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Celebrating the recipients of the 2021 Rowing BC Annual Awards

On Saturday, November 20th, 2021 the BC rowing community joined together virtually for the 2021 Rowing BC AGM and Conference. As part of this gathering, Rowing BC took a few moments to celebrate the recipients of the 2021 Rowing BC Annual Awards in front of their peers.

At this time each year, Rowing BC recognizes awards for Learn to Row Coach of the Year, Umpire of the Year, Athlete of the Year, Performance Coach of the Year, and Outstanding Volunteers of the year. Recipients are selected with support from local rowing organizations and Rowing BC’s Awards and Recognition Committee.

Watch the full awards video HERE or read the summary below.

In addition to their recognition here, these award recipients will be receiving a special plaque in the mail in the coming week. We look forward to a future year when we may be able to give our physical awards in person again! 

Rowing BC will also be featuring these individuals on our social media channels over the coming weeks. There is a story behind what makes each of them special and deserving of recognition, and we want to make sure you have a chance to learn all of those stories too!

Learn to Row Coach of the Year

In this category, nominations were open from anyone in the rowing community. From the nominations received, Rowing BC and the Awards and Recognition Committee have narrowed it down to the final winner of Learn to Row Coach of the Year. 

Thank you to all those who submitted nominations. There were coaches from seven different rowing organizations nominated. We wish we could give all of those coaches an award! We hope you will pass on your appreciation in person too!

The recipient of this year’s Learn to Row Coach of the Year Award is going to a coach who not only created a positive learn to row experience for athletes she worked directly with, but also supported significant expansion of the program and the development of new coaches. 

This award is going to Maddi Holmes from the Greater Victoria Youth Rowing Society. 

The Greater Victoria Youth Rowing Society has previously been focused on high school participation. This year, Maddi led an initiative to begin a Middle School League. Through this league, about 100 new grade 7 and 8 rowers were able to experience rowing for the first time. Maddi not only coordinated the whole league, but she also mentored, developed, and educated the 45 highschool students that were coaching it.  This injection of new rowers and coaches will be felt for many years to come. 

Thank you Maddi for thinking outside of the box and finding a way to bring a new participant demographic into the rowing community! 

Rowing BC wishes to give a special thank you to the other learn to row coaches nominated as listed below:

  • Harry Baergen – Delta Deas Rowing Club
  • Jessica Davis – St. George’s School Rowing
  • Izzy Edey – Victoria City Rowing Club
  • Joseph Peers – University of Victoria Rowing
  • Mary Rusak – Vancouver Rowing Club
  • Ethan Watchorn – Nanaimo Rowing Club

Each of these coaches ensures that new individuals interested in our sport have a positive first experience and will be excited to become rowing community members. Rowing BC and the rowing community in BC are exceptionally grateful for enthusiastic and knowledgeable coaches like these on the front-lines.

Umpire of the Year

The Umpire of the Year Award is determined by the Rowing BC Umpire Committee and given to an umpire who has really gone above and beyond. There were certainly many umpires this year who worked with challenging timelines and changing restrictions to ensure that the regattas that ran could do so safely and fairly. The Umpire Committee has decided not to give out an annual award this year due to the unusual circumstances and limited number of regatta opportunities. 

However, on behalf of Rowing BC and the rowing community in BC, a huge thank you to all of the umpires!

Athlete of the Year

After more than a year without racing, this Summer provided an exciting opportunity for BC’s performance athletes to finally be at a start line again! Rather than recognizing one athlete with this year’s Athlete of the Year award, Rowing BC wants to celebrate all of the athletes who excelled Nationally and Internationally this past season. 

The Junior National Team travelled to Plovdiv, Bulgaria in August to attend the World Rowing Junior Championships. This regatta wrapped up with a bronze medal in the Junior Men’s Pair for BC athletes Matteo Banducci and Alexander Gonin, coached by BC’s own Katie Steenman. This is Canada’s first medal at the World Rowing Junior Championships since 2017, when Grace Vandenbroek and Kieanna Stephens won bronze in the women’s double.

The U23 National Team headed to Račice, Czech Republic in July to attend the World Rowing U23 Championships. This regatta wrapped up with a gold medal for the Men’s Four with thanks to three BC athletes – Liam Keane, Peter Lancashire, and Jack Walkey.

The Olympic and Paralympic Teams travelled to Tokyo, Japan following strict pandemic guidelines to create a safe and equitable Games experience. All of Canada celebrated the bronze medal finish for BC athletes Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens in the Women’s Pair, and the gold medal finish for Canada’s Women’s Eight! This was the first gold for Canada in the Olympic women’s eight event since 1992. This also marked Canada’s first Olympic gold by a women’s crew since Marnie McBean and Kathleen Heddle’s double sculls victory in 1996. BC is especially proud of how many of those women represent local clubs from right here in BC.

