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Diving Canada – OTTAWA, February 4th, 2019– Jennifer Abel and François Imbeau-Dulac were named “Athletes of the Year” at the 2018 Diving Canada Awards Gala. Held on Friday, January 25th, in conjunction with the Association’s Annual General Meeting, this event brought together many representatives from the diving and sport community from across the country to recognize the nominees’ accomplishments.

Winners of the 2018 Diving Plongeon Canada Awards Gala:

  • Female Athlete of the Year: Jennifer Abel (27, Laval, QC)
  • Male Athlete of the Year: François Imbeau-Dulac (28, Saint-Lazare, QC)
  • Coach of the Year, Senior Athletes: Aaron Dziver (Terrebonne, QC)
  • Coach of the Year, Junior Athletes: Devon Butters (Blainville, QC)
  • President’s Honour Roll: Plongeon Québec
  • John Dickinson Award: Cesar Henderson (Montréal, QC)

Four new prizes were created and awarded for the very first time this year to highlight accomplishments over and above performance. The ultimate goal is for the diving community to identify and feel more involved in the presentation of trophies. 
“We wanted to recognize all of the wonderful initiatives we are seeing in our community, all over the country, even if the impact is not national or international”, declared Jill Brewer, president of the Awards Gala Committee and member of Diving Plongeon Canada’s Board of Directors. “This is an excellent way to include clubs and coaches working at the grassroots level.” 
Here are the four new prizes and their first recipients:
 

  •  Coaching « Impact » Award: Gilles Emptoz-Lacote (Toronto, ON)
  • « Standing Ovation » Athlete Award: Pamela Ware (25, Montreal, QC)
  • « Ripple Effect » Athlete Award: the late CJ Mooreand his family
  • « Team Awesome » Award: Regina Diving Club 

 
For more information about our awards recipients, their prizes and the 2018 Diving Canada Awards Gala, please read on. The recipients of other awards are also included below. 

ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
 
The Female and Male Athlete of the Year Awards are awarded annually to recognize results and accomplishments, as well as to recognize a positive impact on the sport of diving.
 
Jennifer Abel (27, Laval, QC | Pointe-Claire Diving Club)

  • Won 10 international medals in 2018: 2 gold, 2 silver and 6 bronze
  • Her attitude and charisma make her one of the greatest ambassadors the sport of diving has ever had, as well as being an incredible role model for youth
  • This is the 6thtime she has been named Female Athlete of the Year by Diving Plongeon Canada 

“I am so thrilled to have been named Diving Plongeon Canada’s Female Athlete of the Year for the sixth time”, declared Abel. “My pre-Olympic year is off to a great start with two gold medals at the Senior Winter Nationals, as well as this special award to add to my collection. And I’m really looking forward to flying off in a few weeks to compete in this season’s first World Series Event!”

François Imbeau-Dulac (28, Saint-Lazare, QC | CAMO)

  • Won three Diving World Series medals in 2018 and a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games
  • Fifth overall in the men’s FINA world rankings
  • He also won this award in 2017

« It a great honour to win the Male Athlete of the Year Award for a second year running and this one really warms my heart”, declared Imbeau-Dulac. “I am really proud of my performances in 2018 – I showed consistency and significant improvement in my capacity to perform at key moments. My coach Aaron Dziver’s confidence and support were instrumental to my performances throughout the year and I would really like to thank him for that.” 
 
“STANDING OVATION” ATHLETE AWARD
 
This brand-new prize, awarded for the very first time this year, will be awarded annually in recognition of, among other things, a memorable achievement, performance or breakthrough; a significant improvement in results or performance; a demonstrated commitment to the advancement of the sport and/or any other inspiring moment or accomplishment.
 
Pamela Ware (25, Montréal, QC | CAMO)

  • After two tough seasons battling injury, she had a very solid year in 2018, winning a bronze medal at the FINA World Cup
  • Became the first woman ever to perform a “reverse 3 ½ twist” in competition.
  • Embodies determination, strength of character and competitive spirit at the most important moments. 

