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Beverly Aisha Roach  

High Risk Security Specialist, Expert on Women's Security Issues & Activist for Peace Through Sports

Beverly Roach served in the Canadian Army for 21 years followed by a career in high-risk security. While in the army, Bev participated in the Canadian Army trial for women in non-traditional roles in West Germany, serving in a combat-support unit, and deployed to West Germany during the Cold War. She returned to Canada to become the first female army intelligence officer.

After retirement from the military, she began to work in security for humanitarian and development organizations. During 14 years of living in diverse conflict zones from Kabul to Darfur, Bev focused on ensuring the organisations she worked with were operating safely so they could continue their work. As such she has overseen major security projects and handled the immediate responses in the face of devastating attacks. She also learned to see the beauty in cultures others usually only see through difficult glimpses on the news. She has lived in 9 countries and travelled to 75.

Bev has taught and developed a number of security programs over the years. Besides teaching security programs for staff deploying to high risk environments, she continues to teach the UN Women’s Security Awareness Training to women around the globe. She is currently developing a women's security program for Arctic communities in Canada as well as developing security courses for Singapore University of Social Science.

During her travels, Bev recognized the value that sports could provide in conflict, post-conflict, under-developed and developing nations, particularly in building on issues like teamwork and conflict resolution and building good citizenship characteristics such as integrity, honesty, work ethic, among others. Sports can build a genuine desire to help others.

As a result, Bev started a small sportswear brand known as The Diesel Diva, and through this she promotes Peace Through Sports. There are two main streams to this: provision of support to local gyms for children who would not otherwise have access in low income areas such as favelas in Rio de Janeiro and a gym in a slum area of Lahore, Pakistan; the second stream involves providing small sponsorships to athletes, usually martial artists, to be able to get higher level coaching or to attend competitions. She has sponsored athletes, including a number of female athletes, from Pakistan, UAE, Malaysia, Brazil, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iran, and others.

Bev has a masters’ degrees in both Security Management and her other passion, Sports Management. She started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at 52. She is now a certified self-defence instructor and teaches security programs. Her travels made her recognise the value of sport for the development of positive personal growth and good citizenship.

Speech Topics

Security issues, Security in high risk environments, Women's Security, Women and Travel, The Power of Peace Through Sports

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