Speed Skating Canada Announces Coach, Official & Volunteer of the Year Gregor Jelonek, E.W. (Wim) Kok and Jean-Philippe Lemay bring home top honours
Gregor Jelonek, E.W. (Wim) Kok and Jean-Philippe Lemay bring home top honours
OTTAWA, ONTARIO – Speed Skating Canada announced today the annual award winners in the coaching, officiating and volunteering categories. Canadian national long track team coach Gregor Jelonek won his fourth career Coach of the Year award, while E.W. (Wim) Kok and Jean-Philippe Lemay take home the Official of the Year and Volunteer of the Year awards, respectively.
Last week, the Shields Family (Gagné Family Award) and City of Sherbrooke (Partner of the Year) were honoured for their outstanding contributions to the sport. The remaining award winners will be unveiled on our website and social media channels in the coming weeks
Coach of the Year: Gregor Jelonek
The Jack Walters Award for Coach of the Year is presented to a coach who has demonstrated sustained leadership within the coaching environment, at either the grassroots or high performance level, along with meaningful, long-term involvement on the club, regional, provincial or national stages.
This year’s Coach of the Year is Canadian national long track team coach Gregor Jelonek, who was also the recipient of this award in 2016, 2012 and 2000. This season, two of Gregor’s skaters had career-best performances: Laurent Dubreuil won silver at the World Sprint Championships and bronze in the 1000m at the World Single Distance Championships, while Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu won bronze in the Mass Start at the World Single Distance Championships.
Those results are even more impressive considering Quebec-based skaters trained all season long without access to oval ice due to the Centre de glaces in Quebec City being under construction. His experience, dedication and ability to motivate skaters when it counts makes Gregor a key factor in the success of long track speed skating in Quebec and across Canada.
Official of the Year: E.W. (Wim) Kok
The René Marleau Award for Official of the Year is presented to an official who has displayed sustained leadership within the officiating environment and demonstrated meaningful, long-term involvement at the club, regional, provincial or national level.
This year’s Official of the Year is E.W. (Wim) Kok of Fort St. John, B.C., who has been involved as a speed skating official for over 30 years, including eight as an ISU referee. Wim has held chief referee positions at numerous domestic competitions, including the Canadian Long Track Championships, Canada Winter Games and several World Masters events. A strong advocate for getting new parents involved in the sport as officials, Wim has mentored countless developing officials, conducted dozens of Level 1 and Level 2 clinics and published various documents to assist younger referees.
Wim has served on the Fort St. John Elks Speed Skating Club’s executive in numerous capacities and has been on the BCSSA Officials Development Committee for six years, the past four as elected Chair. Extremely well respected by his peers across the country and by the entire B.C. speed skating community, Wim epitomizes the attributes the René Marleau Award stands for.
Volunteer of the Year: Jean-Philippe Lemay
The Jean Grenier Award is bestowed upon an outstanding volunteer or administrator who has made invaluable contributions to the betterment of speed skating in Canada. Winners of this award are unsung heroes who work tirelessly in planning competitions, clinics or events to help increase awareness, promote participation and foster athlete development.
This year’s Volunteer of the Year is Jean-Philippe Lemay of Sherbrooke, Que., a recently retired short track skater who has been using his background and university education in software engineering to help implement numerous technological advancements for competitions in his hometown. The 20-year-old has been actively volunteering for over a decade and since 2015 has helped organize over 30 competitions as a member of CODEPS. In 2018, Sherbrooke was able to host its first paperless competition – where officials on and off the ice used tablets to enter information – thanks to Jean-Philippe’s results system.
In addition to helping organize events, Jean-Philippe also volunteers as a recorder at regional and national events and has assisted the photo-finish team at several international events in Montreal. When the CPVS season was abruptly cancelled due to COVID-19 this past March, Jean-Philippe took it upon himself to transform the club’s annual awards gala into an extremely successful virtual event, which allowed the skaters to end their season on a positive note. It shows how much he truly cares about the club and its skaters.
Coaching Award of Excellence: Guillaume Deslauriers, Tyler Williamson Derraugh, Tania Lauren
The Coaching Award of Excellence is awarded to those who have made meaningful contributions to the sport of speed skating in the role of coach. This year’s recipients are Guillaume Deslauriers (Que.), Tyler Williamson Derraugh (Man.) and Tania Lauren (B.C.).
Officials Award of Excellence: Sylvain Anctil, Eric Beauschene, Yves Michaud
The Guy Marcoux Officials Award of Excellence is awarded to those who have made meaningful contributions to the sport of speed skating in the role of official. This year’s recipients are Sylvain Anctil (Que.), Eric Beauschene (Man.) and Yves Michaud (Que.).
“It’s an honor to receive this award! I would like to congratulate my skaters for their great results this season and would like to share this recognition with my colleagues – Mark Wild, Remmelt Eldering, Bart Schouten, Todd McClements and the support staff – who all had a great season as well. A special thanks to Muncef Ouardi, Sabrina Lapointe and Jonathan Pelletier for their daily support in Quebec City. I am very grateful to be a part of the national long track team program.” – Gregor Jelonek
“When I first got involved in speed skating in 1984, I could never have dreamt where the sport would take me. It has given me so many opportunities to participate, to learn and to contribute. This has been most rewarding. To be the recipient of the 2020 René Marleau Official of the Year Award is not only most gratifying, it is also a reflection of the support and mentorship I have received from so many. Thank you for that, I am delighted.” – E.W. (Wim) Kok
“I am very honored to win this award! It’s a wonderful recognition for all my involvement and my commitment to speed skating. I am happy to contribute to the development of the sport and to invest myself for athletes of all levels.” – Jean-Philippe Lemay
Speed Skating Canada