Winning coaches rewarded

MONTREAL – The Canadian Olympic Committee made its first ever presentation of the Coaches Reward Program to the coaches of Olympic medal winners, totalling $107,500 in Montreal Thursday.

“Athletes depend on coaches so much. They are crucial to our success,” said two-time Synchronized Swimming Olympian Tracy Little. “Coaches deserve this kind of recognition for all their hard work. We athletes appreciate everything you do for us!”

“Coaches don’t coach to get famous, but it is good to see coaches being recognized by the Canadian Olympic Committee for our part in the athletes’ success,” said Olympic Judo coach and double Olympic medallist Nicolas Gill.

“Coaches all across this country dedicate hours to athletes’ development because it is a labour of love,” said Olympic Diving coach Aaron Dziver. “Coaches can use all the support they can get to continue their important work and this coaches reward program is an excellent example.”

“Coaches don’t just make a difference, they make the difference,” said Canadian Olympic Committee President Marcel Aubut. “While the value of what you do cannot be expressed in words or dollars, our intent is simply to publically recognize the essential contribution that you make to an athlete’s success, the Canadian Olympic Team’s success and the nation’s success.”

“The Coaching Association of Canada believes that coaches are the primary influence on the quality of a participant’s sport experience,” said Canadian Association of Coaches President John Bales. “Through this Olympic Coaches Reward Program, the Canadian Olympic Committee recognizes the vital role that coaches play in the success of Canada’s athletes. We congratulate the COC for this excellent initiative and congratulate the recipients for their outstanding achievements in coaching.”

“We all know that Coaches are the single most important determinant of athletic success,” said Peter Lawless, president of Coaches of Canada and Chair of COC coaches task force.  “It is a tremendous credit to the Canadian Olympic Committee that it has recognized this and committed to a new program of coach recognition.  This program and the funds provided are a fantastic statement by the COC on the importance of coaches.”

Beginning with the London 2012 Olympic Games, the coach of Olympic medallists receive $10,000 per gold medal, $7,500 per silver medal and $5,000 per bronze medal, per sport discipline. In all, 24 coaches will receive the funds this year.

The athlete and their National Sport Federation identified which coach will receive the reward. The athlete can also divide the money between multiple coaches, if desired.