CSMTA Major Games Selections

Members are encouraged to go to the members only section to download the application form.

There is often a short lag time between a call for applications and its due date.


Who can apply for what?

Certification Candidates may apply to Minor Games only (Canada only).

Certified Members may apply to all games (Major & Minor). 

Certified Members from Quebec are only eligible to apply for National events (within Canada) i.e. Provincial or National games outside of Quebec upon the completion of 1000 hours of academic education, the CSMTA Education Program and the written certification exam.


Selections Criteria

Every year, there is at least one and usually multiple calls for selections to Major Games which include the Olympics, Pan Am Games, Commonwealth Games, World University Games and the Francophone Games. Requests come to the CSMTA from the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) to help staff the Canadian Health Care Team. The CSMTA Selections Committee works with the COC to ensure the most qualified and experienced therapists are chosen for each particular event.

In conjunction with the COC, the CSMTA Selections Committee has developed a set of guidelines and an application form. Calls for selections to Major Games are usually announced approximately one year in advance of the event. The announcement is posted online and distributed by e-mail to the eligible applicants. Certified members in good standing with the CSMTA are automatically included and depending on the event and number of overall applicants Candidate members may also be included in the invitation to apply. Even without a formal invitation, Candidate members are free to apply. This can provide valuable experience for Candidate members so that they can understand the point system of evaluation and ensure an up-to-date CV is always at hand.


Major Games Selection Process

1. Chair of the selection committee receives communication from the Medical Missions Team.

2. Chair of the selection then communicates with the CSMTA National Office for official call for applicants.

3. National Office through e-mail blast and website posting sends out the call for applicants to serve on the medical team.

4. Once the Selection committee is finished with its nominations the names are forwarded to the National Office to ensure the members are in good standing.

5. Those names are then forwarded to the Medical Missions Manager. Once the Medical Missions manager has selected their candidates, the Selections Chair is notified by either the Chief therapist or Chief Medical Officer.

6. Nominated candidates are notified by either the Chief Therapist or Chief Medical Officer, not the CSMTA Selections Chair.

7. CSMTA and chosen candidate do not disclose nominated candidates until announcements have been made (media press) or the candidate has been given permission from the COC.

8. Once given the go ahead the CSMTA will announce via web-posting and e-mail blast the nominated candidate or candidates.


"How Does One Get to a Major Game?"

As CSMTA Selections Chair, this is a question I receive time and time again. To answer this question, one needs to understand who decides who is selected and how this process works.

The CSMTA only nominates therapists from among our members, we do not select who gets named to work at a particular event. Secondly, our nominations are only for the Core Health Services Team (HST). We do not have a say with respect to National Sport Organizations (NSOs) bringing their own therapists, more on that later.

When calls for nominations arrive at my desk, the turn-around time is incredibly short. 

Members are encouraged to keep their CV's updated with all the appropriate documentation required on our application forms.

The time-frame for nominations is often so short that our committee cannot follow-up with you regarding documentation.  If you don't have the appropriate documentation for particular lines on your CV, that activity cannot be factored into your final ranking.

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the Medical Missions Manager (MM), the Chief Therapist (CT) and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) have the final say on which medical professionals are selected for each Major Game.

All of the Expert Provider groups (CATA, CSMTA, SPC, CASEM & RCCSS) are asked to submit ranked candidates for consideration. Each Game will have particular demands, hence the Medical Missions Team will form a team of Health Care Providers.

Canadian athletes succeed while competing abroad based upon those demands and the resources (finances) that they have to work with.

The Host Medical Team for each Games, large or small, is balanced by many variables, that may include regional representation, gender equity, language skills, particular manual skill sets and lastly, experience and/or inexperience.  For example, the CT and CMO will often select therapists with less experience for the lesser-known Games to gradually bring new people up through the ranks and give them experience.

With respect to language skills, the CT will look for balance within the entire HST, not necessarily just with Massage Therapists. The only Games that bilingualism is pretty much a prerequisite is the Francophonie Games.

When it comes to the Olympics, the Medical Missions Manager message is clear… ‘'No New Faces".   At such an important event the Medical Missions team needs to have confidence in your skills as a therapist and your ability to blend in and work as a team with other health care practitioners.  This means that if you have not worked a Canada Games or other less high profile event where they have the opportunity to observe you, you will not be considered for the Olympic contingent.

These smaller Games are huge stepping stones! Remember our Mission Statement: "The CSMTA enhances the health care needs of Canadian athletes from grassroots to the professional level".  You need to put your time in at the grassroots level to be considered for the professional level.

There is an alternative path through which our members have worked Olympic Games. That route means working directly with a NSO (National Sport Organization). Some of the bigger users of SMT in Canada are ice hockey, soccer, athletics, rowing and swimming.

There are smaller sports, but I wanted to identify the larger ones. So, if you are living in a larger urban area, that could also mean working with canoe or kayak in Eastern Canada for example as a way to go to the Olympic games.  Reach out to see if there are opportunities to work directly with a NSO of your interest.

Members should be aware that there is no honorarium for the CORE Health Services Team.   An honorarium often exists for those therapists dedicated to a particular NSO. This is in part because of the much larger time commitment that a dedicated therapist has with that NSO to get to a Major Games.

Then we have members who comment that they don't live near a training centre.  I would ask them to go back and review our selection criteria.  You'll notice that there is a good blend of different scoring opportunities offered to our members no matter what stream that you decide to work within, NSO, core, large or small games. But it all starts with a first step.  Just begin! 

Ed Ratz CSTMA Selections Chair

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