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- 07. February 2009.

Blythe Hartley named as a finalist for the Canadian Sport Awards Spirit of Sport Story of the Year

OTTAWA– The True Sport Foundation (TSF) today announced the finalists for the 36th Canadian Sport Awards (CSA), the ultimate recognition event for excellence in Canadian sport. The annual awards program promotes sporting excellence across Canada, and reminds Canadians how sport lifts the human spirit. It is a tribute to the hard work, the dedication and the victories of our country’s finest athletes.

“The response to this year’s call for nominations was excellent,” says Victor Lachance, Executive Director of the True Sport Foundation. “We are thrilled with the enthusiasm and support shown by Canada’s sporting community. This is particularly exciting in the lead up to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

The Canadian Sport Awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at Ottawa’s National Gallery of Canada. This who’s who of the sporting world is the year’s best opportunity to honour our amateur athletes.

A limited number of tickets to the awards ceremony/dinner are available for $120 each through Program Director Robin Turnbull at rtevent@sympatico.ca. Passes will be available for accredited media.

Following the awards ceremony, on Wednesday, February 25, Canadian Sport Award nominees and recipients will visit two Ottawa schools where these role models will engage with students, sharing success stories and challenges and advancing the benefits of values-driven sport in Canada.

The sport community was invited to nominate athletes and persons for Junior Athlete of the Year, Corporate Excellence Award, Leadership in Sport Award, Volunteer Achievement Award and the popular Spirit of Sport Story of the Year. The TSF will rank the three finalists in the Athlete Performance Awards from the top eight results published by Sport Canada.

CSA 2008 Finalists

The Athletic Performance Awards recognize outstanding athletic performance. Finalists include:
Male Athlete of the Year
Jeffrey Buttle – Figure Skating
Eric Lamaze – Equestrian
Adam Van Koeverden - Canoeing

Female Athlete of the Year
Kristina Groves – Speed Skating
Carol Huynh – Wrestling
Chantal Petitclerc - Athletics

Junior Athlete of the Year
Alex Harvey – Cross Country
Sarah Reid – Skeleton
Matthew Swanston - Swimming

Team of the Year
Curling: Men's World Championship (K. Martin)
Curling: Women's World Championship (J. Jones)
Wheelchair Basketball: Paralympics (P. Anderson)

Partners of the Year
Rowing: Beijing Olympics Gold Medal: M Eights (M8+)
(Wetzel/Light/Rutledge/Seiterle/Howard/Kreek/Hamilton/Price/Byrnes)
Rowing: Beijing Olympics Silver Medal: M Pairs (M2-)
(D.Calder/S.Frandsen)
Figure Skating: World Championship: Ice Dance
(T.Virtue, S.Moir)

The Leadership Awards recognize and celebrate an individual’s outstanding contribution to the betterment of sport. Finalists include:

Leadership in Sport Award
Chantal Petitclerc
Jane Roos
Kevin Sullivan

Volunteer Achievement

Philip Clark
Alain Maillé
Larry Smith

The Corporate Excellence Award recognizes and celebrates a corporation who provides outstanding support to Canadian sport. Finalists include:
Forzani Group
Mitsubishi
Speedo

The Spirit of Sport Story of the Year category recognizes and celebrates Canadian heroes who, in the pursuit of sporting excellence, have demonstrated values such as fairness, inclusion, perseverance, sportsmanship, respect for others, and a true love of sport. Finalists include:
Blythe Hartley
Men’s Eight (M8+)
Kyle Shewfelt

Nomination Eligibility
Any Canadian citizen can nominate an individual, team or corporation for the Canadian Sport Awards. Individuals and corporations can also self-nominate. Eligible entries are for performances or contributions from January 1, 2008 through to December 31, 2008.

The CSA brings together leaders from the sporting and corporate communities who represent the pinnacle of commitment and competition: Canadian amateur athletes, coaches, sport leaders and volunteers. The annual event promotes sporting excellence across Canada, and reminds Canadians how sport lifts the human spirit.

About the True Sport Foundation
The True Sport Foundation is a charitable organization committed to ensuring that sport makes a positive contribution to Canadian society. Managed by the Foundation, the Canadian Sport Awards boasts a strong relationship with its modern day founding partners, which include Athletes CAN, the Commonwealth Games Association of Canada, the Canada Games and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. For more information about the Canadian Sport Awards, please visit www.canadiansportawards.ca.

For complete nomination rules and guidelines, and more information about the Canadian Sport Awards, please visit www.canadiansportawards.ca.

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