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BC Games Society – The BC Games Society is pleased to announce that Rob Needham has been appointed as the Chef de Mission and Michelle Collens and Eric Chéné as the Assistant Chefs de Mission for Team BC as preparations begin towards the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.

Rob Needham has extensive experience leading Team BC, having previously served as Chef de Mission for the 2013 and 2015 Canada Games, and as Mission Staff at the 2007 Canada Games.  Rob has acted in leadership roles at multiple levels within the Canadian sport system, including his current role as Executive Director with the West Vancouver Community Centres Society.  He also has a strong background in Paralympic sport, having served as the Executive Director, Sport, for the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC).  During his career with the CPC, he has led preparations for six consecutive Paralympic Games (2002-2012), as well as Team Canada’s Chef de Mission at the 2007 and 2011 Parapan American Games.

As Chef de Mission, Rob will be responsible for providing leadership to the team, overseeing team administration, logistical support, performance preparation and competition for athletes and coaches, and training and supervision of Mission Staff.

Joining the team as the Assistant Chef de Mission is Michelle Collens who also held this position at the 2013 and 2015 Canada Games.  Michelle is a Team BC athlete alumna and brings her energy and love for sport to Team BC.  Currently, she is the Manager of Sport Hosting with the City of Vancouver, and works collaboratively with all levels of government, tourism partners, and community organizations to enhance the city’s quality of life and generate economic and social benefit for Vancouver.  Michelle has a deep belief in the value of sport as a tool for change and social impact and is committed to sharing this passion with her community.  

Eric Chéné is also named as Assistant Chef de Mission.  He is an experienced sport leader who has been involved with the Canada Games movement since 2001 and was the Team BC Operations Manager at the 2013 Canada Games.  During his career, he has worked with the Canadian Paralympic Committee as the Paralympic Teams Manager, served as the Assistant Chef de Mission at the 2007 Parapan American Games, and was a member of the Team Canada Mission Staff at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.  Currently, Eric is the Director, Race Operations for the Vancouver International Marathon Society managing various races including the BMO Vancouver Marathon.  

The Chefs de Mission will select a Mission Staff team to support Team BC athletes and coaches.  The application process is now open and qualified individuals are invited to apply by March 7, 2016.  

The BC Games Society is the organization responsible for the Team BC program along with partners, the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, SportMed BC and viaSport.  Team BC will send a delegation of 450 athletes, coaches, managers and mission staff to the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg, July 28 to August 13.

Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
“This group leading Team BC into the 2017 Canada Summer Games has an impressive depth of experience. The BC Games Society has chosen three outstanding veterans with prior Canada Games experience and I know they will do their best to motivate our athletes on the national stage, guide their competitive spirits and make British Columbia proud.”

Rob Needham, Chef de Mission, Team BC
“It’s a tremendous honour to be selected as Chef de Mission for Team BC for the 2017 Games.  These Games present a unique opportunity to celebrate both the 50th anniversary of the Games and Canada’s 150th birthday, and I can’t wait for the chance to once again work with our sports to ensure Team BC provides optimal support to our athletes and coaches, and that all team members enjoy a once in a lifetime experience in Winnipeg.”

Kelly Mann, BC Games Society President and CEO
“This leadership team is comprised of exceptional sport administrators who will bring their collective skills and experiences together to ensure Team BC has the best possible performance at the 2017 Canada Summer Games.  The Team BC program continues to evolve to ensure that our best developing sport talent has an opportunity to excel towards future podium success.”
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About Team BC
Team BC brings together the best athletes, coaches, managers, and mission staff to represent British Columbia at the Canada Winter Games, Canada Summer Games, and Western Canada Summer Games. Team BC will send a delegation of 450 athletes, coaches, managers, and mission staff to represent British Columbia at the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg, July 28 to August 13.  Visit for the latest news and updates.

About the Canada Games
The Canada Games are a national multi-sport competition with participation from every province and territory in Canada. The Games are held every two years, alternating between winter and summer. The 2017 Canada Summer Games will be held July 28 to August 13 in Winnipeg, bringing together approximately 4000 athletes, coaches and managers from every province and territory to compete in 16 sports.  The Canada Games will celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2017 coinciding with Canada’s 150th birthday. Visit to learn more.

Lia Threlfall
Communications Manager
BC Games Society 
C: 250-812-3887