IOC Honours COC's Martha Deacon with Annual Award

Canadian Olympic Committee board member and long-time Olympic leader Martha Deacon has been awarded the prestigious 2010 IOC Trophy “Sport Inspiring Young People”.

The Trophy, recognized each year since 1985, is awarded to those who have made significant contributions to sport in their respective countries. In a year that saw the first-ever Youth Olympic Games, this year’s theme aptly focused on youth. Deacon, of Cambridge, Ont., was a natural to win such an award, based on her deep influence not only on Olympic-level athletes but at the grassroots level with youngsters just beginning in sport.

“I am so fortunate to help guide our young people from the playground to the podium,” said Deacon. “I share this award with all those who recognize the value of sport and physical activity, the power of sport and education’s role in instilling important values in our children.

“I’m honoured to receive this award, especially in such an exciting year for sport in Canada. The excellence we’ve seen at the Olympic, Paralympic, Youth Olympic and Commonwealth Games has made amazing impressions on young athletes,” she added.

Deacon, executive officer with the Waterloo Region District School Board, has long recognized the power of sport to inspire. She has worked tirelessly with educational leaders and government officials to advocate and develop programs that allow children and teenagers to embrace the values of a healthy, active lifestyle, as well as the Olympic values of fairness, respect and excellence. She has taken such visions internationally.

“Martha has been an integral part, and an unfailing ambassador of Canada’s ongoing development and leadership in blending sport and education,” said COC President Marcel Aubut. “Canada is becoming a true international leader in bringing Olympic values to the grassroots level.”

Her history in high performance sport is vast. In her sport of badminton, Deacon was team leader for the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, apprentice coach for the 1994 Commonwealth Games, and helped coach and lead the teams at the 1998 and 2002 Commonwealth Games. A mission team member at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, the 2007 Pan American Games and the 2008 Olympic Games, Deacon was most recently Canada’s Chef de Mission for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

She has held high positions in national and international sport bodies, while devoting time to many charitable outreach projects. She has been recognized by the Sport Alliance of Ontario for lifetime achievement in sport.