THE ”RIPPLE EFFECT” ATHLETE AWARD
 
Also awarded for the very first time this year, this prize will be awarded annually to an athlete in recognition of, among other things, a positive attitude and whose actions, ideals and values had a positive impact on others, and/or an athlete who embodies the spirit of sport and uses their platform to enrich their community. 
 
The late CJ Moore and his family
 
CJ Moore’s passing last August at age 24 shocked the diving community and his hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo and left behind a profound sense of grief and sorrow. CJ, who came close to qualifying to the Canadian diving team for the 2016 Rio Olympics, had an indelible impact on many young divers with his contagious enthusiasm, more particularly within the Kitchener-Waterloo Diving Club. Always generous with his time and his kind words for the younger divers, he helped them overcome their fears and prioritized team spirit despite the fact diving is primarily an individual sport. He always stayed until the very end of each competition, cheering on others and making sure newer divers felt they were part of the team. He also led by example, a positive role model who was always smiling when he was diving. He loved diving and all those he came into contact with – and it showed.      
 
This award was accepted posthumously by CJ Moore’s family, including his parents Charlie and Janice Moore and his coach, Rob Wells.
 
COACHES OF THE YEAR
 
Awarded annually to highlight the exceptional results and leadership of a Canadian coach at both the senior and junior level.
 
Coach of the Year – Senior Athletes: Aaron Dziver (Terrebonne, QC | CAMO)

  • Coached athletes to 13 international medals in 2018, including 4 gold
  • His athletes won 4 national titles in 2018
  • Works to facilitate the transition of talented young divers to senior international competitions
  • Contributes to FINA in various coaching capacities 

“My coach Aaron Dziver’s confidence and support were instrumental to my performances throughout the year. I was able to show consistency and significant improvement in my capacity to perform at key moments, and I would really like to thank him for that”, shared diver François Imbeau-Dulac.
   
Coach of the Year – Junior Athletes: Devon Butters (Blainville, QC | L’Envol)

  • His athletes won 12 medals at the 2018 Junior Development Nationals and Junior Elites
  • L’Envol is now one of the teams to beat at the National Championships
  • He is curious, enthusiastic, eager to learn and able to set clear goals and objectives   

COACHING IMPACT AWARD
 
Also awarded for the very first time this year, this annual award will be presented to a coach to recognize one or more of the following: leadership; positive role modeling for the development of current and future coaches; contributions to Diving Plongeon Canada projects and activities; innovation/development of coaching techniques; noteworthy impact on the relationships between coaches, officials, parents and supporters; and generating enthusiasm and interest in the sport of diving.  
 
Gilles Emptoz-Lacote (Canadian Diving Institute – Ontario) 

  • Having moved to Canada three and half years ago, Gilles has built an exceptional program from the ground up located at the Canadian Sport Institute – Ontario (CSIO) in Scarborough.
  • He is constantly innovating through research projects conducted in conjunction with the CSIO sport science team
  • He is generous with his time and never hesitates to share his knowledge with other coaches, regularly acting as a mentor to Ontario coaches and athletes

JOHN DICKINSON AWARD OF MERIT
 
The John Dickinson Award of Merit, named in honor of an accomplished diver who founded the Etobicoke Diving Club in 1959 and coached the national diving team at the 1970 Commonwealth Games and the 1976 Olympics, was created in 1981 to recognize an individual with a long-standing involvement in the sport who has made an outstanding contribution to the sport of diving. It is Diving Plongeon Canada’s most prestigious annual award.  
 
Cesar Henderson (Montréal, QC – CAMO) 

  • Celebrated his 30th year with CAMO
  • Named to the Canadian coaching staff at 5 Olympic Games
  • In 2000, was named Aquatics Athlete of the century in the Dominican Republic
  • Throughout Canada and around the world, Cesar is recognized for his approachability, friendship, mentorship, coaching, passion, good humour and boundless energy.  

