Kicking off the first in-person AthletesCAN Forum weekend since 2019, veteran CBC Sports host Scott Russell will helm this year’s celebration of trailblazers, athlete-centred accomplishments and initiatives – as the Canadian Sport Awards take place on the evening of Friday, Sept. 8, with five notable winners recognized at the Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel in Richmond, B.C and live on AthletesCAN’s digital channels. The event is made possible in part by the generous contribution of Richmond Sport Hosting.
Following Forum, a national digital campaign in partnership with CBC Sports along with the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees for the People’s Choice Award for Most Trending Moment of the Year will take place in December, after the conclusion of the 2023 Pan American and Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
#AthleteVoice Award - Rep of the Year
The #AthleteVoice Award for 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.
Canadian Soccer Players Association
Led by Janine Beckie, Christine Sinclair, Sophie Schmidt and Quinn, the Canadian Soccer Players Association initiated a job action against Canada Soccer during the SheBelieves Cup in February, protesting significant budget cuts to the women’s program. The team skipped practice sessions and wore purple warmups as a sign of solidarity during the tournament which serves as preparation for the World Cup. These four representatives appeared in front of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to testify about how the women’s program receives less support than the men’s team in terms of funding for training camps, provision of medical and training teams, and compensation for representing Canada on the world stage. The CSPA negotiated a 2023 interim agreement with Canada Soccer that significantly increased the national team’s base compensation over 2021 levels.
Eric Radford, Figure Skating
A three-time Olympic medalist, Eric Radford stepped up his athlete advocacy work upon his retirement in 2022. Radford currently serves as the chair of the International Skating Union’s Athletes’ Commission and serves as a delegate on their council. He is also working as part of Team Canada as an Athlete Service Officer at the Santiago 2023 Pan Am Games, helping mentor and support athletes in meeting the challenges of performing at the highest level.
Jaqueline Simoneau, Artistic Swimming
A two-time Olympian, Jacqueline Simoneau is working alongside Eric Radford, representing Team Canada at Santiago 2023 as an Athlete Service Officer. She also represents Team Canada athletes to the Canadian Olympic Committee as a member of the COC Athletes’ Commission, and is an IOC Believe in Sport Ambassador. Simoneau is also a member of the IOC Young Leader’s project, where she is working to develop a platform to promote proactive health and wellness. Simoneau also took on a leadership role in the sport integrity field, presenting at the 2023 Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) Symposium on Competition Manipulation and Gambling in Sport.