Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Speed Skating, Figure Skating and Football Take Top Honours as Sports Officials Canada Announces 2011 Annual Award Winners

OTTAWA Sports Officials Canada announced today the winners of its' annual officiating awards. The group presents four awards annually to the best officials in the country. This years roster includes officials from Speed Skating, Football and Figure Skating.  Sports Officials Canada and Fox 40 International Inc. sponsor an annual National Officiating Awards Program recognizing a male and a female technical official/judge who have made a significant contribution to officiating at the national and international level. The award, the "FOX 40 Kitch MacPherson Award of Excellence" is in honour of the late Kitch MacPherson of Hamilton Ontario in recognition of his service as a referee in the sport of basketball.
This year's female recipient comes from the sport of Figure Skating.  Jodi Abbott of Edmonton, AB has been judging skating events for 40 years, at the provincial, national and international levels.  She has been active as a judge at the Canadian Figure Skating Championships since 1993 and has been judging internationally for the past 12 years.  Her assignments have included the International Skating Union (ISU) Junior and Senior Grand Prix circuits, Four Continents Championships, Junior World Championships and Junior and Senior Grand Prix finals.  Jodi was selected to judge at the highest level internationally at the 2007, 2008 & 2009 World Figure Skating Championships.  Her selection as a judge at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games attests to her officiating skills.  Shortly after this experience, Jodi was the recipient of a City of Edmonton Citation Award in recognition of her assignment to the 2010 Winter Olympics. 
Jodi has served as the Chair of the High Performance Committee and as a member of both the Officials Coordinating Committee and the Technical Officials Committee.  She is a clinic leader in her home section Alberta/Northwest Territories/Nunavut, where she is involved in the training and mentoring of new officials.
The 2011 male recipient is Hans Terstappen from Calgary, AB and Long Track Speed Skating.  He has been an official in his chosen sport for 24 Years.  While his main focus is Long Track, he is the only Level V Starter in Canada to do both Long and Short Track duties.  In addition to being assigned by the International Skating Union (ISU) to an ISU Championship meet annually for the last 10 years, he has also been assigned to at least 2 World Cups each year over the same time period.  He was recognized as being one of the worlds best starters when he was assigned to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.
Domestically, Hans has been assigned to a minimum of two National Championships each year since 1996.  He has also been assigned to the Olympic Long Track Selection Meets team trials for the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympic Games.  For the past 15 years he has conducted numerous clinics for starters and has led the Mentorship program for starters in Western Canada. 
In 2009 Hans's personal officiating achievements, his dedication and contribution in training other officials were recognized when he was the recipient of the Speed Skating Canada Gagne Family Award.  The award is bestowed upon a family who has made an outstanding contribution to the development of speed skating in Canada.  
Sports Officials Canada also presents the Ron Foxcroft Award, recognizing excellence from an official in a professional sport. The award is in honour of Ron Foxcroft, Founder and Chairman of Fox 40 International, for his personal achievement as a basketball referee at the international level, the NCAA level and as an NBA league observer. The award also honours Rons considerable ongoing support of officiating development in Canada and to Sports Officials Canada.
Jacques Decarie of Montreal, QC is the 2011 recipient of the Ron Foxcroft Award. Jacques was an on field official in the Canadian Football League for 33 seasons, from 1970 to 2002.  During this period he officiated in the Grey Cup Championship game an amazing 13 times.  Jacques has officiated in every position on the field and was judged to be the best at his position, which meant selection to officiate in the Grey Cup.  He was the only Quebec based official to have continued officiating during the years Montreal did not have a team in the CFL.  Since his retirement Jacques has acted as a game day observer for Montreal home games, as well as being one of the 8 officials who have been designated as an evaluator.
In addition to his CFL duties he remained active with the amateur football community in Quebec, officiating at several levels of competition or to evaluate other officials, for promotion to Junior, CIS and CFL levels.  Jacques was also instrumental in translating the CFL rulebook from English to French, thus pioneering current French officiating terminology used by the French media today.
In recognition of his outstanding CFL career Jacques was the recipient of the Tom Chaney Award in 1984.  The award recognized officiating excellence in the Canadian Football League. 
Sports Officials Canada is also pleased to present an award recognizing an individual who has made a significant contribution to the development of sports officials and the advancement of the sports officiating profession. The Award - the Allen G. Rae Builder Award - was created to honour the contribution to Canadian officiating by Allen Rae, Founder and Past President of Sports Officials Canada.
This year's recipient is Jim McClements of Saskatoon, SK.  McClements has spent a great deal of his life dedicated to the betterment of officiating in the sport of Long Track Speed Skating.  His contribution covers a period of thirty-eight years as a technical official at the provincial, national and international level.  Internationally he refereed at 18 World Championships, nine as the Chief Referee.  His assignments included 30 World Cups, in Canada, USA, China and Europe and he was one of four appointed referees at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.  Since the 1980's Jim has officiated as the Chief Referee at practically all of the National Championships, in addition to all major events in his own province of Saskatchewan.        
Jim has been the leader of officiating development for speed skating in Canada, his input as a member of the Officials Development Committee has been invaluable.  He has also acted as the technical advisor at the Canada Winter Games, the Arctic Games and the Saskatchewan Winter Games.  He has personally conducted over 50 national and provincial officiating clinics at all levels and in 2002 he facilitated a Pre-Olympic Clinic for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games.
Jim's dedication to improving the officiating in his sport is legendary and has been recognized through various awards.  In 1985 he was named "Volunteer of the Year' by SASKSport, followed by his selection as Official of the Year by Speed Skating Canada in 2001.  In 2002 he was the recipient of the Saskatoon Sportsman of the Year Award.
The awards will be presented on Saturday, September 24, 2011 at the Sports Officials Canada Awards Dinner, being held in conjunction with their annual conference at the Delta Meadowvale Resort and Conference Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.
Sports Officials Canada is a federally incorporated national organization dedicated to promoting excellence in sports officiating. SOC represents Canadian technical officials as a national voice. For more information about SOC please visit their website at or contact them at
For information about the Award Winners/Conference please contact:
Denise Pittuck
Executive Director
Sports Officials Canada
613-837-7298 or 613-878-7298 (cell)
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