The role of Mission Staff is to support Team Manitoba and the individual sport team(s) to which they are assigned. Mission Staff operate behind the scenes to minimize distractions for Team Toba, so participants can optimize their performance and represent Manitoba the best they can. For these volunteers, a significant commitment is required. They attend pre-Games meetings, team training sessions and selection camps, and they also attend the Games.
In addition to one Mission Staff per sport, Team Manitoba has a Chef de Mission and an Assistant Chef de Mission who are Team Manitoba’s captains and are responsible for the team’s logistics, care, performance, and reputation.
If you see our Mission Staff out and about at training or competitions, be sure to say hi! They are there to ensure you have the best Games experience possible and will also be your biggest cheerleaders in the stands! Go Toba Go! Follow @Teamtoba on Instagram to join us for #MissionStaffMondays for some more fun facts about your Mission Staff!
2019 Canada Winter Games Mission Staff
Marcie Halls-Stronciski: Chef de Mission
I have worked at Sport Manitoba for the last 14 years in the Games area. This will be my sixth Canada Games but first as Chef de Mission. I was the Assistant Chef at the 2017 CSG and prior to that, I was the Office Manager for Team Manitoba. I was born and raised in Thompson MB, moved to Winnipeg for University, and have been here ever since. I graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a degree in Kinesiology & Applied Health. I am married with two kids, ages 10 and 12, along with two boxer dogs. My sport growing up was figure skating and I was an alternate for the 1995 CWG.
Message for our team: Don’t ever say “I wish I would have”. Just go do it to the best of your ability and enjoy the experience.
Pete Conway: Assistant Chef de Mission
This will be my first time as Assistant Chef De Mission, but I have been involved in Multi-Sport games in Manitoba since 1998. I’m originally from Northern Ireland and moved to Canada in 1980. When I moved to Canada, we went north to Leaf Rapids and then to Thompson. Growing up in the north was amazing and gave me the opportunity to play hockey, volleyball, soccer, baseball and more. After my playing days, I transitioned into coaching. I mainly coach volleyball but have coached hockey and soccer in the past. I have been a sport administrator for over 23 years and working in sport is amazing. Meeting new people who are passionate about sport and seeing how important sport is to a community is awesome.
Message for our team: I hope all our athletes are able to prepare for their best performance, embrace the moment, and capture their dreams as they compete in the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
Patrick Kirby: Assistant Chef de Mission
With over thirty years of sport leadership experience, Pat is the Senior Games Manager of Sport Manitoba. At Sport Manitoba, Pat oversees the planning and logistics of all Games programs, including the Manitoba Games, Canada Games and the Western Canada Summer Games programs. Pat has been the Community Development Manager for Sport Manitoba and CEO and Director Hockey Development with Hockey Manitoba. He has a diploma in Recreation Management from Mount Royal College in Calgary, Alberta.
Among his many accomplishments, Pat has been a member of a number of Manitoba Games Host Society Boards and has served as President of Recreation Connections Manitoba, Chaired the Canadian Hockey Association Trainers Committee and was a member of the Canadian Hockey Association Initiation Committee.
Growing up in Souris Manitoba, Pat played baseball and hockey and was fortunate to play on a number club and provincial baseball teams representing our province nationally. He was very fortunate to play on the Carman Goldeyes' Senior Baseball team that captured four consecutive provincial championships.
Message for our team: Working within sport it is very similar to a team sport; alone we can do so little, together we can accomplish so much. I look forward to working with all Games partners behind the scenes in preparing Team Manitoba to reach for Gold!
Kelly Babb: Office Manager
As a Games Specialist at Sport Manitoba, Kelly is responsible for the logistics, administration, and program planning for the Canada Games, Western Canada Games and Manitoba Games programs. Kelly brings a wealth of multi-sport Games knowledge from her time with the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, the 2017 Canada Summer Games, and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. As an athlete, Kelly was a member of both the Manitoba Provincial soccer team and the Canadian Regional Training Center as a centre-back. She now coaches a 10-year-old girls development soccer team and hopes to be a strong, female role model for the next generation of young athletes.
Sarah is Sport Manitoba’s Communications Coordinator and specializes in creating content for a variety of audiences and channels. She manages 20+ social media networks, creates countless enewsletters, and leads all communications efforts. She was the Communications Manager for the 2017 Canada Summer Games, has volunteered for major sporting events, is a sports fan, and plays slo-pitch. She loves roller coasters and country music. She’s most excited to share Team Toba’s success stories from the 2019 Canada Summer Games with friends and family back home.
Nolan Kowal: Media/Communications support (Week 1)
Nolan Kowal will be part of the communications team for the upcoming Canada Winter Games. His two favourite winter sports are hockey and curling, both of which he plays recreationally. This will be Nolan’s first time attending the Canada Games and he’s excited to see the province against province competition along with some of the non-mainstream sports.
Jessica Alcantara: Media/Communications support (Week 2)
Jessica is excited to be back with Team Toba for the upcoming Canada Winter Games. This will be her second time as Mission Staff as she was also a part of the communications team for the 2017 Canada Summer Games. Growing up she was involved in volleyball, basketball, and track and has always been a fan of watching all kinds of sporting events. In recent years, she has taken up curling and is currently playing her fifth season with her recreational mixed team. Jessica is most looking forward to sharing Team Toba moments at the Winter Games with you!
