April 28, 2006 – Tricia Smith of Vancouver, whose career spans more than 30 years of involvement in sport as a competitor and volunteer leader, is the third recipient of the Carol Anne Letheren International Sport Leadership Award. The award was announced today during the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) Congress in Quebec City.
This award, established by the COC and the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS), honours Letheren’s legacy both in Canada and internationally. A former International Olympic Committee Member and CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Letheren made an outstanding contribution in the area of international sport leadership and had a profound impact on sport and physical activity.
“Tricia is a dynamic example of an athlete who has chosen to continue giving back to sports beyond the competitive venue,” said Phyllis Berck, past chair of CAAWS. “She has not been content to merely sit back on a Board or a Committee, but she has taken on a leadership role in nearly every organization she has served. She leads by encouraging others in their areas of responsibility, with a quiet persuasive style, yet never losing sight of achieving specific objectives. And, she has constantly worked to bring women, and women’s issues to the attention of organizations at the provincial, national and international levels.”
Chris Rudge, CEO of the COC, applauded Tricia Smith’s role as an ambassador for Canada. “Tricia commands the greatest respect at a national and international level in sport due to her vast experience and knowledge. She is widely respected as a loyal champion for athletes because she always places their needs first. As we honour Carol Anne Letheren’s legacy, we are delighted to partner with CAAWS to present this award to someone who leads by example and is a role model for other women in sport.”
Smith, a four-time Olympian in rowing, started her Olympic career at the 1976 Olympic Summer Games in the first-ever Olympic regatta for women. She was on Canada’s first medal-winning team at the 1977 World Championships. Among her notable achievements, she won seven World Championship medals, a silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games, and a gold medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games.
These significant athletic achievements are more than matched by her contribution to and impact on sport and particularly women in sport. She co-founded and co-chaired Rowing Canada’s first Athletes’ Advisory Council with the goal of providing athlete input into the decision-making of the organization. Smith was also a member of the first Athletes’ Advisory Council of the Canadian Olympic Committee.
Shortly after retiring from rowing following the 1988 Olympic Games, she became a member of the Board of Rowing B.C., beginning her prolific career as a volunteer in sport.
The past chair of Sport BC and a past Board member of the Commonwealth Centre for Sport Development (now Pacific Sport), she was also the BC government’s appointee to the BC Advisory Council on Drugs and Sport and she worked with Sport Medicine BC to design drug testing protocols.
Smith is a Partner at Barnes Craig & Associates, managing claims for liability insurers, providing risk management consulting and acting as an Arbitrator on a variety of sport issues. She currently provides leadership in sport as a member of:
– the Executive Committee of the International Rowing Federation (FISA);
– the Executive Committee of the Canadian Olympic Committee;
– the Board of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS);
and a volunteer on numerous other Boards.
Smith was recently named as Chef de Mission for the Canadian Team at the Pan American Games in 2007.
The award is presented every two years, in Olympic Games years. It was first presented in 2002 to Marion Lay of Vancouver. In 2004, it was presented to Slava Corn of Toronto.