Karen Sargeant, Managing Partner (Ontario) at Fasken

As a lifelong athlete, Fasken’s support of Alpine Ontario Alpin (AOA) means a lot to me. While I grew up in the mountains of British Columbia, it ironically wasn’t the ski hill that called my name, but the pool. Swimming was more than just a sport for me; it was – and still is – a way of life, a catalyst that helped shape my values, my resiliency, and my determination.

I know that AOA supports ski racers in the same ways I was supported as a swimmer. From encouraging those just beginning their athletic pursuits to building a pathway to podiums, to showcasing the recreational and social benefits of sports, the work AOA does is crucial in building a sustainable and inclusive sports system.

At Fasken, our business succeeds because we cultivate potential and excellence in everything we do. As a leading international law firm, we are driven to improve and innovate every day. It’s not unlike swimming or ski racing.

Swimming taught me and my two younger sisters invaluable lessons: perseverance, the ability to push ourselves past our limits, and instilled in us the drive to excel in and out of the pool. It went beyond us kids. My grandfather had played water polo, and my mom and many of her siblings had been swimmers. While I was swimming, my mom could often be found officiating swim meets, doing stroke and turn judging. My dad would be a timer. As a family, we moved around to different communities in B.C. and had ready-made groups of friends at the pool. Traveling from town to town for swim meets became our family vacation. We’d load up in the car and head out on Friday night, cramming all five of us into a hotel room for the weekend. On Sunday, we’d head home with another meet under our belts.

I swam throughout school, taking a short break through my undergraduate studies, but picking it back up at the University of Toronto, where I attended law school. I met my husband at the pool. I was on the swim team, and he was a triathlete, so our paths crossed. Swimming became a part of who we were as a couple. Years later, with her own kids getting involved in the sport, it became part of who we were as a family. Today, I value the mental well-being component as much as the physical component. I’m part of a masters swim club and at the end of a busy day, I can hop in the pool and leave work behind for an hour.

At the heart of Fasken’s decision to sponsor AOA lies a passion for nurturing talent and empowering individuals to become the best versions of themselves. We firmly believe that by investing in young athletes today, we’re contributing to a brighter and more promising future, both in sport and beyond. Together, we’re shaping great athletes but we’re also shaping leaders, fostering a generation of resilient, driven individuals who will inspire and lead by example. Our sponsorship goes beyond today’s victories; it’s about investing in a legacy that transcends medals and records, creating a lasting impact on lives and communities – on and off the racecourse.

To learn more about Fasken, industry thought leadership, and their free legal webinars through the Fasken Institute, you can click here. Karen Sargeant is the Managing Partner (Ontario) of Fasken. She is a Labour, Employment and Human Rights lawyer and was the group’s Ontario and National co-leader before becoming Regional Managing Partner in January 2024.