Lin-Ping Choo-Smith: Biathlon (Week 1), Judo (Week 2)
Lin-Ping has volunteered at several multi-sport Games including being a minor official for the mountain bike events at the 2017 Canada Summer Games,an official at the 2014 Manitoba Games and Mission Staff at the 2012 Manitoba Games. She has also been part of local organizing committees and has officiated many biathlon and cross-country ski events. Lin-Ping is very active in her community helping out at fundraising events and sitting on several volunteer boards. She is involved in sport not only as a volunteer, but as a parent, community coach, and spectator. She is looking forward to the fast-paced, fun days at the Games and helping Team Toba show the rest of Canada what we can do!
Stephen Younger: Boxing (Week 1), Squash (Week 2)
Stephen is a retired Pharmacist. He has been a lifelong participant in sport, mostly in tennis and squash. In 2014, Stephen was the Team Manager for the Canadian squash team at the World University Games in Chennai, India. He has also competed on the Squash Manitoba National Masters Team, as a Team Captain. Stephen’s two children have competed at Canada Winter and Summer Games, Western Canada Games, as well as international and professional competitions. Stephen can’t wait to make this the best experience for these athletes and can’t wait to chant “Toba, Toba, Toba” at the events!
Luc Therrien: Gymnastics - Artistic (Week 1), Badminton (Week 2)
Luc is a retired physical education teacher who coached at both the school and community levels. He has been involved in sport as an athlete, coach, referee, volunteer, and parent. Growing up, Luc played basketball, volleyball, badminton, track, and cross country. He still enjoys running, golfing, and playing hockey in his spare time. This will be Luc’s second time as Team Toba Mission Staff, he was also a part of the team at the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg. His passion for sport was passed on to his three kids, two of them participated in the 2013 Canada Summer Games on Team Manitoba's volleyball team.
Bernie Reichardt: Male Hockey (Week 1)
Bernie has been involved in hockey for a number of years. This will be his sixth appearance at a Canada Games, having participated in 1999 (Corner Brook), 2003 (Campbellton/Bathurst), 2007 (Whitehorse), 2011 (Halifax) and 2015 (Prince George). Bernie is in his 24th year at Hockey Manitoba and 21st as the Director of Development. He’s looking forward to the competition and meeting all the other teams. Opening Ceremonies is always a highlight!
Debbie has been involved in sport in Manitoba since the 1999 Pan American Games, where she was a media liaison. She has been Mission Staff at the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games, Assistant Regional Manager for the 2016 Manitoba Games, and the Accreditation Lead for the 2017 Canada Summer Games. She is also the past-president of Curl Manitoba and still a member of the board. Debbie managed the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame gallery for three years. She is extremely passionate about sport and is ready to support her teams the best she can!
Ryan is the executive director of the Archers & Bowhunters Association of Manitoba. He has been involved in major sport competitions since 2011, starting as a Technical Delegate in Sailing. He’s been a team manager, team leader, sport chair, provincial sport representative, president, and committee member for a variety of sports. In these roles, he’s travelled to Argentina, Germany, Rio, Beijing, and all across Canada. He’s excited to go to Red Deer and contribute to that Team Toba spirit!
Bill Gendron: Speed Skating (Week 1), Alpine Skiing (Week 2)
Bill has been involved in sport his whole life. He took his first NCCP course in 1981. Currently, Bill is coaching speed skating (long track and short track) as a level 3 ( Comp Dev) certified coach. Bill attended his first Canada Winter Games in 2003 as the manager for speed skating and has been at every Canada Winter Games since. He has attended a Summer Games as a parent and was also involved in the 2017 Canada Summer Games as the venue chair for mountain bike. As an athlete, Bill competed in the first ever Manitoba Games in 1974. He is excited to watch the Games, see the athletes do their best, have fun, and meet some new people.
Mandy Los: Medical Liason
Mandy is an Athletic Therapist at the University of Manitoba with the hockey, basketball and volleyball teams. She has been involved with 2 teams who have won National Championships; both times making history - AAA Midget Wheat Kings as the first Manitoba team to win the championship and the University of Manitoba Bisons Women's hockey team winning the first championship in the hockey program history at UofM (both men's and women's programs). She is excited to see athletes experience the environment surrounding a major games for the first time and the team spirit that each individual will bring to Team Toba.
Andriana Demchuk: Freestyle Skiing (Week 1), Cross Country Skiing (Week 2)
Andriana is a passionate Winnipegger and an active citizen whose passion lies in connecting to her community though extensive volunteer work and creating opportunities for others to grow and shine. She knows that: "Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can change the world".
She knew she needed to get involved in multi-sport Games after she attended the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. The patriotism, pride for our athletes, and magnetic community was intoxicating. It was shortly after that she decided that she would pursue a career in sport. She was a member of the 2017 Canada Summer Games Host Society and is excited to take on a new roll at the 2019 Canada Winter Games as Mission Staff with Team Manitoba. She is thrilled to be working with the Freestyle Ski and Cross Country Ski athletes. Look for her to be enthusiastically cheering on all Team Manitoba athletes - face paint and all, which is already packed in her suitcase, ready to go!
Dustin Stewart: Female Hockey (Week 2)
For about as long as I can remember, everything in my life has revolved around hockey. Currently I find myself working in hockey on a few different levels with my primary focus being my career in hockey development with Hockey Manitoba, however, I also fill a large part of my time with contract work for the Winnipeg Jets and volunteer coaching in Winnipeg. I have been lucky in my role with Hockey Manitoba to have the opportunity to work with our high-performance teams for a number of years and attend various National Championships, including the Canada Winter Games in Prince George back in 2015. I have always thrived in situations where I have been part of a team and love every moment of the experience and seeing our program build from the first selections camps down to the final roster. During the competition at Winter Games you will most likely find me pacing around at ice level like a nervous wreck as our Women's Hockey Team competes for the Gold. Go Team Toba!