The True Sport Foundation Announces Finalists for 33rd Annual Canadian Sport Awards

Toronto, ON – Today, the True Sport Foundation officially announced the finalists in five award categories for the 33rd Annual Canadian Sport Awards (CSA), presented by Investors Group. The 33rd Annual Canadian Sport Awards recognize achievement in amateur sport in 2005.

The winners will be announced Friday, March 31st at an awards ceremony at Yonge Dundas Square in downtown Toronto. For the first time ever, the awards will be open to the general public.

“The True Sport Foundation congratulates all of the finalists that have been recognized today for their commitment, drive, determination and passion that make us proud to be Canadian,” said Victor Lachance, Chair of the Board, True Sport Foundation. “We invite all Torontonians and visitors to the city to join us at the Canadian Sport Awards on March 31st to help us recognize and support Canada’s outstanding amateur athletes.”

The awards will be hosted by Sylvie Bigras (former CEO of Volleyball Canada and Canadian Olympic Chef de Mission) on the Yonge Dundas Square stage from 5 pm to 6 pm. Following the awards ceremony, the doors to the Olympic Spirit Toronto attraction (located at the east side of the square) will be thrown open to the public free of charge from 6 pm to 9 pm.

Marnie McBean, Olympic and World Champion rower, past CSA winner and current Director, Athlete and Corporate Programs for Olympic Spirit Toronto, said, “I welcome the city of Toronto to show up in full force to honour and support this year’s CSA winners. On behalf of Olympic Spirit Toronto, I welcome everyone to our open house to experience the thrill of sport through our fun and interactive sports simulators and to be swept up in the spirit of Canadian sport.”

"The high levels of determination, skill and achievement demonstrated by this year's finalists serve as a source of inspiration for all Canadians," said Richard Irish, vice-president of Community Affairs & Area Marketing, Investors Group. "We are proud to play a part in honouring these outstanding contributions to Canadian sport."

The five award categories are: Athletic Performance, Leadership in Sport, Corporate Excellence, Investors Group Spirit of Sport Story of the Year and Bell True Sport Community Award. Independent juries selected the Athletic Performance, Leadership and Corporate Award finalists from nominations from sports associations and individuals across Canada.

CSA 2005 Finalists

Athletic Performance Awards  
The finalists in the Athletic Performance category for the 33rd Annual Canadian Sport Awards, recognizing and celebrating outstanding athletic performance in 2005 are:

Male Athlete of the Year
Alexandre Despatie, Diving
Brandon O’Neill, Gymnastics
Adam van Koeverden, Kayaking

Female Athlete of the Year
Karen Furneaux, Kayaking
Cindy Klassen, Speed Skating
Brittany Reimer, Swimming
Junior Male Athlete of the Year    
Patrick Chan, Figure Skating
Jason McClintock, Waterski
Denny Morrison, Speed Skating

Junior Female Athlete of the Year    
Whitney McClintock, Waterski
Kalyna Roberge, Speed Skating 
Male Team of the Year      
World Men’s Curling Championship Team 
Men’s National Standing Volleyball Team 
Men’s World Championship Hockey Team

Female Team of the Year      
National Women’s Water Polo Team 
National A Team – Synchro Canada 
Women’s World Championship Hockey Team
Partners of the Year      
Pierre Lueders/ Lascelle Brown, Bobsleigh
Men’s 4x200 Relay Team, Swimming
Men’s Short Track Relay Team, Speed Skating

Leadership Awards
The finalists in the Leadership Awards category for the 33rd Annual Canadian Sport Awards, recognizing and celebrating an individual’s outstanding contribution to the betterment of sport in 2005 are:

Athlete Leadership Award     
Lori Johnstone, Athletes CAN
Dan Thompson, President of Swimming Canada

Volunteer Achievement Award    
Slava Corn, Vice President, Int. Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Executive Committee
Hardy Fink, International Gymnastics Federation
Dr. Donald McKenzie, Chair of the ICF (Int. Canoe Federation) Medical Committee 
Leadership in Sport Award
Mark Lowry, Canadian Olympic Committee (Posthumous)
Speed Skating Canada
Chris Wilson, Esteem Team Association

Coach of the Year Award
Jan Bidrman, National Sports Centre Calgary
Michel Larouche, Diving Canada
Patrick Oaten, Water Polo Canada

Corporate Excellence Awards
This year’s finalists for the Corporate Excellence Awards for the 33rd Annual Canadian Sport Awards, recognizing and celebrating corporations who provided outstanding support to Canadian sport in 2005, are:

National Team Support Award
Canada Post 
Haywood Securities
Mazda Canada

Individual Athlete Support
National Initiative Support
Honda Canada
Speedo Canada

Investors Group Spirit of Sport Story of the Year
The finalists for the Spirit of Sport Story of the Year Award, created to recognize and celebrate a Canadian hero who, in the pursuit of sporting excellence, has demonstrated values such as dedication, perseverance, sportsmanship, respect for others and a true love of sport in 2005, are:

Men’s National Standing Volleyball Team
Nick Snow, Toronto Varsity Blues
Right To Play (Groves/Hughes/Dankers)

The CSA brings together more than 700 leaders from the sporting and corporate communities who represent the pinnacle of commitment and competition: Canadian amateur athletes, coaches, sport leaders and volunteers. The annual event promotes sporting excellence across Canada, and reminds Canadians how sport lifts the human spirit. It is a tribute to the hard work, the dedication and the victories of our country’s finest athletes.

About the True Sport Foundation
The True Sport Foundation is a charitable organization committed to ensuring that sport makes a positive contribution to Canadian society, our athletes, and the physical and moral development of Canada’s youth. Powered by the Foundation, the Canadian Sport Awards boasts a strong relationship with its modern day founding partners, which include Athletes CAN, the Commonwealth Games Association of Canada, the Canada Games and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. 

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For more information, please contact:
Kristen Rector or Jennifer Kitchen 
JKR Communications
(416) 486-2286 or (416) 576-5892 or