Throughout the 2017-18 season, U SPORTS sits down with one key athlete, coach, and staff member of each U SPORTS athletic program in our new interview series “Getting to know…”
Name: Julie Dionne
School: Université Laval
Position: Assistant Director of Sports Services and head of the Rouge et Or program
Seniority: Two years
Previous job/position: Executive Director of the RSEQ of the Québec and Chaudières-Appalaches region
- How did you get to your current position, and what do you enjoy most about our job?
First, I was the Executive Director of the RSEQ in the Québec and the Chaudière-Appalaches regions, and I was notified of Gilles Lépine’s departure since he was on my Board of Directors. I tried my luck simply applying for the position. My experience in management and as a coach, on top of the fact that I am a former participant of the Rouge et Or program in basketball, probably helped my application. I love the fact that I can work in the world of sports as it has been my passion for so many years.
- Who has had the most influence on your career?
In my sporting career, my influences have been coaches, specifically Linda Marquis with whom I am fortunate to work with today. She instilled good values in me, and always put people before athletic performance. In my professional career, my influences are everyone that I deal with daily who lead me to excel.
- What is your greatest sporting moment or achievement?
As a university athlete, my fifth year with a national final and an extraordinary team. As a coach, the three consecutive Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) national championships that we won. As a manager in sports, being able to assemble a staff and bringing people to work together on a common goal.
- How would you define a Université Laval student-athlete?
They are passionate, curious, and don’t accept the status quo. They wish to excel in all aspects of their life: work, sports, personal life. We do everything we can to help them.
- What does success look like for the Université Laval athletics program?
Success is defined not by victories and defeats, but rather by the total accomplishment of a student-athlete. If they leave the program as a better individual who has developed their qualities, who has reached their objectives, and who is now ready to face the workplace with the best tools possible, the work is done!
- What’s the biggest challenge you face in today’s sports world?
The world is evolving so fast, there are many choices, and the competition is tough. We have to continue to refine ourselves and be creative in what we propose.
- Where would you like to see Canadian university sport in the next three to five years?
I want to see it continue to be at the forefront. The student-athletes are extraordinary role models for our youth and are incredible resources for future employers. Sports and education must always continue to live together and the whole must be better recognized by our governments.
- If you could sit down for dinner with one person in the sports industry (athlete, coach or manager), who would it be? Why? What would you talk about?
Michael Jordan would certainly be the athlete that has been the most significant in my childhood. He’s a winner who transformed the sports industry and knew how to manage pressure. If I think of an athlete today, I would have liked to coach Laurent Duvernay-Tardif; incredible personality and excellent role model of a student-athlete that knew how to follow his two dreams of becoming a doctor and playing for the NFL!
- What would you say to a sports fan who’s never watched a U SPORTS game/tournament/competition?
I would tell them to just do it. They will quickly realize the quality of the show offered in all sports.
- What do you enjoy doing when you’re away from work?
I am often at work but when that’s not the case, I try to spend as much time as possible with my family since those are precious moments. I have two young boys and I want to make sure that they know that I’m there despite a demanding job.