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Memories of Bert Carron

Bert Carron: A Brother-in-Arms in the Formation of AAASP

Everyone involved in sport psychology knew Bert Carron in some way. Bert had an amazing spirit, vitality, sense of humor, and a passion for his profession. I was in graduate school when I first met Bert and I knew instantly that he would be a life-long valued colleague and friend.

Bert would talk with anyone about anything – he loved to debate and he seldom lost one! Bert was in one word approachable. He was also a great giver – a giver of knowledge, faith, wisdom, compassion. There are many people who knew Bert and have Bert stories – I have plenty – but I want to share one Bert story with my fellow sport psychology colleagues that is important to me.

When the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (AAASP) was information in the early 1980s and the first conference was being planned in Jekyll Island, GA I made many phone calls to colleagues sharing the vision and future plans for AAASP.

We started with no members and had to build the initial membership from Executive Board contacts. There was limited personal computer usage, the internet was not available to us, and there was no accessible email or social media in the early 1980s. When I called Bert and spoke with him about AAASP he was immediately excited and offered his help – in any way. Many colleagues made that same pledge but Bert meant what he said and said what he meant! That was Bert.

Bert's served on the first AAASP Executive Board and if anyone exemplified what we called "the AAASP Spirit" it was Bert. Always full of ideas, laughter and engaging thought and conversation - Bert made you want to be there. Bert and a caravan of Canadian colleagues drove down from Canada to Jekyll Island, GA for the first conference. Now that was a roadtrip! I can't tell you how happy I was when I saw how many people kept getting out of those vans from Canada. I think Bert brought half of Ontario with him to the first Conference. It was according to Bert – "a surprise for you John!".

It was Bert and colleagues like Neil Widmeyer, Wayne Halliwell, Cal Botterill, Larry Brawley, E.J. McGuire and others who helped solidify AAASP's Canadian Connection during our formative years. Bert is a colleague who comes around once in a generation – or two. While my friendship with Bert goes back over 35 years his laugh and hearty voice will echo in my memory infinitely. Bert, you ran the great race and crossed the finish line with grace. We will all miss you very much.

John M. Silva, Ph.D. CMPC
Founding President, AAASP