Phyllis Sadoway and Sylvain Bruneau take top national coaching awards at 2019 Petro-Canada Sport Leadership Awards Gala

Major awards recognize Sadoway’s lifelong contributions to ringette, Bruneau’s contributions to Bianca Andreescu’s historic win at U.S. Open.RICHMOND, British Columbia, Nov. 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Coaching Association of Canada™ (CAC) will recognize longtime ringette coach Phyllis Sadoway, ChPC® and Tennis Canada coach Sylvain Bruneau, ChPC, for their outstanding achievements in coaching tonight at the Petro-Canada™ Sport Leadership Awards Gala.
Hosted by the CAC in partnership with Petro-Canada, a Suncor business, at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel in Richmond, BC, the annual gala recognizes coaches who exemplify the values and competencies of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) and their positive impact within the sport sector in Canada. It is held during the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif conference, Canada’s annual conference for coaches, researchers, sport executives, and administrators.Sadoway: Blazing a trail in ringette
For over 35 years, Phyllis has been a trailblazer in the sport as an athlete, coach, evaluator, volunteer, event organizer, administrator, and mentor. Her commitment to developing the sport led to the creation of new NCCP ringette courses and to the Ringette Alberta Cup program for Winter Games participants. She has delivered more than 150 NCCP courses as an NCCP Ringette Master Coach Developer and also served as the Assistant Coach for Team Alberta at the 1996 World Championships and for Team Canada at the 2002 World Championships.
Bruneau: Master strategist and motivator
In a career spanning more than 35 years, Sylvain has become an essential part of the national training program for female tennis players in Canada. With a coaching style described as calm, tactical, and passionate, Sylvain fosters constructive dialogue with his players and inspires them to reach their highest potential. His coaching acumen as a master strategist and motivator earned him global renown as he guided Thornhill, Ontario’s Bianca Andreescu to her first tennis Grand Slam championship at the 2019 U.S. Open in September ­– the first-ever Grand Slam win for an athlete from Canada.
Other major coaching award winners to be honoured at the Gala are veteran NCCP Coach Developer Kathy Brook, ChPC, of Waterloo, Ontario, and the Canadian Lacrosse Association, as the recipients of the National NCCP Coach Developer Award and the Sheila Robertson Award, respectively.“The abilities of our coaches in 2019 were reflected in the outstanding performances of our athletes on the world stage,” says Lorraine Lafrenière, Chief Executive Officer of the CAC. “Canada’s best coaches develop in our athletes the resilience to overcome challenges and succeed at the highest level. Our coaches are the teachers and mentors who inspire our athletes to deliver world-leading performances that instill pride in the nation.”Geoff Gowan Lifetime Achievement Award: Phyllis Sadoway, ChPC, Ringette Canada (Smoky Lake, AB)The Geoff Gowan Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a lifelong commitment to coaching and coaching development and is presented to an individual who has fostered a positive public image of coaching, enhanced the role of the coach within the public in Canada, and who is a role model for future generations of coaches. The Award was created in 1996 to honour former CAC President Geoffrey Gowan, CM, PhD. The trophy is housed at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in Calgary, where the recipient will be featured for the year. Previous recipients include figure skating coach Manon Perrault, ChPC, and diving coach Dany Boulanger.“Phyllis has made monumental contributions to the growth of ringette across Canada,” says Paul Carson, Chair of the CAC Board of Directors. “Her love of the sport and her dedication to developing its coaches have left an indelible mark on the entire ringette community. Her ability to communicate with athletes and coaches is legendary, and in achieving her NCCP Advanced Coaching Diploma – following her induction into the Ringette Canada Hall of Fame – she shows us what lifelong learning truly means. We’re honoured to present Phyllis with the Geoff Gowan Lifetime Achievement Award.”“I am both honoured and humbled to receive this Award,” says Sadoway. “It’s remarkable to me that I find myself in such an elite group of coaches. I believe that good coaching involves more than developing athletic talent – it involves imparting positive values that guide an athlete to greater heights outside the rink as well. I also believe that good coaches must always be learning – not only to keep current with new coaching techniques, yet also to challenge their own perceptions and acquire new knowledge. Coaching has been the great pleasure in my life and I thank every one of the athletes, administrators, parents, and volunteers I have met because of it. I would also like to thank Ringette Canada for having nominated me.”Jack Donohue Coach of the Year Award: Sylvain Bruneau, ChPC, Tennis Canada (Repentigny, Québec)The Jack Donohue Coach of the Year Award recognizes the outstanding contributions of a coach from Canada who exemplifies the qualities of honesty, integrity, positivity, a love of sport, and who has demonstrated the values of coaching excellence, continuous development, and lifelong learning. The recipient also teaches their athletes to value life, its experiences, and the passion of playing for your country.As a founder of the Canadian Association of National Coaches, Jack Donohue was dedicated to the profession of coaching and demonstrated care and concern for all colleagues. Previous recipients include freestyle ski coach Rob Kober, ChPC, and current men’s national soccer team coach John Herdman.“Sylvain’s personal integrity, competitiveness, and commitment to his athletes are all legendary,” says Lafrenière. “His effectiveness as a coach was evident in September as Bianca Andreescu became Canada’s first athlete to win a Grand Slam tennis tournament. Bruneau helped to develop in Andreescu the resilience and fearlessness she needed to face down the best woman to ever play the game – and win.”