The Athlete’s Return to Sport Post-COVID-19

With varsity sports preparing for a new season and international competitions resuming, what should we expect from athletes whose training routines have been far from usual? Will all the lost workouts take a toll, or will the mental resilience gained throughout the pandemic push athletes to new heights?

After more than a year of cancelled sporting events, closed gyms and empty stadiums, athletes are returning to a new world of sport. The COVID-19 crisis changed both routines and perspectives, and competitors of all levels are building their strength in preparation for an unknown future.

How did COVID-19 affect the mental and physical wellness of high-performance athletes? How did fitness and exercise benefit the average person in riding out the pandemic? And how can UCalgary, as a leading kinesiology research institution, help to answer some of these questions? Join experts to discuss these questions and more.

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Meet the panellists

Dr. Penny Werthner

Dr. Penny Werthner, PhD

Dr. Penny Werthner became the Dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology in 2012. She is one of Canada’s most distinguished consultants in the field of sport psychology, and has worked with Canada's national and Olympic teams since 1985. She is one of the founding members of the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) and has been named one of the Top 20 Most Influential Women in Sport and Physical Activity by CAAWS. 

Dr. Werthner has more than 30 years of distinguished experience in sport psychology consulting, sport-related management consulting, program management and academic leadership. She came to the University of Calgary after spending 12 years at the University of Ottawa as director and associate dean of the School of Human Kinetics. 

Max Eisele

Max Eisele, BKin’20, MSc’21

Max Eisele played for five years for the Dinos Men’s Basketball team while completing both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees with a major in Health and Exercise Physiology in Kinesiology. During his time as a Dino, Eisele won a National Championship, two Canada West Championships and the Canada West Defensive player of the year award. His master’s thesis studied the online delivery of exercise for cancer survivors supported with health coaching.

Kelly Anne Erdman

Kelly Anne Erdman, MSc’04

Kelly Anne Erdman is a Registered Dietitian specializing in sport. She practices at the University of Calgary Sport Medicine Centre with clients from the general public including high performance and professional athletes. She is the lead dietitian with Hockey Canada, Speed Skating Canada and Luge Canada. Kelly Anne has been working with the Men’s Dinos Basketball team for the past five years. She is also a sessional instructor in Kinesiology. Kelly Anne is a cycling Olympian from the Games in 1992 Barcelona.

Meet the moderator

Chancellor Deborah Yedlin

Chancellor Deborah Yedlin

Community leader and Calgary journalist Deborah Yedlin became the 14th chancellor of the University of Calgary in 2018. She has been observing, commenting and writing about business and politics for more than two decades as a journalist for the Financial Post, Globe and Mail, and Calgary Herald. In addition to her writing, she has been a regular commentator for the CBC and CTV since 1996. Follow @ddyedlin on Twitter.