Week 35: Danielle Chateau



Please tell us a little bit about yourself.


I have played sports all of my life, starting at the age of 2 when my uncles used to put me in front of a hockey net while they played. Growing up, my focus and passion in life was sport. In elementary school I was very active and played every sport offered. I was also a good swimmer, tennis player, cross country and downhill skier, loved to ride my bike and skate. In high school, I played basketball and volleyball, and then went on to play basketball for York University. Following university, I played in a women’s Touch Football league for several years. Nowadays, I maintain an active lifestyle by practicing yoga, playing tennis, and running. I have also volunteered my time as a rep basketball coach for the last 10 years, served on the board for a basketball association, and am now in my 3rd season as a regional development coach for Ontario Basketball. I’ve also worked as a basketball instructor at Olympia Sports Camp.


How has sport helped you develop skills for your work today?


My passion for sport lead me to obtain a degree in physical education and a certificate in sport administration. After I graduated from university, I worked in the field of sport administration for over 10 years. I had the opportunity to represent Canada in the Special Olympics World Games, serving as the Team Manager for the Canadian team competing in the 1997 Special Olympics World Games, and then as Chef de Mission for the 1999 and 2001 World Games.   My love for sport transferred into a love of planning events, including sport events. I am now a college professor teaching students in the field of Event Management, and am able to share my passion for sport and events in the classroom. Being involved in sport, particularly team sport, has definitely helped to develop and refine many important skills needed to succeed in the workplace including strong time management and organizational skills, and the ability to interact and communicate effectively with people. Sport also taught me the importance of challenging myself, accepting feedback from others, and has helped me understand the importance of never giving up.  Sport has helped me develop confidence and accept who I am – all traits and characteristics needed to succeed in work and in life.

How has sport helped you be a better leader?


As a competitive athlete, my coaches always put me in leadership role. As a result, I had to develop leadership skills both on and off the basketball court which equipped me with the skills needed to work alongside and lead my teammates. In high school, I was captain of the basketball team. This experience taught me how to communicate with others, confront challenges, address issues, and empower others to succeed. A leader not only leads, but also helps others be successful. As a college professor, I work with students and empower them in the classroom, helping them develop the skills necessary to have a successful career.   As a coach, I have the opportunity to work with young girls to not only improve their basketball skills, but also become better, stronger, and more confident people on and off the court.


Why did you continue to stay involved in sport? How has sport continued to have a positive impact on you?


I love sport…it’s in my blood.  I am happiest when I’m involved in sport. I have made many lifelong friends. I still maintain contact with girls who I played sports with and against in elementary school, high school and university, and I still have contact with my high school basketball coach. I’ve gotten to know a lot of great people through my involvement in sport. I struggled as a kid growing up in family who didn’t quite understand my passion for sport. But I believe that this experience has shaped who I am as a person today. I am very fortunate to have a supportive husband, who is also involved in amateur sport, and two daughters who are very active in sport (both play competitive basketball). Our family life is shaped around sport. Sport has been my life and honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way.



This is what her nominator had to say…


Danielle is very dedicated and hard working. She constantly looks to expand her knowledge of the game of basketball through coach clinics and working with Basketball Ontario and Canada coaches. She coaches with a positive attitude and always wants the best for all of her athletes. She focuses on building self-esteem and positive self-image in the girls she coaches.


Danielle has coached for many years in the community of York South and most recently, Etobicoke. Coaching ages U10-U13 so far, she has helped young girls understand the game of basketball and have a positive experience while learning. Danielle has made many positive changes the Etobicoke Thunder Basketball Association, setting up coaching clinics for fellow coaches to learn from. Danielle is also helping girls from across the GTA and Ontario learn the game of basketball through the Basketball Ontario CP program. Additionally, Danielle is the Head Coach for the Central East (Toronto and York Region) U14 Team competing in the Ontario Summer Games.