“It’s a great honour for me to be chosen for this award,” says Bruneau. “I believe it’s the job of a coach to channel their athletes’ motivations and emotional state into a higher level of physical performance and I feel fortunate that I’ve been able to help athletes reach levels beyond what they thought they could achieve. And although tennis is an individual sport, it takes a team to develop a champion. I would particularly like to thank my coaching teammates who share in our success, as well as Tennis Canada for its continued support.”National NCCP Coach Developer Award: Kathy Brook, ChPC, Coaches Association of Ontario (Waterloo, ON)Launched in 2012, the NCCP Coach Developer Award recognizes an outstanding individual who has gone above and beyond to develop trained and certified NCCP coaches in their community. The recipient embodies the “best of the best” NCCP Coach Developers across Canada. Past recipients include NCCP Master Coach Developer Greg Henhawk, of the Bear Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River, and 2019 Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif keynote speaker Dr. Andy Van Neutegem.“Kathy has demonstrated a consistent commitment to excellence in her approach as an NCCP Coach Developer,” says Lafrenière. “Her focus is always on how best to deliver and facilitate the National Coaching Certification Program so that coaches in turn can best serve their athletes and participants. She is one of the principal architects of our NCCP Coach Developer policy and has trained hundreds of NCCP Coach Developers now working across the country. Her dedication to and care for coaches is a continuous source of inspiration.”“I’m honoured to receive this award,” says Brook. “Coaching and teaching are the twin passions in my life and I have been fortunate to combine them in my career. Coaches have the opportunity to provide safe, positive experiences for athletes to grow and learn not just on the field of play but also in life. I am very fortunate to have the ability to work with so many dedicated coaches and Coach Developers helping to make a difference in our sport system and in our schools. I’m truly humbled at this honour and would like to thank the Coaches Association of Ontario and Canada Basketball for their support.”Sheila Robertson Award: Canadian Lacrosse Association (Ottawa, ON)The Sheila Robertson Award recognizes the outstanding contributions to coach education, recognition, and professional development by a National National Sport Organization (NSO) or Multi-sport Service Organization (MSO). The CAC presents the award each year to an NSO or MSO that consistently demonstrates the value of coaching through its organizational mandate and communications activities throughout the year to its internal and external audiences. Sport organizations to have received this award in past years include Tennis Canada, Baseball Canada, and viaSport British Columbia.“The Canadian Lacrosse Association is proud to receive this award and to be recognized by the Coaching Association of Canada for our work in coach development,” says CLA President Joey Harris. “In 2018, we committed to enhancing our coach development program to improve the coach and player experience at all levels of our sport and we are starting to see positive results from our actions. Under the direction and guidance of Brian Baxter, Director Domestic Development, and James Buhlman, Program Coordinator, and with the cooperation of our Member Associations, we have invested in our communications programs to more effectively deliver information to our coaches, teams, and players. Finally, we have increased our efforts to engage women, new Canadians, Indigenous persons, and senior citizens in everything we do. We are thankful to the CAC for having recognized our efforts. I would also like to thank my fellow board members and Bruce Paton, Referee-in-Chief Box Lacrosse, for having nominated us.”Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence AwardsPetro-Canada also recognized 82 coaches from 30 unique sports with its annual Coaching Excellence Awards. These prestigious awards recognize coaches whose athletes have achieved a medal at World Championships, Olympic and Paralympic Games, or the Special Olympics World Games. Petro-Canada has honoured 1,236 coaches with this award since 1986.“Behind every athlete who succeeds in the spotlight lies a coach who prefers to stay in the background,” says Kristina Schaefer, Director of Petro-Canada Brand Loyalty, Suncor. “These coaches deserve to be celebrated and recognized for their commitment to their athletes, their dedication to competition in sport, and to exhibiting the highest standards of ethical conduct. Thank you, coaches. Congratulations to all being honoured at this year’s Gala.”The Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence award recipients for 2019 are:
More information on the award recipients is posted on the Awards & Recognition page of the CAC’s website, Follow #SLS19 on Twitter and Instagram for photos of the evening.About the Coaching Association of CanadaThe Coaching Association of Canada unites stakeholders and partners in its commitment to raising the skills and stature of coaches, and ultimately expanding their reach and influence. Through its programs, the CAC empowers coaches with knowledge and skills, promotes ethics, fosters positive attitudes, builds competence, and increases the credibility and recognition of coaches. For more information, please visit, follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.About SuncorSuncor Energy is Canada’s leading integrated energy company. Suncor’s operations include oil sands development and upgrading, conventional and offshore oil and gas production, petroleum refining, and product marketing under the Petro-Canada brand. A member of Dow Jones Sustainability indexes, FTSE4Good and CDP, Suncor is working to responsibly develop petroleum resources while also growing a renewable energy portfolio.
Suncor is listed on the UN Global Compact 100 stock index and the Corporate Knights’ Global 100. Suncor’s common shares (symbol: SU) are listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges.
Petro-CanadaTM, a Suncor business, operates more than 1,500 retail stations and 300
Petro-PassTM wholesale locations nationwide. Petro-Canada’s retail loyalty program, Petro-PointsTM, provides Canadians with the opportunity to earn and redeem rewards. Petro-Canada is proud to be a National Partner of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committees, supporting Canadian athletes, coaches and their families for more than 30 years. For more information, visit
For media inquiries, contact:
Delaney Turner
Manager, Marketing and Communications
Coaching Association of Canada
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 613.292.7651
Photos accompanying this announcement are available at
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