Coaching Association of Canada announces its 2004 award winners

Four speed skating coaches awarded Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Awards

The Coaching Association of Canada announced today its 2004 award winners and recipients of the Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Awards.

National team coaches Guy Thibault, Shawn Holman, Sean Ireland, Neal Marshall and Xiuli Wang will be presented with the Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Awards. The award is presented to coaches whose athletes won medals over the past year at open world championships, Olympic Games, Special Olympics World Games, or Paralympic Games.

The Coaching Association of Canada also announced that former diving coach Donald Dion of Montreal, Dana Dickinson of Tracey Mills, N.B., and the Canadian Canoe Association won its major awards for 2004. In addition, Canadian gymnastics coach Kelly Manjak of Calgary was announced as the recipient of the Jack Donohue “Coach of the Year” Award, which is presented annually by the Canadian Professional Coaches Association.

Dion was honoured with the Geoff Gowan Award for his lifetime contribution to coaching development. He coached Canadian divers for more than 20 years and is best known for leading Sylvie Bernier to Olympic gold in 1984 and Annie Pelletier to an Olympic bronze in 1996. A former national team diver, Dion began coaching in 1973 in a couple of small Montreal-area pools. He also coached at the Pan Am Club in Winnipeg but it was at Montreal's CAMO club where he made his mark.

Dickinson received the Investors Group National Volunteer Sport Administrator Award for his contribution as a volunteer to community sport programs. Dickinson has provided countless hours for the past several years to put the Northern Carleton Minor Hockey Association (NCMHA) located in Florenceville at the forefront in New Brunswick's minor hockey system.

The Canadian Canoe Association is the first recipient of the Ignite TM “Outstanding National Team Performance” Award. It is awarded to a national sport federation in recognition for outstanding performances by its national team during the past year. Canadian paddlers performed brilliantly at the Olympic Games led by Adam van Koeverden's gold and bronze in men's kayak and a bronze for Caroline Brunet in women's kayak.

Manjak coached Kyle Shewfelt to the Olympic gold medal on floor in men's artistic gymnastics this past summer in Athens as well as a fourth place finish on vault. Manjak and Shewfelt worked together for 16 years, starting when Shewfelt's mother enrolled her son in the sport at age six in order to channel his energies. It was Canada's first ever Olympic medal in the sport.

The winners will receive their awards at the Sport Leadership Awards Dinner on Friday October 29 in Winnipeg. The dinner is the highlight of the two-day Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif 2004 conference.

CAC is a not-for-profit amateur sport organization with the mandate to improve the effectiveness of coaching across all sports and at all levels of the sport system.