Klassen, Morrison, Roberge highlight winners at 33rd annual Canadian Sport Awards

The True Sport Foundation officially announced the winners of the 33rd Annual Canadian Sport Awards (CSA), presented by Investors Group, late Friday afternoon at an awards ceremony at the Olympic Spirit Toronto Discovery Centre in Toronto. Today’s awards event was a celebration honouring the athletes and leaders who lifted our spirits in competition occurring in the 2005 calendar year.

Hosted by Scott Russell of CBC Sports and Sylvie Bigras, former CEO of Volleyball Canada, the ceremony brought together leaders from the sport and corporate communities who represent the pinnacle of commitment and competition in the world of Canadian amateur sport. The show was open to the public for the first time in the awards’ history and spectators had a chance to meet the athletes in the Olympic Spirit Toronto Discovery Centre after the ceremony.

Olympic and World Champion speed skater Cindy Klassen took home honours for Female Athlete of the Year, while Canada’s diving sensation Alexandre Despatie was awarded Male Athlete of the Year.

Speed skaters Denny Morrison and Kalyna Roberge were named winners of the Junior Male and Female Athlete of the Year categories respectively. Male Team of the Year went to the World Men’s Curling Champions and Female Team of the Year to the Women’s National Water Polo team. The Partners of the Year Award went to the Men’s 4x200 Relay Team (swimming).

“I would like to congratulate these athletes and sport leaders, on behalf of the True Sport Foundation, for their achievements and contribution to Canadian amateur sport,” said Victor Lachance, chair of the board, The True Sport Foundation.

Continued Lachance: “They are a shining example for everyone, especially Canada’s youth, that dreams can be achieved through hard work and perseverance. Having the ceremony open to the general public for the first time ever was a tremendous success; it was wonderful to see so many members of the public come out to show their support for Canadian amateur athletics.”

Among the winners today, Kristina Groves, Clara Hughes and Arne Dankers were honoured for their work with the Right to Play organization and were presented the Investors Group Spirit of Sport Story of the Year. This award recognizes a Canadian sporting hero or group who, in the pursuit of sporting excellence, has demonstrated values such as dedication, perseverance, sportsmanship, respect for others and a true love of sport in 2005.

“Investors Group is proud to support all the athletes, sport leaders and volunteers who have been recognized by the Canadian Sport Awards,” said Richard Irish, assistant vice-president, community affairs and area marketing, Investors Group. “The determination, skill and dedication shown by all of the winners provides an outstanding example for Canadians to follow in their daily lives.”

The winners were chosen by an independent jury from among finalists in the following categories: Athletic Performance, Leadership in Sport, Corporate Excellence, Investors Group Spirit of Sport Story of the Year and Bell True Sport Community Award.


Winners of the 33rd Annual Canadian Sport Awards


ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE AWARDS:

This year’s winners in the Athletic Performance category for the 33rd Annual Canadian Sport Awards, recognizing and celebrating outstanding athletic performance in 2005, are:

Female Athlete of the Year

Cindy Klassen, Speed Skating

Male Athlete of the Year

Alexandre Despatie, Diving Canada

Junior Male Athlete of the Year

Denny Morrison, Speed Skating

Junior Female Athlete of the Year

Kalyna Roberge, Speed Skating

Male Team of the Year

World Men’s Curling Champions

Female Team of the Year

Women’s National Water Polo Team

Partners of the Year

Men’s 4x 200 Relay, Swimming

LEADERSHIP AWARDS:

The winners in the Leadership Awards category for the 33rd Annual Canadian Annual Sport Awards, recognizing and celebrating an individual’s outstanding contribution to the betterment of sport in 2005, are:

Athlete Leadership Award

Lori Johnstone, Athletes CAN

Leadership in Sports Award

Mark Lowry, Canadian Olympic Committee (posthumous)

Volunteer Achievement Award

Dr. Donald McKenzie, Chair of the ICF (Int. Canoe Federation) Medical Committee

Coach of the Year

Michel Larouche, Diving Canada

CORPORATE EXCELLENCE AWARDS:

The winners of the Corporate Excellence Awards for the 33rd Annual Canadian Sport Awards, recognizing and celebrating corporations who provided outstanding support to Canadian sport in 2005, are:

Individual Athlete Support

VISA

National Team Support

Haywood Securities

National Initiative Support

Honda Canada

Bell True Sport Community Award

Kugluktuk, NVT

Markham, ON

Pickering, ON

INVESTORS GROUP SPIRIT OF SPORT STORY OF THE YEAR:

The winner of the Investors Group Spirit of Sport Story of the Year Award for the 33rd Annual Canadian Annual Sport Awards, recognizing a Canadian hero who, in the pursuit of sporting excellence, has demonstrated values such as dedication, perseverance, sportsmanship, respect for others and a true love of sport in 2005, is:

Kristina Groves, Clara Hughes and Arne Dankers - The Right to Play