February 6, 2013 is the 22nd annual Bob Marley Day Toronto. This year’s celebration hits particularly close to home for Canada Basketball as Rowan Barrett – Assistant General Manager and Executive Vice-President of the Senior Men’s Program, will be honoured for his significant contributions to this city and its many diverse communities.

Bob Marley Day Toronto, presented through the efforts of The Diversity Business Network and The Toronto Bob Marley Committee, annually awards selected individuals who exemplify the qualities and spirit of the legendary musician and artist through their actions in the community.

There are few things in life which bring together individuals like music and sport – both carry the unique ability to serve as a focal point of inspiration and belief; they allow us to bridge the gaps which all too often divide us. Whether it is through the hum of a melody or the swoosh of a basket, these experiences bring out aspects of humanity to which we can all relate: pride, fellowship, perseverance and sacrifice. It is this shared understanding which binds us to one another and it is this sense of unity that Rowan Barrett strives towards through the sport he loves.

“I am blessed to be able to work with the members of all our communities, to build something that is special for all Canadians. People are inspired through things like music and sports. We all come together to support athletes and teams – that’s pretty amazing,” said Barrett when asked about his role in the community and the cultural significance of sports and competition.

The native of Toronto credits his family with instilling in him the values which have guided his path: “Integrity, humility, and service…to others and the country.” It is these same values that he hopes to pass on to not only his sons, but also the lives of those he reaches. In Bob Marley Day Toronto beginning the city’s celebration of Black History Month, the 2000 Sydney Olympian notes that “it is always important to remember the past, but not to dwell on it. All people must see how far humanity has come, and move towards the future and where we want to be.”

Rowan continues to guide the young charges of Canada Basketball towards this summer and fall’s competitive season. There are many challenges ahead, but it is his belief in the power of sport and the togetherness of community which drives him.

Throughout Canada Basketball’s 90 years, it is the passion and guidance of individuals like Rowan Barrett who have led this country to its greatest successes on the court. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Rowan on his newest accomplishment and commend him for his dedicated work in the community. The lessons that he has imparted on today’s youths will help create the next generation of athletes and leaders who will serve this country in the years to come.