(February 7, 2008)
Five-time Canadian Ice Dance Champions Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon, and Mariposa Skating School founder and national coach Doug Leigh are finalists for a Canadian Sport Award.
The winners will be revealed at the 35th Annual Canadian Sport Awards ceremony on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 at the Garrick Theatre in Winnipeg. The Canadian Sport Awards, presented by the True Sport Foundation and Investors Group, were established in 1972, and honour the achievements of Canada’s best amateur athletes and leaders.
Marie-France Dubreuil, 32, and Patrice Lauzon, 31, both of Montreal, are finalists for the Partners of the Year Award in recognition of their outstanding athletic performance in 2007. Inaugurated in 1995 the Partners of the Year Wilson and McCall Trophy has evolved to recognize Canada’s outstanding partnerships. Marie-France and Patrice were crowned Canadian Champions at the 2007 national championships in Halifax in January 2007. They traveled to Colorado Springs, USA, in February to capture the gold medal at the 2007 ISU Four Continents Championships and won the silver medal a month later in Tokyo, Japan, at the ISU World Championships. They announced in May 2007 that they were not going to compete during the 2007-2008 season but remained active in skating with show appearances and coaching.
Doug Leigh is a finalist for the Leadership in Sport Award for the second year in a row. This lifetime achievement award recognizes the outstanding contribution of a sport leader or organization who exemplifies spirit of sport values as demonstrated by ground breaking organizational leadership, innovative practices, influential communications, cutting edge sport marketing or powerful positioning.
Doug Leigh, current director of Mariposa School of Skating, has been instrumental in the success of figure skating, and has contributed greatly to the coaching profession in Canada. Doug’s involvement and contributions have had a tremendous impact on the sport, and those around him. Doug has enjoyed remarkable success throughout his 38-year coaching career. He was the junior men’s silver medallist at the 1966 national championships, and started coaching as soon as he finished high school when he was 19.
In 1973 Doug formed his own company in Orillia, Ont., and called it the Mariposa School of Skating, which moved to Barrie, Ont., in 1988. By founding the Mariposa School of Skating, he has established Barrie as one of the major skating centres in Canada and the world. Doug Leigh and the Mariposa School of Skating have created some of Canada’s best figure skaters throughout the years, including Brian Orser, Elvis Stojko and Jennifer Robinson, and contributed to the popularity and development of the sport. Current skaters on the national team training at Mariposa School of Skating include 2008 Canadian Pair Champions Anabelle Langlois and Cody Hay, three-time Canadian champion and 2006 Olympic bronze medalist Jeff Buttle and national team members Chris Mabee and Joey Russell.
Past recipients of Canadian Sport Awards from figure skating include:
Male Athlete of the Year Award:
- 1974 Toller Cranston
- 1989 Kurt Browning
- 1990 Kurt Browning
- 1991 Kurt Browning
- 1993 Kurt Browning
- 1994 Elvis Stojko
- 1997 Elvis Stojko
Female Athlete of the Year Award:
- 1972 Karen Magnussen
- 1973 Karen Magnussen
Partners of the Year:
- 2001 Jamie Salé and David Pelletier
- 2002 Jamie Salé and David Pelletier
Corporate Excellence Award - National Initiative Support:
- 2007 BMO Financial Group, Skate Canada title sponsor and partner
Good luck to Doug Leigh, Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon.