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: Martine LeBlanc
School: Université de Moncton
Position: Athletics and Recreation Manager
Seniority: 14 years
Hometown: Moncton, N.B.
1. How did you get to your current position, and what do you enjoy most about your job?
I got this job right after finishing my university degree. I am passionate about sports and a former student-athlete, so working as a director in a university sports department was always one of my biggest career goals. I consider myself lucky to have had this opportunity very early in my career. I’m thankful that I get to work every day in a sports environment. I also appreciate the opportunity to help student-athletes in their journey on the Moncton campus.
2. Who has had the most influence on your career?
My parents. They got me involved in sports at an early age and supported me in my decision to pursue a career in this field. Their good work ethic and positive values have also greatly influenced me throughout my life.
3. What is your greatest sporting moment or achievement?
My greatest moments as an athlete were participating in the Canada Games (tennis) and playing varsity hockey at Université de Moncton. My greatest achievement as an administrator was going to the Summer Universiade twice (Belgrade 2009 and Kazan 2013) as a staff member for the Canadian delegation.
4. How would you define a Université de Moncton student-athlete?
Our athletes work very hard and have great pride in their varsity program. Through their many athletic, academic and community achievements, our athletes are ambassadors for the Université de Moncton and the francophone community.
5. What does success look like for the Université de Moncton athletics program?
Providing the best coaching and the best tools for our athletes to achieve the highest level of success in the AUS and U SPORTS. A healthy balance between athletic and academic success is also a very important value for our program. Our goal is for our student-athletes to become the future leaders of our community.
6. What’s the biggest challenge you face in today’s sports world?
Staying up-to-date with all the changes in an ever-evolving sports world and trying to fulfill all our needs within the financial realities of a university environment.
7. Where would you like to see Canadian university sport in the next three to five years?
I would like for the U SPORTS brand to be more present in our communities and have more media exposure across Canada. Developing national partnerships and sponsorships are important to helping develop the brand.
8. 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?
It's hard to pick just one person, but Serena Williams and Rose Marcario (CEO of Patagonia) would be two people I'd like to talk to. They’re strong and inspiring women who have had great success in their respective fields and who positively influence the sporting world. I would ask them questions about their background, the obstacles they had to overcome and the key to their success.
9. What would you say to a sports fan who’s never watched a U SPORTS game/tournament/competition?
It's high-level amateur sport at its finest. U SPORTS student-athletes are passionate about what they do, and they have an admirable work ethic. I strongly encourage people to support the university sports teams in their community. If you’ve never attended an event, take the time to get out to one - you won’t regret it!
10. What do you enjoy doing when you’re away from work?
Spending time with family and friends. I love doing outdoor activities, like downhill skiing, hiking and mountain biking. I also play hockey and softball.