Meet The Executive DirectorJanuary 26, 2018
Fortius Foundation Executive Director (ED), Andy Price has a long-standing history of helping charitable organizations in the sports industry reach their community goals.
For the past two years, Andy has been leading the Fortius Foundation in its vision to fund and support world-class sport and exercise medicine and science facilities, programs and other initiatives centered on collaborative research, education and innovation.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Andy for a Q&A to learn more about his passion and the Foundation’s goals heading into 2018.
WHAT ORIGINALLY DREW YOU TO FORTIUS?
Scott Cousens, our founder, sought me out in the summer of 2015 to discuss the role. By coincidence, at the time I was taking part in a 3DRun study at Fortius Sport & Health and had been blown away by the facility and the staff.
At our first meeting Scott explained the structure and vision of Fortius to me, that it was built and owned by a charity, and the importance of supporting our community and athletes at all levels. I immediately knew I wanted to be part of the organization. However, it took another six months and multiple meetings for Scott to agree to that!
YOU’VE BEEN THE ED NOW FOR TWO YEARS, WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS?
When I see our gymnasium full of kids from Burnaby schools, now three times a week, I am so proud of that. Our KidsMove program is so unique, and is helping these children to lead active, healthy lives. I believe we have created something that will leave a lasting legacy.
At the heart of the success of this program, and in fact all our successes, are the amazing partners we have. We have funders like Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart Foundation and many generous individuals and collaborators like Integrated Athlete Development. We also have partners like TELUS and the Steve Nash Foundation who are both collaborators and funders. Everyone at Fortius should be very proud that we have built and nurtured these partnerships.
WHAT IS THE FOCUS FOR THE FOUNDATION HEADING INTO THIS YEAR?
Well, we’re still in the early days of the new role for the Fortius Foundation.
For a number of years, our focus was on raising the funds to build the amazing facility we have today. I feel so grateful for all the hard work that was done before I arrived to make this place a reality. I am truly “standing on the shoulders of giants”, as they say, and every day I want to help us achieve the vision of the founders, for Fortius to be a community asset.
So, first and foremost, we’ll continue to build the programs we’ve been developing over the last two years. KidsMove has expanded massively this year already – we have gone from running sessions once a month, to weekly sessions, to now three sessions a week. From January to June alone we will be running 60 two hour sessions! That’s obviously a lot of work for the coaches who run the program, who by the way I want to give a special thanks to. Ensuring that they have the resources they need is the Foundation’s number one priority.
We’ll also continue to fund BACK in the Game, which is such a cool program, helping children with chronic back pain. Last year the Foundation invested in Pilates studio equipment for the program and that has been a big help for some of the kids who had more severe back pain and mobility issues. We’ll continue to invest in equipment around the facility to help those most in need.
I am also really excited this year to be helping develop our research capacity. A couple of partners I didn’t mention earlier are two charities we work very closely with and really are essential collaborators in our vision:
- Pro Motion Research Institute, or PMRI for short is focused on research and expanding knowledge in the field of sport science. Sport science is of course at the heart of all our programs, so helping PMRI build capacity is really important to us.
- Max Training Centres (a Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Association or RCAAA) is focused on providing funding for Canadian athletes with the potential to compete on the international stage. We’ve already worked with them to support training and rehab costs for a couple of really talented young athletes, and 2018 is going to see a lot more happening there.
All of this we will be able to do, because of the generosity of our supporters, so my big focus will be making those connections. The staff and practitioners at Fortius will be the ones who truly deliver our vision—I’m just here to support them in any way I can.
To learn more about the Fortius Foundation, or how you can support, visit our website www.fortiusfoundation.ca