Photo of Debbie Low

Debbie Low

Since graduating from the Sports Administration program at Durham College (DC) in 1985, Low has made a significant impact in the sports community for people living with a disability. She implemented the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network’s Athlete Transition Program with the Canadian Paralympic and Olympic Committees, which supports and empowers high performance athletes in their pursuit of excellence during and beyond their sporting careers by taking a proactive approach to life and career planning; developed the operational plan for Canada’s team to the 2004 and 2008 Paralympic Games; and developed numerous high performance programs based on global best practices.

In 2015 Low was presented with the Premier’s Award, an honour that recognizes outstanding graduates from the Ontario college system, in the community services category for helping provide opportunities to athletes with disabilities.

Since 2005, she has been a leader in the sports industry as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CSIO and has been a board or committee member for many major not-for-profit organizations. Low also served as Canada’s Chef de Mission for the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games and Assistant Chef de Mission for the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games.

Her passion for sports, combined with her dedication to empowering Canadians who live with a disability, led to her involvement in nine Canada Games as part of Team Ontario in various roles. She was also selected to take part in Rick Hansen’s 25th Anniversary Relay as a medal bearer, an event that recognizes everyday heroes who are making a difference in the lives of others and who motivate us all to better our country and our world.

Attending Durham College was one of the key decisions that sent her down her current career path.

“My full-year placement and the mentorship and coaching I received from the faculty gave me the skills and confidence I needed to succeed in the very competitive sporting industry; an industry that has also given me the opportunity to give back to the local community and champion the rights of athletes with disabilities so they too can achieve their dreams.”