Cheryl Pounder has played on six of Canada’s World Championship Hockey teams and was named an All-Star Defenseman in 2005. She was also voted the top defenseman at the 2002, 2004, 2005 (MVP) and 2007 Canadian Women’s Hockey National Championships. Her greatest career accomplishments are her two Olympic gold medals from the Salt Lake City and Torino Olympic Games.
Cheryl believes it’s always about the journey! That’s the message she shares with every audience and that along the way, change is inevitable. Embracing change and getting outside of our comfort zones is the only path to excellence. Learning from both failures and successes allows us to "Grow for Gold" as true achievement is found in the details. It takes commitment, vision, leadership, teamwork and dedication not just some days but every day!
Currently, Cheryl is working as a colour commentary analyst on TSN. Her most recent work included the 2014 Olympic Winter Games and 2013 Women’s World Hockey Championships. She is a board member for the Ladies’ First Hockey Foundation and Canadian Women’s Hockey League.
As a mother of two daughters, Cheryl has recognized the importance of engaging youth. She is working with Fitspirit, a non-profit organization encouraging young females to ‘get active’ and make healthy lifestyle choices.
- Pursuit of Excellence
First, we must have a vision/dream.
The importance for both the individual and team to challenge each other from within. Focus, determination, respect and perseverance are integral in believing and achieving. It’s always about the journey.
- Courage to Overcome Adversity
Adversity builds character and teaches us about ourselves and our teammates. We have a choice to learn from our failures. We must face our fears and put ourselves ‘out there’ if we want the opportunity to be successful. Have you given yourself the best opportunity to be successful? It’s always about the journey.
- Leadership and Teamwork
Who shows up every day ready to compete, even when it isn’t easy? Can we work together? Do we respect and have the ability to help one another? This is where we learn about ourselves and our teammates. We must make a conscious choice to ‘share information’ and help one another. It’s always about the journey.
- "Growing for Gold"
I learned that the above topics; excellence, focus, determination, teamwork and courage allow us to grow as individuals and teammates. During the process or ‘journey’ we have the ability to learn about ourselves (if we pay attention). We must grow throughout the journey, we must learn from our failures and successes if we want to reach our vision/dream. It’s always about the journey.
- Breaking Down Barriers to Mental Health
Cheryl shares her journey as a female athlete in a male dominated sport. She breaks down the barriers within her own environment and reflects on the impact others’ have had on her career. She addresses the power of positivity, inclusivity and the strength of the human spirit. Are you a bystander? Cheryl helps find the courage to stand up and face the elephant in the room. We must join the conversation and start talking about our own personal secrets. Recognizing the role of support, Cheryl reminds audiences that everyone has someone. Respecting individual differences, audiences are reminded that we must take care of ourselves and take care of each other.