This Fall, university athletes headed to the start line in Welland, ON for the Canadian University Rowing Championships. BC was represented by UBC Rowing and UVIC Rowing. UBC Women’s Rowing brought home the Women’s National Banner for the fourth year in a row and UVIC Men’s Rowing brought home the Men’s National Banner for the first time. In addition, this provided an opportunity for the Canadian University Rowing Association to recognize a Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year. This recognition went to Aalbert Van Schothorst for his role with the UVIC Men’s Rowing Team, and Jane Gumley for her role with the UVIC Women’s Rowing Team. 

Just last weekend, BC athletes put on the official Team BC uniform for the 2021 National Rowing Championships. Notable results included gold and bronze medals for BC in the Men’s Open Pair, gold in the Women’s Open Pair, silver and bronze in the Women’s Lightweight Single, and gold in the PR2 Women’s Single.

Performance Coach of the Year

There are a lot of high performance coaches behind the recent successes of BC athletes at the Canadian University Rowing Championships and National Rowing Championships. BC coaches were also involved in some of Canada’s successes abroad. 

This year’s Performance Coach of the Year Award goes to a coach who helped BC rowers wearing the Canadian unisuit achieve a bronze medal at the World Junior Rowing Championships. 

This award goes to Katie Steenman. 

In addition to coaching the Men’s Pair to success at the World Junior Rowing Championships, Katie is a dedicated coach to a wide range of athletes in the Victoria rowing community. She consistently seeks out opportunities for her and her athletes to improve and perform to their maximum potential. 

Congratulations Katie. 

National NCCP Coach Developer Award

At the National level, the Coaches Association of Canada recognizes a National NCCP Coach Developer Award each year. Launched in 2012, the NCCP Coach Developer Awards recognize outstanding individuals who have gone above and beyond to develop certified and trained NCCP coaches in their communities. The recipient embodies the spirit and characteristics of the best of the best coach developers in Canada. 

This year’s recipient was Rowing BC’s Manager of Coach Education and Para Provincial Coach, Martin George.

Rowing BC and the rowing community in BC has been impacted for the better thanks to Martin’s more than 12 years of coach development for our community. Thank you to the Coaches Association of Canada for this special opportunity to recognize all that Martin has done. And of course a huge thank you to Martin. You will certainly be missed by Rowing BC as you move into retirement. 

Outstanding Volunteers of the Year

This final category of awards is for Outstanding Volunteers of the Year. In this category, each local rowing organization can nominate up to three volunteers to receive an outstanding volunteer certificate from their club. This is an important way to recognize those key volunteers who tirelessly put in time behind the scenes to make the club and events run as smoothly as they do. This year, Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Awards are being used to recognize the following individuals: 

  • Marianne Allan – Salt Spring Island Rowing Club
  • Olivia Anderson – Vernon Rowing and Dragon Boat Club
  • Alan Ball – Inlet Rowing Club
  • Heidi Cowan – Salt Spring Island Rowing Club
  • Dimas Craveiro – Vancouver Rowing Club
  • Misty Duifhuis – Nanaimo Rowing Club
  • Maggie DuMonceaux – Greater Victoria Youth Rowing Society
  • Madison Garbuz – Thunder Rowing
  • Laurel Glanfield – Fort Langley Community Rowing Club
  • Rene Gonin – Victoria City Rowing Club/Greater Victoria Youth Rowing Society
  • Carolyn Keith – Delta Deas Rowing Club
  • Joanne Lewis – Vancouver Rowing Club
  • Anne Linton – Victoria City Rowing Club
  • Edison Luke – Thunder Rowing
  • Carrina Maslovat – Salt Spring Island Rowing Club
  • Veronika Peacock – Victoria City Rowing Club
  • Don Penner – Vernon Rowing and Dragon Boat Club
  • David Rahn – Vancouver Rowing Club
  • LV Richards – Delta Deas Rowing Club
  • Beverly Reist – Greater Victoria Youth Rowing Society
  • Kirsten Rogers – Nanaimo Rowing Club
  • Kate Rutherford – Nanaimo Rowing Club
  • Glen Stiven – Vernon Rowing and Dragon Boat Club

Behind each of these volunteers is a story of the impact they have had on their local rowing community. We look forward to sharing a little more about each of them through Rowing BC’s social media channels over the coming weeks.

On behalf of Rowing BC and the rowing community in BC, thank you to all of this year’s award recipients and the many other nominees for the important impact you are having on our sport. 

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