Village Sports is built on a passion to develop, nurture, support, and help raise youth athletes to be the best they can be, both in and out of the sport. We help families connect the dots and create a support plan that integrates sports, academics, life, and wellness.
We do this by creating a space that gives you everything you need for an athlete’s sports journey: Education, Sport-Specific Programs, Training, Wellness, and Advisory.
We believe that whether you are an athlete, coach, parent, supporter, or spectator, the role of youth sports is to build great humans and leaders for life.
Tell us about yourself?
Paul, the current CEO of Village Sports, was born in Kingston, Ontario but grew up in Calgary, Alberta. He is a purpose-driven leader whose mantra is to “be brief, be sincere, and be seated”, emphasizing the value of time and the importance of authenticity and humility – beyond the core values Village Sports stand for.
Paul’s passion for leadership and sport started very young and moved him into junior hockey in the AJHL. Paul moved on to five years of CIS (now U Sports Hockey) at Royal Military College, where he both served in the Canadian Forces and continued his hockey journey towards professional hockey, graduating as the captain of the team and earning an honours BA.
Post-university and military, Paul travelled to the U.S.A. and Europe, where he played some brief years of pro hockey before moving back to Canada to attend teachers’ college at Queen’s University. Following his education degree, Paul headed back to Calgary to start a family and build a career in education and sport.
Prior to starting with Village Sports, Paul was a classroom teacher in Calgary for seven years in northeast Calgary. He slowly began into the world of youth sports development coaching and helping build the Global Sport Academy and STIX business on the periphery of this. Finally, in helping build the business, he has held every role in Village Sports, managing STIX Hockey, leading operations, and supporting the marketing arm.
Paul’s passions have all come together at Village Sports, a group that prides itself on using sport as a means to teach character, education, and leadership through various platforms. Paul is a positive motivator, a strong communicator, and a proud mentor. His passion is leadership, and he loves being able to help his staff and the families he works with navigate the world of sport and their personal brand by ensuring the process is focused on the journey. Above all, he stresses the importance of keeping it light and enjoying the moments that come, both the challenging and exciting ones, as we are always learning.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Progress, not perfection. You can only control what you can control, so your core values, your integrity, and how you handle relationships are everything.
What problem does your business solve?
For schools/school divisions, sports associations, and communities: we pull all the pieces together to create a convenient, economical solution that integrates character, leadership, and sports development into the school day and enhances the opportunities available for passionate athletes in the community.
For the family, we give them back precious time. We give them trust and provide access to first-class coaching and sports development, and we provide trust that the goals of sports are about the skills, character, and leadership opportunities learned from sports.
For the student-athletes, we create engaging, fun, and progressive opportunities for them to improve in their sport and academics and their overall development as humans and future leaders.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
We love building future leaders.
Our business is inspired by understanding the incredible life skills, lessons, and opportunities created by sports. We use a student’s love for sport as an important vessel to teach them about the importance of being a good person. Character, leadership, and being a good student are equally important to becoming good at your sport of choice. We love helping students become the best version of themselves and using sports to teach those important lessons. It doesn’t hurt that they also get better at their sport too!
What is your magic sauce?
Our magic sauce is in having the know-how to connect all the dots for schools, associations, and communities to provide cost-neutral opportunities to these organizations to enhance what they do within their scope of resources and create amazing opportunities for athletes.
Our other magic sauce is our program delivery and our ability to connect with our athletes and their families through a progressive, engaging, and fun curriculum and pedagogy. No one cares about how much you know until they know how much you care is something we live by.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
In the growing face of the privatization of sport, our vision is to continue to become an offering across Western Canada (and eventually into the east) that helps keep kids in their community within their own public schools and sports associations, trusting the development opportunities available to them at a price point that makes sense for families.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
The polarizing beliefs that exist in sport and outside of it.
How can people get involved?
If you are a sports association, a school division, or a sports champion in your community, contact me to learn more about how we can bring our character and sport development opportunities to your community. 587-430-0444