Hamilton Inspired Women in Sport


Reach, lead and inspire. Words to live by, but you don’t have to say it to Sarah Nurse or Mary DePaoli. It would be like reminding them that they have to breathe.

On Wednesday evening, the Toronto chapter of a leading international organization advocating for the rights of women in sport, business and entertainment will present its first Women of Inspiration Awards.

And the two women who will be honored by Women in Sports and Events are from Hamilton: Nurse and DePaoli.

“This is the first time we will be honoring women we call inspirational,” says veteran Sportsnet host Christine Simpson, herself a pioneer in sport and business, an original member when WISE opened a chapter in Toronto in 2019 and now a member of the organization’s board of directors. directors.

“Mary and Sarah are so accomplished in so many ways.”

Nurse returned from the Beijing Olympics in February with a gold medal in hockey and two personal bests in Games scoring and is a champion for many social causes. Among other roles, DePaoli, RBC’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, oversees RBC’s multimillion-dollar stake in two major PGA Tour events, including next month’s Canadian Open, sponsorship of a diverse network of golfers and golf programs, as well as several development programs and incentive platforms for athletes, women and men.

DePaoli also sits on the board of directors of the Toronto chapter of WISE, the only Canadian branch of the organization which has chapters in 23 US cities and is headquartered in New York. Founded in 1993, WISE is a leading resource for women in the sports and events industries, sponsoring recognition awards, mentorship programs and numerous professional development forums. Her self-proclaimed mandates include “empowering women across North America with the professional, networking, and advocacy tools to excel.”

Mary DePaoli with (left) Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum and PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan in 2021.

Simpson has been a highly visible presence at Sportsnet, mostly hockey, since the national all-sports network debuted in 1998, except for three years when she covered hockey for ESPN, ABC, Versus, the NHL Network and at Molson. Canadian House of Hockey.

In front of a sold-out crowd at Toronto’s boutique Shangri-La Hotel on Wednesday night, she will lead a “fireside chat” with Nurse and DePaoli at WISE’s first in-person event since the pandemic hit in 2020.

“I’ve known Mary for years and have so much respect for her and I’m so proud to call her a friend,” Simpson, who served as the Hockey Hall of Fame’s chief marketing officer, said. the first player of the Toronto Maple Leafs. host in the arena and worked for CTV Sports before turning into Sportsnet.

“It’s impressive to see what she’s accomplished and everything that comes under her at RBC: the Canadian Open; the Heritage Omnium; all the golfers they sponsor; golf and sport inclusivity and accessibility programs; the RBC training ground; TIFF and the Women-in-film series giving more visibility to underrepresented women in film; the RBCxMusic platform. Her role encompasses so many things, not to mention being Chair of the Board of RBC Foundation.

“I think the bank is about as male dominated as it gets and has risen to the top? I can only imagine the times when she is one of the few, if not the only woman around the table in a boardroom,” Simpson says. “People say that Mary not only has a vision, but she is able to communicate that vision. You buy because it’s the right thing to do. To have a person with that kind of humanity on any level… well, we shouldn’t be surprised, but we are.

DePaoli ran athletics at St Thomas More with Nurse’s father Roger, uncle Richard and aunt Raquel. Sarah is a member of RBC Training Ground and her grandmother worked at RBC. Nurse became one of the international faces of women’s hockey, and Simpson worked with her on various broadcast boards.

Mary DePaoli, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of RBC.

“You look at all that Sarah has accomplished and she’s only 27, so it’s pretty mind-blowing. She’s the first black Olympic gold medalist in hockey. Not only did she set the Olympic record for the most points and assists, but the 13 assists is an Olympic record for men. and women,” Simpson told The Spectator.

“Dominating on the ice is something to celebrate in itself. What I love is everything she’s done off the ice, working with the NHL, everything she does for the PWHPA (Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association), her social media presence , her work on inclusion, her interest in fashion, and she does it with such poise. When you have a Barbie doll made of you, that’s when you’re a rock star. What company doesn’t want to align itself with someone of its caliber?

“Sarah Nurse is obviously the next generation where young girls can look up to them and say, ‘Wow, look what I can accomplish in life.’ Hockey is lucky to have him in it.”


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