HATS OFF TO… Top coaches honoured at gala

OTTAWA – Speed skating coaches Marcel Lacroix, Bart Schouten, Mark Wild, Xiuli Wang, Derrick Campbell and Sébastien Cros were among Canada’s top coaches and sport administrators honoured at the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership Awards Gala. The event was hosted by the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) on Friday, Nov. 11 at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Hotel.

Lacroix, a former national team coach now with the Olympic Oval in Calgary, received the Jack Donohue “Coach of the Year” Award. This award recognizes a coach who exemplifies the great qualities that made Jack Donohue the legendary coach he was. These qualities include honesty, integrity, a positive attitude, competitiveness, a love of the sport, and that sport is about more than just wins and losses.

“The passion and warmth that Marcel exhibits are two of the reasons why he is perfect for this award,” said Wayne Parro, executive director of Coaches of Canada. “He has had tremendous success as a coach, but he also influenced many people within and outside of his sport with his inclusiveness and incredibly positive energy. Marcel stands for everything that Jack Donohue was about. We proudly recognize our Coach of the Year Marcel Lacroix.”

Speed Skating Canada’s national long track team coaches Schouten, Crowe, Wild, Wang, and short track team coaches Campbell and Cros were recipients of the Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Awards for the 2010-11 season.

These prestigious awards recognize coaches whose athletes have excelled at world championships, Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Special Olympics World Games.

“The Government of Canada is pleased to support the Coaching Association of Canada and the 2011 Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif Conference as we recognize the critical role that sport leaders and coaches play in the development of athletes and sport in Canada,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). “I commend their commitment to Canadian amateur sport and to achieving sport excellence.”

“Each one of these coaches exemplifies what the Coaching Association of Canada stands for,” stated John Bales, chief executive officer for the CAC. “They are dedicated individuals that push themselves harder and harder each day by planning, researching, and actively listening so that they can be better for their athletes. We are truly proud of these award winners.”

For other winners, please see this news release and list: news release and list