December 12, 2013, OTTAWA (ISN) – Swimmer Ryan Cochrane of Victoria, B.C., and diver Pamela Ware of Beloeil, Que., have been named Aquatics Canada’s male and female athletes of the year for 2013.
The honours are part of Aquatics Canada’s annual awards, which recognize the outstanding performances and contributions to the sport of diving, swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo.
“The eight medals won by Canadians in Barcelona at the FINA World Championships is a better start to this quadrennial than we could have imagined,” says Aquatics Canada President Lisa Schott. “The hard work put in by our athletes, coaches, and support staff is evident and we are looking to continue this level of excellence along the road to Rio.”
The full list of 2013 award recipients is below:
Male Athlete of the Year
Ryan Cochrane, Swimming
Cochrane (25) won two medals in Barcelona this summer: silver in the 1500-metre freestyle and bronze in 800-m free. Adding to his previous four medals at the World Championship level, Cochrane has become Canada’s most decorated World Championship swimmer with six career medals.
Female Athlete of the Year
Pamela Ware, Diving
Competing at her first-ever World Championships, Ware (20) stepped onto the podium twice. She won a bronze medal in 3-m synchronized diving (with partner Jennifer Abel) and another bronze medal in the 3-m individual.
Team of the Year
Roseline Filion and Meaghan Benfeito, Diving
Platform divers, Roseline Filion (26, Laval, QC) and Meaghan Benfeito (24, Montreal, QC) are back-to-back winner of this award. In 2013, they won a silver medal in the 10m synchronized diving at FINA World Aquatic Championships and collected five medals from six FINA sanctioned events this year.
Coach of the year
Randy Bennett, Swimming
All four of Canada’s swimming medals at world championships came from Bennett’s Victoria Academy of Swimming National Swim Centre. In addition to Cochrane’s two medals, Hilary Caldwell broke through with a bronze in the women’s 200-m backstroke, and Eric Hedlin delivered a silver medal in the men’s 5-km open water race.
AFC Spirit of Sport Award
Benoit Huot, Para-Swimming
The AFC’s Spirit of Sport award recognizes a current or former national team athlete who has risen above adversity and encompasses leadership, sportsmanship, all while making a contribution to their community through aquatic sport.
Benoit Huot (29) was the poster boy for 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships, in his hometown of Montreal. Huot sparkled in and out of the pool as a competitor and a tireless promoter for the event, which was being held in North America for the first time. In the pool, Huot withstood the pressure as the hometown favourite, winning the gold medal in the S10 200-metre individual medley. He also capitalized on his celebrity status in Montreal to tour the media to discuss the competition and Paralympic sport in general. Immediately after the worlds, Huot flew to Africa as part of the Right to Play program to promote sports to children in Rwanda in another incredible experience.
Official of Excellence
Beverly Boys, Diving
Beverley Boys has been involved in the sport of diving for forty-six years. The first sixteen years she spent as a diver and coach, and the past thirty as a FINA international judge. She has been a member of the Diving Plongeon Canada’s officials committees for those thirty years and has used her experience as an athlete and coach to contribute practical insight into the officiating and judging of diving.
Throughout her career, she has judged at four Olympic Games, five World Championships, and conducted a significant number of judging clinics at all levels. Her insight and dedication to improving the consistency and excellence of judging has strongly contributed to the ongoing success of diving at the provincial, national, and international levels.
2013 Aquatics Canada President’s Honour Roll
La Traversée internationale du lac-Mégantic Organizing Committee
Organizing a major swimming event is a challenge at the best of times, but La Traversée internationale du lac-Mégantic faced incredibly difficult circumstances this summer.
A devastating train derailment took the lives of 47 community members on July 6 and destroyed the downtown core. With lac-Mégantic scheduled to host the FINA Grand Prix Open Water event Aug. 10, the organizers were faced with the loss of their offices, and a community in mourning.
The organizers, led by President Francois Lessard, Vice-President Kevin Laflamme, Administrators Serge Rosa and Marco Audet and Secretary-Treasurer Dominque Jean, were able to rise from the grief and host a successful international event.