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CIS – TORONTO (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport, as the Canadian representative of the International University Sports Federation (FISU), announced Tuesday the appointment of Canada’s mission staff for the 2017 Universiades.

Ari Grossman, associate director of business operations for the University of Waterloo will lead Team Canada at the 28th Winter Universiade in Almaty, Kazakhstan from January 29 to February 8.

Darren Cates, director of athletics at the Royal Military College of Canada, will head the red and white delegation at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei City, Taiwan, from August 19 to 30.

Lia Taha Cheng, CIS manager of sport and international programs, will serve as assistant chef de mission at both events.

“I am truly honoured and humbled to be selected as Canada’s Chef de Mission for the 29th Summer Universiade,” Cates said.  “The opportunity to lead Canada’s delegation of student-athletes, coaches and support staff from across the country to Taipei in 2017 is very exciting.   The Universiade is the pinnacle of sport within the post-secondary system and will be the experience of a lifetime both on and off the field of competition for all that participate.”

Cates returns as chef de mission for his second consecutive games, after leading Canada at the 2015 Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain. Grossman also possesses previous Universiade experience, having served on the communications staff for four consecutive Games – including three as sports information officer – from 2005 to 2011.

“I’m honoured to have been selected as Chef de Mission for the 2017 Winter Universiade in Almaty,” Grossman said. “I’m excited to once again represent Canada on the international stage and look forward to working with our top calibre student-athletes, coaches, and support staff as they strive for excellence.”

Cates took over as head of RMC’s fitness, sports and recreation programs in 2004, following a six-year stint with the University of Ottawa sports services. Over the past decade, he has been a member of numerous committees of Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and CIS. Before embarking on his career in university sports, he had spent two years with Canada Basketball as a national team coordinator.

Prior to moving to the University of Waterloo in December 2015, Grossman spent over 10 years at Wilfrid Laurier University in the sports information and marketing departments. More recently, as associate director of business operations for the Golden Hawks, he was a key part of all strategic planning while also strengthening the event logistics and partnerships to create better service delivery. 

In Almaty, Grossman and Taha Cheng will be accompanied by Michel Bélanger, former CIS communications manager, who will take on the same role for the 2017 FISU Winter Games.

Five managers have also been selected for the summer games in Taipei City, including University of Windsor’s Mike Havey (technical), University of Alberta-Augustana’s Greg Ryan (transportation), Concordia University of Edmonton’s Joel Mrak (administration), MacEwan University’s Lindsay Schulha (accreditation) and Université Laval’s Mathieu Tanguay (communications).

The medical staff for both the summer and winter games will be announced at a later date.

The Universiade is an international multi-sport competition that takes place every two years. The event, which is second only to the Olympics in number of participating athletes and countries, is open to competitors between the ages of 17 and 28 in the year of the games who are full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, cegep) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the games.

In 2015, Canada sent a delegation of 117 (including 108 athletes) to the Winter Games in Granada, while a total 337 (308 athletes) Canadians attended the Summer Games in Gwangju, South Korea.



Chef de mission: Ari Grossman (University of Waterloo)

Assistant Chef de Mission: Lia Taha Cheng (CIS)

Communications Manager: Michel Bélanger

NOTE: The medical staff for the Winter Universiade will be selected at a later date.


Chef de Mission: Darren Cates (Royal Military College of Canada)

Assistant Chef de Mission: Lia Taha Cheng (CIS)

Technical Manager: Mike Havey (University of Windsor)

Transportation Manager: Greg Ryan (University of Alberta-Augustana)

Administration Manager: Joel Mrak (Concordia University of Edmonton)

Accreditation Manager: Lindsay Schulha (MacEwan University)

Communications Manager: Mathieu Tanguay (Université Laval)

Communications Officer: Lindsay Franco (University of Calgary)

Communications Officer: Andrea Elliott (Ryerson University)

Communications Officer: Justin McCaffrey (Mount Royal University)

Videographer: Sam Charles (UBC Okanagan)

Photographer: Mathieu Bélanger (Université Laval)

NOTE: The medical staff for the Summer Universiade will be selected at a later date.

About the 2017 Universiades

The 2017 Summer Universiade will feature 14 compulsory sports and seven optional sports. Compulsory sports: athletics, basketball, fencing, football (soccer), artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, swimming, diving, water polo, tennis, volleyball, judo, table tennis and taekwondo. Optional sports: archery, badminton, baseball, golf, roller sports, weightlifting and wushu.

Official website:     

The 2017 Winter Universiade will feature eight compulsory sports and four optional sports. Compulsory sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, ice hockey, curling, cross country skiing, short track speed skating, figure skating and snowboarding. Optional sports: ski jumping, nordic combined, freestyle skiing and long-track speed skating.

Official website:

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, 12,000 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 56 universities and four conferences vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit or follow us on: