Geoff Gowan Award 2012
The Geoff Gowan Award was created in 1996 to honour former Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) president Geoffrey Gowan, CM, PhD. The award recognizes lifetime contribution to coaching development. It is awarded to a coach who has presented a positive public image of coaching and enhanced the role of the coach with the Canadian public.
We received a record number of nominations for the Geoff Gowan Award this year so we decided to award Honourable Mentions* to three deserving coaches that were so close to winning.
*These three coaches will still be eligible to win the Geoff Gowan Award for another three years.
Manon Perron – Figure Skating
One of Canada’s most influential figure skating coaches for over 30 years, Manon Perron has led several athletes to the podium at the national and international level - most notably Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games bronze medallist Joannie Rochette -- while also mentoring numerous coaches across Canada and around the world.
Recently retired from her coaching position at the St. Leonard, Que school she had run for decades, Manon is now working with the Federation patinage artistique du Quebec, where she will guide the rising stars of the sport and identify talent in the province.
An NCCP level 4 figure skating coach, Manon still volunteers on committees at the national and provincial level and hosts seminars all around the globe to further the development of athletes and sport in general. Known as a “Master Coach” or “Coach Expert” with Patinage Québec, she is an integral part of athlete development in the province.
Manon has received numerous awards and accolades during her career including: the Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Award in 2009 and 2010, the 2007 and 2010 Skate Canada Competitive Coach Excellence Award, the GM Making Dreams Possible Elite Coaching Award, and has been inducted into the Patinage Québec and Skate Canada Halls of Fame.
“We are proud to have a major ambassador for our sport in our ranks. Her presence is a source of motivation and inspiration for everyone,” says Hélène Gagnon, president of Patinage Québec.
Hiroshi Nakamura - Judo
Hiroshi Nakamura is synonymous with Judo in Canada. As the head coach of the Canadian national team from 1973 to 2004, he coached at five Olympic Games and 13 international judo competitions - highlighted by the medal winning performances of his athlete, Nicolas Gill at the 1992 and 2000 Olympic Games.
A Level 4 NCCP “Master Coach”, Hiroshi is currently the head coach at the Shidokan Judo club in Montreal (also the national training centre) and was recently promoted to Kudan (ninth-degree black belt) by Judo Canada. He also co-authored the first generation of NCCP judo manuals and still delivers judo seminars and clinics across Canada and internationally.
Over the course of his 50-year career in Judo, Hiroshi has received many Coaching Excellence Awards from Sport Quebec, Judo Quebec and Laureats Sportifs Montreal, as well as being inducted into the Judo Quebec and Judo Canada Halls of Fame. He has also been a recipient of the Longines-Wittnauer Coaching Award on several occasions and is a four-time recipient of a Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Award.
Dennis Marineau - Bobsleigh
Dennis Marineau has spent over 20 years contributing to bobsleigh coaching development in Canada. Canada’s longest standing bobsleigh coach (he has been with Alberta Bobsleigh since its inception in 1983), first as a world class athlete, then as a coach - his coaching has shaped the majority of Canada’s former and current bobsleigh world cup and Olympic champions - including Canada’s most decorated bobsledder Pierre Lueders.
“Never one to complain - considerate, patient, and always putting the athletes and safety first in a sport with inherent dangers, Dennis shows the true passion and dedication to coaching and teaching that is unsurpassed in our sport,” says Lueders.
Head coach of the National Development Program for Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton from 1994 to 2002, Dennis was solely responsible for the development of the Alberta Bobsleigh Association Driving School, including criteria, protocols and everything else athletes need to know about a bobsleigh and the track. To this day, Dennis is still the head coach for the school - the one and only bobsleigh pilot school in Canada. He was also a key collaborator in the formation of the first NCCP bobsleigh coaching component, which has helped standardize and educate many bobsleigh coaches throughout Canada.
Dennis’ dedication to coaching and teaching, and true passion for the sport, is unsurpassed in the bobsleigh community says Helen Upperton, silver medallist at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
“His pride and joy at the growth and success of all athletes at all levels on the team make him one of the most trusted and respected coaches within our sliding community. It means a great deal to see this wonderful man recognized for his two decades worth of passion and dedication to our sport and the athletes in it.”