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33rd Annual Canadian Sport Awards Winners

March 31, 2006 (Toronto, Ontario) — The True Sport Foundation officially announced the winners of the 33rd Annual Canadian Sport Awards (CSA), presented by Investors Group, late this afternoon at an awards ceremony at the Olympic Spirit Toronto Discovery Centre in Toronto. Today’s awards event was a celebration honouring the athletes and leaders who lifted our spirits in competition occurring in the 2005 calendar year.

Hosted by Scott Russell of CBC Sports and Sylvie Bigras, former CEO of Volleyball Canada, the ceremony brought together leaders from the sport and corporate communities who represent the pinnacle of commitment and competition in the world of Canadian amateur sport. The show was open to the public for the first time in the awards’ history and spectators had a chance to meet the athletes in the Olympic Spirit Toronto Discovery Centre after the ceremony.

Olympic and World Champion speed skater Cindy Klassen took home honours for Female Athlete of the Year, while Canada’s diving sensation Alexandre Despatie was awarded Male Athlete of the Year.

Speed skaters Denny Morrison and Kalyna Roberge were named winners of the Junior Male and Female Athlete of the Year categories respectively. Male Team of the Year went to the World Men’s Curling Champions and Female Team of the Year to the Women’s National Water Polo team. The Partners of the Year Award went to the Men’s 4×200 Relay Team (swimming).

“I would like to congratulate these athletes and sport leaders, on behalf of the True Sport Foundation, for their achievements and contribution to Canadian amateur sport,” said Victor Lachance, chair of the board, The True Sport Foundation.

Continued Lachance: “They are a shining example for everyone, especially Canada’s youth, that dreams can be achieved through hard work and perseverance. Having the ceremony open to the general public for the first time ever was a tremendous success; it was wonderful to see so many members of the public come out to show their support for Canadian amateur athletics.”

Among the winners today, Kristina Groves, Clara Hughes and Arne Dankers were honoured for their work with the Right to Play organization and were presented the Investors Group Spirit of Sport Story of the Year. This award recognizes a Canadian sporting hero or group who, in the pursuit of sporting excellence, has demonstrated values such as dedication, perseverance, sportsmanship, respect for others and a true love of sport in 2005.

“Investors Group is proud to support all the athletes, sport leaders and volunteers who have been recognized by the Canadian Sport Awards,” said Richard Irish, assistant vice-president, community affairs and area marketing, Investors Group. “The determination, skill and dedication shown by all of the winners provides an outstanding example for Canadians to follow in their daily lives.”

The winners were chosen by an independent jury from among finalists in the following categories: Athletic Performance, Leadership in Sport, Corporate Excellence, Investors Group Spirit of Sport Story of the Year and Bell True Sport Community Award.

Winners of the 33rd Annual Canadian Sport Awards

ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE AWARDS:
This year’s winners in the Athletic Performance category for the 33rd Annual Canadian Sport Awards, recognizing and celebrating outstanding athletic performance in 2005, are:

Male Athlete of the Year
Alexandre Despatie, Diving Canada

Female Athlete of the Year
Cindy Klassen, Speed Skating

Junior Male Athlete of the Year
Denny Morrison, Speed Skating

Junior Female Athlete of the Year
Kalyna Roberge, Speed Skating

Male Team of the Year
World Men’s Curling Champions

Female Team of the Year
Women’s National Water Polo Team

Partners of the Year
Men’s 4x 200 Relay, Swimming

LEADERSHIP AWARDS:
The winners in the Leadership Awards category for the 33rd Annual Canadian Annual Sport Awards, recognizing and celebrating an individual’s outstanding contribution to the betterment of sport in 2005, are:

Athlete Leadership Award
Lori Johnstone, Athletes CAN

Leadership in Sports Award
Mark Lowry, Canadian Olympic Committee (posthumous)

Volunteer Achievement Award
Dr. Donald McKenzie, Chair of the ICF (Int. Canoe Federation) Medical Committee

Coach of the Year
Michel Larouche, Diving Canada

CORPORATE EXCELLENCE AWARDS:
The winners of the Corporate Excellence Awards for the 33rd Annual Canadian Sport Awards, recognizing and celebrating corporations who provided outstanding support to Canadian sport in 2005, are:

Individual Athlete Support
VISA

National Team Support
Haywood Securities

National Initiative Support
Honda Canada

Bell True Sport Community Award
Kugluktuk, NVT
Markham, ON
Pickering, ON

INVESTORS GROUP SPIRIT OF SPORT STORY OF THE YEAR:
The winner of the Investors Group Spirit of Sport Story of the Year Award for the 33rd Annual Canadian Annual Sport Awards, recognizing a Canadian hero who, in the pursuit of sporting excellence, has demonstrated values such as dedication, perseverance, sportsmanship, respect for others and a true love of sport in 2005, is:

Kristina Groves, Clara Hughes and Arne Dankers – The Right to Play

About the True Sport Foundation
The True Sport Foundation is a charitable organization committed to ensuring that sport makes a positive contribution to Canadian society, our athletes, and the physical and moral development of Canada’s youth. Powered by the Foundation, the Canadian Sport Awards boasts a strong relationship with its modern day founding partners, which include Athletes CAN, the Commonwealth Games Canada, the Canada Games Council and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. The 2006 Canadian Sport Awards are sponsored by: Investors Group, Sport Canada, HBC, Bell Canada, Cheerios, Tim Horton’s, Air Canada, Holiday Inn On King, Timex, Olympic Spirit, AVW Telav, CNW and KPMG. For more information, visit www.canadiansportawards.ca/.

About Olympic Spirit Toronto
The Olympic Spirit Toronto Discovery Centre, the first facility of its kind in the world, uses state-of-the-art Olympic Games simulators, high-energy multimedia presentations and authentic Olympic artifacts and memorabilia to inspire, educate and entertain. Entire floors are devoted to both the Summer and Winter Games, and a 200 seat theatre. For more information, visit http://www.olympicspirit.ca/.

About Investors Group
Investors Group Inc. is a Canadian leader in providing personal financial planning services, and is dedicated to building lasting client relationships. Their primary objective is to assist Canadians plan for financial security by providing quality financial planning advice and products through a network of Consultants. For more information, visit http://www.investorsgroup.com/








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