Special Olympics Canada | Olympiques Spéciaux Canada
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1968 The year Special Olympics was founded

by Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

12 floor hockey players

were brought to Chicago by Harold Smith to represent Canada at the first International Special Olympics in 1968

Team Canada

Awards

Special Olympics Canada Awards

 

Every year, since 1989, Special Olympics Canada has honoured athletes and volunteers for their remarkable achievements that contribute to and strengthen the Special Olympics movement. As of 2014, SOC now recognizes achievements in eight categories, which are listed below. Winners are typically honoured at an awards ceremony in Toronto in mid-late November.

To view the 2015 Special Olympics Canada Awards Ceremony, please click on the following link:

Male and Female Athlete of the Year

Both a male and a female athlete are honoured each year. Winners are chosen not just for their athletic achievements, but also for their exemplification of the true spirit of Special Olympics.

Past Winners: Male and Female Athlete of Year

1996 – Lonni May Baird (AB) & Harvey Arcangeletti (ON)

1997 Leslie Ann Bartlett (NF) & Rick Francis (ON)

1998 – Shelly Yamamoto (AB) & Casey Smutylo (ON)

1999 – Patty Connnors (NB) & Wayne Bauche (MB)

2000 – Suzie Smith (PEI) & Jackie Barrett (NS)

2001 Andrea Dowey (ON) & Sandy Morrison (NS)

2002 – Tammy Chambers (MB) & Jamie King (ON)

2003 – Diane Gannon (ON) & Paul Aubuchon (BC)

2004 – Rebecca Nicholson (NB) & Andrew Ash (NF)

2005 – Brita Hall (MB) & David Ingram (MB)

2006 – Nicole Ferguson (ON) & Mike Goguen (NB)

2007 – Pauline Shaw (BC) & Jason Richardson (ON)

2008 – Janet Maher (Nfld) & Michael Qing (SK)

2009 – Coralee Cooke (Sask) & Marc Thériault (BC)

2010 – Lynette Sampson (NS) & Richard Gillis (BC)

2011 – Alyssa Chapman (PEI) & Michael Qing (SK)

2012 – Elisha Donaghey-Johnston (ON) & Jeremy Mueller (NL)

2013 – Ellen MacNearney (PEI) & Tim Goodacre (ON)

2014 – Samantha Currie (MB) & Stephen Graham (ON)

2015 – Sarah Brown (NFL) & Jackie Barrett (NFL)

Male and Female Coach of the Year

Both a male and a female coach are honoured each year. Winners are chosen based on the athletic achievements of their athletes, the leadership they show on and off the playing field and the contribution they make to Special Olympics as a whole.

Past Winners: Male and Female Coach of the Year

1989 – Heather Gudmundson & Bill Forest (MB)

1990 – Imogene Watt & Larry Sheppard (ON)

1991 – Daralynn D’Angelo & Robb Berezan (BC)

1992 – Cam Huberdeau (SK) & Carol Zamin (ON)

1993 – Marlene Davis (ON) & Karl Dittmar

1994 – Sharon Ward (NF) & Bob Henderson (NS)

1995 – Marie Adamson (MB) & Lorne Morgan (NF)

1996 – Shelly Hobbs (MB) & Daryl Wiebe (SK)

1997 – Joyce Wityshyn (MB) & Tim Tazumi (AB)

1998 – Delores (Dee) Neukom (BC) & Dino Pedicelli (QC)

1999 – Lorrie Roebuck (ON) & Heavy Evason (MB)

2000 – Ruth MacInnes (NS) & Doug Castor (MB)

2001 – Joanne Zahaiko (MB) & Jim McGuire (BC)

2002 – Kelly Zackodnik (AB) & George Reitmeier (AB)

2003 – Luwanna Fagan (NS) & Bob Boisvert (ON)

2004 – Sallie Szanik (BC) & Harvey Hunter (BC)

2005 – Joyce Wityshyn (MB) & Martin McSween (AB)

2006 – Heather Todoschuk (MB) & Gord Stewart (MB)

2007 – Jackie Powell (SK) & Ian Pavlik (ON)

2008 – Maureen Brinson (BC) & Alain Maillé (QC)

2009 – Nanci Martin (BC) & Gerry Landry (Ont)

2010 – Jaci Gaetz (BC) & Jason Agnew (NB)

2011 – Arlene McTeer (AB) & Ross MacIntosh (NS)

2012 – Kelly Edwards (AB) & Michel Guyon (QC)

2013 – Tracey Robertson (NWT) & Calvin Dyck (BC)

2014 – Tanya Smith (NL) & Brent Lohmer (MB)/Glen Ellison (BC)

2015 – Barb Frederickson (SK) & Tom Norton (BC)

Team of the Year

One team of Special Olympics athletes are honoured each year. Winners are chosen based on the athletic achievements of the team, their exemplification of the true spirit of Special Olympics and their ability to work together as a team.

