44th Canadian Sport Awards: #AthleteVoice Award: Rep of the Year

December  14, 2021

The 44th Canadian Sport Awards have been rebranded to focus more closely on trailblazers, athlete-centred accomplishments and initiatives – with the ultimate goal to unite, amplify and celebrate the leadership and voices of Canada’s national team athletes.

Following an exciting return to sport over the course of 2021, AthletesCAN will unveil the finalists for each award from Dec. 7-14, culminating in live virtual broadcast announcing the winners on Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT on AthletesCAN’s digital channels.

#AthleteVoice Award: Rep of the Year

The #AthleteVoice Award – Rep of the Year recognizes the significant contributions of an athlete representative within their national sport organization, multi-sport organization or international sport organization. The athlete representation movement is only as good as the athletes chosen by their teammates to effect positive change. This award highlights the initiative, courage, and leadership of these individuals.

Rosalind Groenewoud, Freestyle Ski

Groenewoud has been unwavering in her commitment to speaking up for safe sport both through the Universal Code of Conduct to Present and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS) Leadership Group and more recently the UCCMS Athlete Advocacy Committee. The two-time Olympian continues to advocate for athletes on the Canadian Olympic Committee Athletes Commission and is an ambassador for Right to Play and affecting social change through sport.

Credit: CPC

Alison Levine, Boccia

Throughout her career, Levine has continued to be a valuable ambassador for the para sport movement, championing diversity and inclusion efforts. The two-time Paralympian, has served on the Athletes’ Council for both the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) as well as Boccia Canada on behalf of her peers, advocating for the best interests for athletes with disabilities, including equal rights, coaching and development, marketing and promotion and media coverage.

Credit: Rugby Canada

Karen Paquin, Rugby

Paquin and the national women’s rugby sevens team made a statement prior to opening competition at Tokyo 2020. The two-time Olympian led her teammates in speaking out on important issues before beginning their quest for a medal, including reporting on an unsafe environment under their former coach, advocating for racial equality, social justice and reconciliation with Canada’s Black, Indigenous and People of Colour communities.

Credit: CPC

Tony Walby, Para Judo

Since 2018, Walby has served as the Chair of the CPC Athletes’ Council. The two-time Paralympian stepped up with his voice on behalf of Canada’s national team athletes, providing statements of leadership in support of number of key decisions and initiatives, including the postponement of the Tokyo Games, athlete eligibility reassessments in the sport of wheelchair basketball and the impact of maltreatment in sport on para athletes.