VAUGHAN BAIRD AWARD
 
Created in 1981, the Vaughan Baird Award is presented on the basis of merit, not necessarily every year, to an individual upon the occasion of a groundbreaking contribution/innovation that has significantly advanced the “art and sport of diving”.
 
Kelly Stark-Anderson

  • A member of the Board of Directors for the last 15 years and President of Diving Plongeon Canada from 2008 to 2018, she led the organization through a period of exceptional growth and development
  • An ex-diver, judge and contributor at other levels, Kelly has taken on various leadership roles in diving over the last 24 years
  • Helped to elevate Diving Plongeon Canada to become a leader among Canada’s National Sport Organizations

 
“TEAM AWESOME” AWARD
 
Also inaugurally awarded this year on the basis of merit (not necessarily annually) in recognition of a member club who has: demonstrated excellence in the creation of a healthy, thriving, inclusive club culture; demonstrated growth in club membership and programming; and/or significant improvement in the overall club performance and achievement; demonstrated consistent high level of engagement from club members; engaged the broader community in the sport of diving. 
 
Regina Diving Club

  • A club on the rise since the hiring of Head Coach Laura Desautels in 2010
  • Since that time, the club has doubled in size, the number of competitive athletes has almost tripled and the club oversaw the development of many coaches
  • In 2018, 21 of its athletes qualified for the National Championships, compared to 3 in 2009. Last year, four Regina Diving Club athletes won medals at the Junior Canadian National Championships.  

 
PRESIDENT’S HONOUR ROLL
 
The President’s Honour Roll is presented annually to one or more individuals to recognize an important contribution to Diving Plongeon Canada’s activities and initiatives.
 
Plongeon Québec 

  • Plongeon Québec accomplished the monumental task of supervising almost every aspect related to the FINA Diving World Series held in Montreal
  • Over 40 volunteers were recruited to help in the hosting of a virtually perfect event
  • Thank you to Claudie Dumais, Executive Director of Plongeon Québec, Johanne Boivin, Technical Coordinator and Yvanie Bouthillier, Plongeon Québec’s Sport Development Coordinator. 

 
DIVING CANADA’S GOLD BOOK
 
In 2007, Diving Plongeon Canada created the “Gold Book” to recognize exceptional junior divers. It’s a special book updated with the pictures and signatures of the season’s best junior athletes – an archive of their accomplishments and a sign of great things to come.
 
Henry McKay (Nepean, ON – NODC) and Victor Povzner (Maple, ON – Optimal Diving Club)

  • 3m synchro gold medalists at the FINA World Junior Championships held in Kiev, Ukraine and at the Dresden International
  • Named 2018 Team of the Year by Aquatics Canada
  • Diving Plongeon Canada’s most decorated junior synchro team in history

Cédric Fofana (Québec, QC – Club ARO)

  • Gold medalist at the Dresden International
  • Bronze medalist at 3m boys at the FINA World Junior Championships
  • First male Canadian diver to win an individual medal at the event since Alexandre Despatie in 2002.

 
 

About Diving Plongeon Canada
Diving Plongeon Canada (DPC) was established in 1967 as a not-for-profit organization to promote the growth and awareness of the sport in this country. As a member of FINA, the world’s governing body of aquatic sports, DPC contributes to the development of globally accepted standards of excellence in diving and supports the rules and regulations of international competition. Representing nine provincial diving associations, 67 local diving clubs and close to 4,000 high-performance athletes, DPC shares a national commitment to advance the art and sport of diving and to position Canada as the number one diving nation of the world. For information, visit www.diving.ca. 
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For more information:

DOMINIQUE LADOUCEUR
Consultant, Communications and Media Relations
Diving Plongeon Canada
Cell: 514 576-2379
dominique@diving.ca