Highlights for BC at the 2018 RCA Annual Awards
Left: Performance Coach – G. Szybka | Middle: 1968 Canadian Olympic Men’s 8+ | Right: U19 Athlete of the Year – K. Stephens
The 2018 RCA Annual Awards Banquet took place on January 27, 2018 at the Chelsea Hotel in Toronto following the completion of the RCA Coaches Conference. Individuals from across the country were honoured for their long service, outstanding accomplishments and top athletic performances. The full list of award winners has been published by RCA.
We were especially proud to be have been able to watch many BC-based athletes and coaches be honoured at this event.
50th Anniversary Recognition:
1968 Mexico City Olympics
Canadian Men’s 8+
Joel Finley (cox)
Bringing together the athletes, spouses and widows of the 1968 Canadian Men’s 8+ at the Awards Banquet was a very special moment to witness. Over those 50 years, rowing has grown and progressed significantly and these families have been closely involved in that process. This crew generously donated to support the 2017 RCA National Rowing Championships and Canada Cup, and are invested in growing Canadian rowing today and into the future.
See the jacket on display? That was the Canadian Olympic Team jacket from 1968, supplied by Hudon’s Bay and very much enjoyed by Rick Crooker’s mother after he no longer wanted to wear the one-size-fits-all garment. The red blazer you can just barely see in the group photo? That’s the actual blazer from the Canadian team in 1968!
It was a privilege to have these athletes and their families present to celebrate Canadian rowing and its ongoing legacy.
Long Service Awards:
Aalbert Van Schothorst (15 years)
Brian Williams (15 years)
Neil Duckworth (20 years)
Hamar Foster (25 years)
James Keogh (30 years)
Alan Roaf (55 years)
Completion of RCA Performance Coach:
The RCA Performance Coach program is offered to a restricted number of coaches each year. Completion involves workshop participation followed by three stages of evaluation – online, portfolio, and direct observation. The complete process takes about 3 years to complete. Greg Szybka was a coach for Team BC at the 2017 Canada Summer Games and is Head Coach of the St George’s School Rowing Program.
U19 Athlete of the Year:
Jointly awarded to Kieanna Stephens (BC) and Grace VandenBroek (ON)
Kieanna was the winner of the 2016 Royal Bank of Canada Training Ground search in BC. Since then she has primarily trained with Rowing BC Provincial Coach, Rob Richards. Kieanna found success at the 2017 Junior World Championships, coming home with a Bronze Medal in the W2x.
Senior Athlete of the Year:
UVIC athlete Rebecca proudly represented Canada at the 2017 World Championships, coming home with a Silver Medal in the W8+.
Congratulations to all of the award winners!
In Rowing BC’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan, one of the strategic directions is to support a healthy athlete-centered rowing system. Part of this requires enhancing the recognition of participants within the system by facilitating recognition opportunities through awards and online avenues as deemed meaningful by the participants.
Rowing BC has assembled an Awards and Recognition Task Force that will begin to take action in this area in 2018. If you would like to be involved in the process of creating meaningful recognition opportunities for our members and stakeholders, please connect with us.