Meet the Recipient of the Coach Award - Brigitte Smutny

Meet the Recipient of the Coach Award - Brigitte Smutny

(From the left Carmen Denis, Brigitte Smutny and Tyler Bjorn) 

February 21, 2018- Kingston, ON 

Anyone that is a part of the sailing community in Manitoba is very familiar with Brigitte Smutny. Being the Executive Director/Coach of Sail Manitoba for the past 19 years, Brigitte has played an influential role in shaping the sport of sailing today. As a coach and mentor to athletes, she has found a way to instil her love for the sport, pushing them to achieve higher goals. Brigitte has used her coaching knowledge and position to host quality regatta’s in Manitoba, including the Canada Games, Western Canada Games, and Sail Canada Championships. 

It is with great pleasure that Sail Canada presents Brigitte Smutny as the recipient of this year’s Coach of the Year Award! 

How does it feel to have been selected as the recipient of Coach of the Year?
I feel very humbled to receive this award. It is truly an honour to be nationally recognized for contributing to a sport that I have great passion and love for.

What would you say has been the largest contributing factor to your success?
The unlimited support of the strong sailing community in Manitoba, particularly the dedication of my athletes and their committed parents. 

What is your favourite part of coaching?
The interaction with the athletes, seeing how they strive in sailing and grow into wonderful adults.

If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring sailing coaches, what would it be?
Instil sportsmanship in your athletes. It was always the most important coaching component for me and I lived by a quote from Paul Elvstrøm, who once wisely said, "You haven't won the race, if in winning the race you have lost the respect of your competitors.


Join us in celebrating this award on Friday March 2nd, 2018 at 6.30pm at The Carlu in Toronto, ON. Tickets are available here

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This award recognizes Sail Canada coaches that work with sailors that race. To be eligible for this award, coaches must be working for a Sail Canada member club or Sail Canada member athletes. Coaches should be Sail Canada certified and registered however exceptions may be made in special circumstances. 

The coach of the year award is presented annually to a coach who demonstrates outstanding coaching skills and contributes to sporting excellence by offering a healthy attitude towards winning, enjoying sport and effective training. 

This person must demonstrate and reinforce spirit of sport values to hers/his athletes as measured by a respect for the game, a love of sport, a respect for others and a commitment to fair and ethical sport.

- The Coach of the Year should have made a significant impact on athletes’ performances at competitions. 
- Honest, sincere and honourable in their relationships with athletes, respect for the sport, race management and jury. 
- A high degree of self-awareness and the ability to reflect critically on how their perspectives influence their interactions with others.
- Supporting consideration may be given for the following contributions in the field of coaching:

•    A distinguished career as a coach
•    Promotion of character development and ethical sport
•    Developing high functioning athletes who also display excellence in other fields like citizenship, scholastics, art, etc.
•    Education or mentoring other coaches
•    Development of coaching materials like books, videos, etc.
•    Pioneering new training or competition methods