Five speed skating coaches awarded Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Awards

The Coaching Association of Canada announced today its 2007 award winners and recipients of the Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Awards. Five speed skating coaches are part of the list, which is more than in any other sport.

Long Track National Team coaches Marcel Lacroix, Neal Marshall and Xiuli Wang are receiving the awards once again this year, same as Short Track National Team coaches Derrick Campbell and Martin Gagné. This year, the award is presented to coaches whose athletes won medals over the past year at open world championships.

Speed skaters had won 15 medals at the various World Championships last year. Lacroix, Marshall and Wang coached the female and male pursuit teams to a gold and silver medal, respectively, at the 2007 World Single Distances Championships. At that same event, Marcel Lacroix coached Denny Morrison to a silver and a bronze medal (1000m and 1500m), and Christine Nesbitt also won a bronze medal (1000). Marshall is Cindy Klassen’s coach, and the athlete won silver in the 3000m, while Kristina Groves, one of Wang’s athletes, finished third twice (1500m and 5000m).

In Short Track, Gagné coached Kalyna Roberge to a World Champion title in the 500m and third place overall at the 2007 World Short Track Championships, as well as the bronze medallist relay team. At that same event, Campbell’s protégé Charles Hamelin finished 2nd overall, won the World Champion title in the 500m as well as a silver medal in the 1000m. Another of Campbell’s athletes, François-Louis Tremblay, won silver in the 500m and the men’s relay team skated to a silver medal.

The awards will be presented during Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif, scheduled to take place in Halifax, October 12-14, 2007. The Sport Leadership Awards Ceremony will take place on Friday, October 12, 2007, at 7:00 p.m. at the Cunard Centre.