(November 4, 2008) – Skate Canada would like to congratulate professional coach Doug Leigh of the Mariposa School of Skating in Barrie for being selected as the winner of the prestigious Geoff Gowan Award! 

This award was established by the Coaching Association of Canada to recognize a lifetime contribution to coaching development. Leigh is an excellent selection for this award as he has spent the last four decades coaching national and international skaters resulting in 17 World and Olympic medalists, driving the development of the Mariposa School of Skating and being an active member of the community.  As an inductee of the Skate Canada Hall of Fame, he is a coach who positively represents our sport and coaching in Canada. 

We are so pleased Leigh has been presented with this honour and we wish him well in his continued work within the skating community and as a leader on the national coaching stage! 

Not surprising are the additional FOUR awards Skate Canada coaches achieved this year as the Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Awards were announced!  These awards are presented to coaches whose athletes have won medals in open world championships, at an Olympic Games, at a Special Olympics World Games, or at a Paralympic Games. We are pleased to congratulate the following winners:

Annie Barabé of Sorel-Tracy, QC, coach of Jessica Dubé and Bryce Davison, pairs bronze medallists at the World Figure Skating Championships and silver medalists at the Home Sense Skate Canada International 2008.

Lee Barkell of Barrie, ON, coach of Jeffrey Buttle, bronze medalist at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games and gold medalist at the 2008 World Figure Skating Championships in men’s singles.

Shelley Barnett of Burlington, ON, coach of Team Canada, bronze medalist at the World Synchronized Skating Championships.

Marina Zoueva of Canton, MI (USA), coach of Tess Virtue and Scott Moir, ice dancing silver medalists at the World Figure Skating Championships.

Congratulations to all these coaches and a big thank you for your continued hard work and dedication to the athletes and the sport!

Doug Lee accepting the Geoff Gowan Award

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