Athletics Canada announced today that Carla Nicholls has been selected for the position of Para Performance Lead. Since 2010, Carla has led the Olympic Development Program (NextGen), and will continue to oversee this portfolio for the time being. She was a national event group coach for jumps and combined events from 2009 to 2013. In 2016-2017 Nicholls was Interim Acting Chief Technical Officer, since 2013 she has been a member of the National Team Committee.
“It has been a pleasure to have led the High Performance Olympic Development Program for the past few years. I am proud of the work accomplished, particularly in identifying and developing future world class athletes,” said Nicholls as she reflected on her time as the Olympic Development Lead. “As we move forward, NextGen will be integrated within the new Canadian Athletics Performance Pathway (CAPP) program and I will continue to act as temporary lead to ensure program continuation until the role is filled.”
The primary focus of the Para Performance Lead, partially funded by Own the Podium, is leading and executing Athletics Canada’s Para High Performance Plan with the aim of winning more medals at the World Para Athletics Championships and Paralympic Games. “I look forward to the new opportunity to continue to grow the Paralympic program domestically and internationally,” said Nicholls. “Under the leadership of High Performance Director Simon Nathan, we will continue to ensure our best athletes are encased with the needed support to strive for podium success. The Paralympic program will continue to identify and develop athletes within all stages of the new Canadian Athletics Performance Pathway, with the ultimate goal of increasing our international podium success.”
High Performance Director Simon Nathan said “I’m very happy with Carla’s appointment to this role. She has a wealth of High Performance experience and understands the Canadian sports system inside out. She is passionate about applying all of that knowledge to our Para program. There is a very exciting group of talented athletes in our Para program at the moment and I firmly believe that Carla can help these athletes and their coaches make Canada a medal machine at future World Championships and Paralympic Games.”
Nicholls was part of the National Team staff at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. She has held various coaching roles, including Head Coach, at numerous events including the World U18 Championships, World U20 Championships, Pan American Games, World University Games and Commonwealth Games.
She owns an IAAF Level 5 Elite Coach certification in horizontal jumps and NCCP Level 4 in athletics. Nicholls, a fervent supporter of women in coaching, is a graduate of the Coaching Association of Canada’s Women in Coaching Apprenticeship Program. She holds designation as an NCCP Master Learning Facilitator and Evaluator as well is a Certified Facilitator Expert from the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport.