly beneficial in serving clients’ interests and communicating with large organizations.

During her first year of law school, Safiya worked with the Sport Solution Clinic as a caseworker and thoroughly enjoyed combining her passion for advocacy and sports. She has been particularly interested in the area of safe sport and ensuring that all athletes have a safe physical and mental training environment.  is excited to be taking on the role of a Program Manager and is committed to upholding the Clinic’s high standard in serving and supporting Canadian athletes.


Laura WadeLaura Wade

Laura Wade is a second-year law student at Western. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and criminology from St. Thomas University (STU). Prior to attending law school, she worked in the field of corporate law policy and operations to which she gained transferable skills in research and promoting client’s interests.

During her undergraduate degree, Laura was involved in the athletics community and administration which sparked a passion for advocating for athletes. She was further involved in the Senate Committee at STU, where she represented the student population and advocated for more regard for students’ mental health in academic affairs.

Laura is quite excited to be involved with the Sport Solution Clinic as a Program Manager. She is committed to upholding the Clinic’s standard of excellence while supporting and advocating on behalf of athletes. This opportunity to utilize her skills combined with her legal education and passion for sports will allow her to empower athletes, which she is very much looking forward to.


Services

Sport Solution responds to the needs of athletes on a full range of issues including:

General Inquiries and Concerns

Call Early! Sport Solution provides athletes with the relevant information to answer any sport-related legal question. This can often have a preventative function – if the athlete is given the proper information regarding a seemingly small inquiry at an early stage, this will reduce the likelihood that the situation will evolve into a more serious issue in the future.

National Sport Organization Procedures

National Sport Organizations (NSOs) are the bodies that govern sports in Canada (for example, Volleyball Canada). When procedural issues between athletes and NSOs arise, Sport Solution students research and analyze established policies to provide athletes with a clear understanding of their claim or the tools to resolve the situation.

Mediation and Arbitration

The Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC) is a national alternative dispute mechanism tailored to the fit the needs of the Canadian sport community. If an athlete has an issue that is serious enough to require the services of the SDRCC, Sport Solution students advocate on behalf of athletes throughout the entire process, whether it is through mediation or the more advanced stages of an arbitration.

Appeals

If an NSO renders a decision that an athlete disagrees with, Sport Solution can assist the athlete in appealing the decision (on procedural grounds). Common appeal issues include team selection, funding and doping. Sport Solution students assist athletes at all levels of appeal, from the internal appeal within the NSO to the SDRCC.

Specific Issues We Handle

  • General Inquiries and Concerns
  • NSO Procedures
  • How to Prepare for NSO Appeals and Arbitration at the SDRCC
  • Athlete Agreements
  • Corresponding With an NSO

The areas of administrative sport law dealt with at the clinic are:

  • Team Selection
  • AAP Funding / Carding
  • Discipline
  • Harassment
  • Other Sports Related Legal Concerns

Sport Solution Publications

AthletesCAN produces a quarterly newsletter called AthletesNOW. Sport Solution provides regular content that reviews common concerns within the sporting community and tips on how to deal with these topics.

Recent Sport Solution publications include:

Hours of Operation

2021 Summer Regular Office Hours: [May 1st - September 3rd]

  • Monday to Friday 10am-5pm Eastern Standard Time

2021 Fall Semester Regular Office Hours: [September 20th – December 8th]

  • Monday to Friday 10am-5pm Eastern Standard Time

2022 Winter Semester Regular Office Hours: [January 3rd – April 8th]

  • Monday to Friday 10am-5pm Eastern Standard Time

2021/22 Sessional Dates Where the Clinic Will Be Closed

  • November 1st – 5th - Fall Study Break
  • December 10th – 23rd - Fall Term Examination Period
  • December 23rd – January 2nd - January Winter Break
  • February 19th – 27th  - Winter Study Week
  • April 8th – April 25th - Winter Term Examination Period

Contact Information

Toll Free: 1-888-434-8883
Tel: (519) 661-4163
Fax: (519) 661-2153
Email: sportsolution@athletescan.com
Skype: Sport_Solution_Clinic
Facebook: @AthletesCAN
Instagram: @sportsolutionclinic

Prospective Students: If you have any questions regarding Sport Solution, or how to get involved, do not hesitate to email us.

Athletes: CALL EARLY! Sport Solution can better address your needs before the problem escalates. At the Sport Solution, you, the athlete, control the dispute resolution process - we're here to give you the tools to resolve the problem.

Before making contact, it is recommended to organize any relevant information you may have available into digital files creating a background of your situation. This will allow the program managers to efficiently investigate the issue and provide you with a timely response.

Disclaimer

Sport Solution is a program of AthletesCAN, the association of Canada's national team athletes. The Program Managers, case managers and caseworkers of the Sport Solution program are law students who can provide athletes with legal information and resources on: sport dispute resolution procedures, athlete agreements and contracts, selection and discipline procedures in sport, and related legal and policy issues.

The Sport Solution Program Managers, case managers and caseworkers are not lawyers and they cannot provide legal advice or opinion. AthletesCAN respects an individual's privacy and any personal or confidential information that is provided to the Sport Solution will be used solely to assist the athlete with their issue or concern, and will not be shared with others without the athlete's consent.