Past Winners: Team of the Year

1997 – Fort Erie Phantoms, Floor Hockey (ON)

1998 – Kelowna Grizzlies, Softball (BC)

1999 – Neguac Thunder – Softball (NB)

2000 – Winnipeg Wolverines – Soccer (MB)

2001 – Wheat City Wings – Floor Hockey (MB)

2002 – Hamilton Hurricanes – Soccer (ON)

2003 – Brandon Comets – Softball (MB)

2004 – PEI Stars – Floor Hockey (PE)

2005 – Paul Phillips Rink – Curling (PE)

2006 – Shilo Gunners – Curling (MB)

2007 – Surrey Vipers – Soccer (BC)

2008 – Chester Curlers (NS)

2009 – Brampton Panthers (Ont)

2010- Les Dragons de la Rive-Sud (QC)

2011- PEI Jays (PEI)

2012- PEI Curling Team (PEI)

2013 – Saskatoon Stingers (SK)

2014 – D’Bears (MB)

2015 – SONL Soccer Team (Mount Pearl, NFL)

Special Olympics Festival Volunteer of the Year

This award is presented each year to a volunteer directly involved in the organization and execution of a provincial/territorial Special Olympics festival event. Winners are chosen based on their lifetime contributions to Special Olympics festivals in their chapter and their demonstration of leadership and integrity in organizing these events.

Past Winners: Special Olympics Festival Volunteer of the Year

2006 – Mark Service

2007 – Lorna Flemming

2008 – Scott Ellis

2009 – Carol Bosse

2010 – Steve Loggie

2011 – Judy Dobbin

2012 – Daniel Granger

2013 – Don Burke

2014 – Lorraine LeClair 

2015 – Mike Van Hees

Rob Plunkett Law Enforcement Torch Run Award

This award is presented to a law enforcement officer who volunteers their time to fundraising activities for Special Olympics through the Law Enforcement Torch Run. Winners are chosen based on their lifetime contributions to Special Olympics and the Law Enforcement Torch Run and their leadership in raising funds for the organization. This award is named after Detective Constable Robert Plunkett, a veteran of the York Regional Police and a true champion of the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

Past Winners: Rob Plunkett Law Enforcement Torch Run Award

2008 – Lorne White

2009 – Paul Manuel

2010 – Alan Richardson

2011 – Joanne Wild

2012 – Mike Currie

2013 – Brian Snyder

2014 – Stephen Hug

2015 – Sergeant Michael McAllister

Jim Thompson Award (Formerly Chairperson’s Award)

This award is presented each year to a non-coaching volunteer. Winners are chosen based on their lifetime contributions to Special Olympics in the areas of sport, fundraising, administration or major games. The award is named after Jim Thompson, a longtime supporter and dear friend to Special Olympics.

Past Winners: Jim Thompson Award (Formerly Chairperson’s Award)

1996 – Pat Sywulych (SK)

1997 – Judy Wakeford (MB)

1998 – Robert Sokalski (MB)

1999 – Bruce French (ON)

2000 – Sylvie Bedard – Tourigny (QC)

2001 – Ken Carson (ON)

2002 – Cecil Villard (PE)

2003 – Gloria DeMers (NS)

2004 – Heavy Evason (MB)

2005 – Rita Agnew (NB)

2006 – Cam Huberdeau (SK)

2007 – Evan Ash (NF)

2008 – Peter Howatt (PEI)

2009 – Dr. Carmel Casey (NL)

2010 – Glen Agnew (NB)

2011 – Jade Lawsane (QC)

2012 – Cathy Mason (NS)

2013 – Karen Theriault (BC)

2014 – Darren Whitehead (SK) 

2015 – Bill Mills (ON)

Harry Red Foster Award

This award is presented to an individual who exemplifies the spirit, philosophy and goals of the Special Olympics movement. Winners are chosen based on their contributions to the development, awareness and success of Special Olympics in Canada. This award is named after Harry “Red” Foster, the founder of Special Olympics Canada and is the highest award bestowed by SOC to a volunteer.

Past Winners: Harry Red Foster Award

Les Hull (NB)

Howard Carter (BC)

Mary Ann Crowley (NS)

Ray Johnson (BC)

Lanny McDonald (AB)

Dave “Tiger” Williams (BC)

Wayne Hildahl (MB)

Glen Agnew (NB)

Harold Smith (ON)

Noella Douglas (QB)

Bruce Jansen (BC)

Ted Irvine (MB)

Ed Hyttenrauch (ON)

Don Taylor (AB)

Thomas Gibson (SK)

June Rothwell (SK)

Jim Young (ON)

Kinesman Club of Winnipeg (MB)

Brian Etherington (ON)

Lorne White (ON)

Bob Winsor (QB)

Jennifer McTavish (MB)

David Garard (ON)

Colin MacKinnon (BC)

Frank Selke (ON)

Tom Wright (ON)

Bob Nicholson (ON)

Al Dyer (SK)

Dr. Frank Hayden Athlete Lifetime Achievement Award

This award is presented to an individual(s) who has achieved athletic success over the course of their career, as well as constantly served as a role model to their fellow athletes and exemplified the true spirit of Special Olympics. This award is named after Dr. Frank Hayden, whose research on athletes with an intellectual disability led to the creation of Special Olympics in 1968.

Past Winners: Dr. Frank Hayden Athlete Lifetime Achievement Award

2014 – Brita Hall & Nicole Ferguson

2015 – Jackie Barrett (NFL)