#T1Determination: A Thank-You to Dr. Michael Riddell

#T1Determination: A Thank You to Dr. Michael Riddell

"Simply world-class, on and off the ice."

When asked his impressions of Dskate, Dr. Michael Riddell, PhD, is quick to point out and praise the former Olympic athletes teaching, training and educating the incredible Type 1 hockey players on and off the ice at the week-long hockey+diabetes Program.

While it's easy to agree, it's not nearly as simple to forget that these words of praise come directly from the Director of Education for the Dskate Hockey Program. And, though it would be natural to assume these words are just a compliment in passing, nothing could be farther from the truth as it is not without monumental effort that each Program comes to pass.

Dr. Riddell's role with Dskate Hockey is paramount to the Programs success but extends well beyond what families and players see during their week-long experience. Ranging from behind-the-scenes management and coordination to front-and-center presentations with players and parents, Dr. Riddell is an integral part of making the synergistic relationship between hockey and diabetes succeed during such an intense event.

A professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science and Muscle Health Research at York University, Dr. Riddell has conducted numerous studies over the past two decades on the metabolic and hormonal responses to exercise and stress in diabetes. The intimate knowledge and experience gained through these experiences helped Dr. Riddell found and direct the Diabetes Sports Camps at York University and, in-turn, influenced his tremendous contributions to the Dskate Hockey Programs.

“Challenge. It’s all about Challenge.”

A pioneer in his own right, Dr. Riddell has been a big part of the Dskate family since the very inception of the Program. Always excited by new opportunities, it wasn't until the pilot program for Dskate Hockey in 2013 that we came to realize just how passionate Dr. Riddell is for pushing T1D limits as he set off with fellow Dskate U presenter, Dr. Bruce Perkins, to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in the following weeks. 

The passion and excitement Mike brought to Dskate Milton 2013 fueled the energy levels to a frenzy as the leadership and confidence of he and Chris Jarvis (Director of Off-Ice Education, Dskate) gave way to a great time and a successful first pass for Dskate.

But Dr. Riddell’s challenge wasn’t over, it began anew as he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and adventured up new paths, inspiring T1Ds to realize any challenge is possible.

In blazing trails to new places and discovering new experiences, Dr. Riddell doesn't simply seek to reach the standard or go where others have been before. He looks beyond the Horizon. Wisdom and guidance that have helped sculpt the Program Dskate has become and the level of passion those who participate aspire to have.

It is not without challenge and sacrifice that gains are made. Those gains are multiplied when working as a team. Quadrupled when working as a family.

And that is why Dskate is a family.

Teach to Learn. Learn to Teach.

A teacher by nature, Dr. Riddell has brought and presented his knowledge and experience in various forms over the past three years of Dskate to our players and families, but not many realize that he is also eager to share his Dskate experiences with his students and family. 

Lisa Miadovnik, MSc, Kinesiology, and current PhD student, Dessi Zahareiva, (studying at York U with Dr. Riddell, MMA Fighter) have both experienced Dskate through Dr. Riddell's influence and, as many know, Lisa has become a regular fixture and integral part of Dskate - much like Dr. Riddell, himself.

Beyond the exposure and inclusion of his students at Dskate, Dr. Riddell isn't remiss to share the experience with his family, bringing full-circle Dskate's efforts to ensure we provide a family-friendly Program.

Achieving a better tomorrow begins with improving quality of life today. A challenge gladly accepted by Dr. Riddell. A challenge which is now Dskate’s mission to conquer.

Conquering New Challenges

As Director of Education for Dskate, Dr. Riddell has the opportunity to put his stamp on many aspects of the Program, but his most exciting challenge is helping each player and parent conquer their own personal Mount Kilimanjaro’s.

Through Dr. Riddell’s partnership, Dskate has discovered a way to create immediate connections, stronger bonds and lifelong friends. An experience now shared by over 250 Dskate families.

An individual after whom Dskate models their efforts, we could not be more fortunate or proud to have such an impeccable character in our midst.

Eager to ascend the next peak and take T1Determination to new heights, we cannot wait to break the next barrier, conquer the new challenges and to do so with all the dedication, energy and courage instilled in us by our Director of Education.

Dskate is proud to say Thank You to Dr. Michael Riddell for his profound contributions and everlasting energy and support of the world’s most unique Hockey Program.