Leslie Dal Cin, Director of Athletics and Recreation
Queen’s director of athletics and recreation Leslie Dal Cin is competitive in everything she does. She remembers the first time she was cut from a sports team, when she was 24 years old. The team was a group of basketball all-stars on their way to Europe.
“I was crushed. I knew right then I never wanted that to happen again. It made me work harder,” says Ms Dal Cin. “But it’s a big lesson sport teaches us: if you fail it’s not the end of the world. You keep going and you build up your tool kit to be successful.”
Ms Dal Cin’s tool kit has grown steadily over the years, packed with experience as a basketball player, a coach and an administrator at the highest levels of sport. She was executive director of Canada Basketball for six years, leading a transformation that resulted in the association’s most successful years in a decade.
She brought that same can-do attitude to Queen’s five years ago and has been instrumental in rejuvenating university athletics. As a result of her new competitive sports model, Queen’s has enjoyed four national championships and 17 provincial championships. She’s also revved up recreation programming: more than 10,000 students participate in athletic and recreation programs each year and more than 50 sports clubs are in operation. In addition, since opening in 2010, the Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC) has welcomed 1.5 million visitors.
“I have one of the best jobs on campus. I work alongside a great team and it’s amazing to be able to walk out my door and see people working out, taking care of their health and fitness, smiles on their faces,” says Ms Dal Cin. “I also love seeing us get better every day. We have athletes and students who are capable of doing great things. I love being part of the process, watching them develop.”
Ms Dal Cin has been reappointed as athletics director for another five years. During her next term, she wants to continue the drive for excellence, and would like to see more success at the national level, more national events hosted at Queen’s, more advocacy work around health and wellness, and more connections developed with alumni.