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Dec. 04, 2023
The recipients of the Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Awards and Mayor’s Cup for 2023 have been selected and will be celebrated at the Ottawa Sports Awards dinner on February 7, 2024.
The distinguished recipients for 2023 are speed skating official Jean Lamontagne, Bruce Meredith of Ski Hawks Ottawa, squash coach Heather Wallace, and notable ringette advocate Phyllis Bergmans, all of whom have made longstanding contributions to the Ottawa Sports Community.
Additionally, longtime Le Droit journalist Martin Comtois will be the tenth recipient of the Lifetime Award for Sport Media, recognizing outstanding impact on Ottawa’s amateur sport community through a role in sport media.
LIFETIME AWARD – TECHNICAL OFFICIAL: JEAN ‘ROCKY’ LAMONTAGNE
As a Level 5 International Skating Union and Speed Skating Canada Official Starter, Rocky’s commitment to the sport spans over 35 years, making him a true cornerstone in the skating community. His role takes him to events around the globe, where his expertise as a starter is widely recognized and respected.
What sets Rocky apart is not only his international presence but his unwavering commitment to his home club, The Ottawa Pacers. Twice a week, he can be found at the Bell Sensplex arena, managing equipment for athletes ranging from age 4 to 84. Rocky goes beyond his official duties, fostering a supportive environment by encouraging new skaters and maintaining lasting friendships as they progress through the program. His infectious enthusiasm for the sport instills a love for the sport with new skaters from the outset.
A past winner of Speed Skating Canada’s Officials Award of Excellence in honour of his demonstrated ability to assist in the development of officials in the sport, including grassroots to high performance officials. Rocky embodies the spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship, and his passion and dedication leave a lasting impression on those that know him.
LIFETIME AWARD – VOLUNTEER/ADMINISTRATOR: BRUCE MEREDITH
After 35 years of dedicated service, Bruce Meredith has recently retired from his role of President of the Ottawa Ski Hawks, where he grew the program substantially to become one of the top in Canada. Along with his work growing Ski Hawks, Meredith dedicated time to the Canadian Adaptive Snowsports, National Capital Division board and was a National Board Member on the technical committee of Canadian Adaptive Snowsports, including helping to re-write the blind and visually impaired modules.
On the hills, the multi-talented Meredith has also contributed as a technical support and video cameraperson for the Ski Quebec Alpin Para team, and was a guide to Ski Quebec Alpin Para team racer Bradley Barker at nationals for four years, winning multiple podium finishes.
The Ski Hawks present an annual award named after him to its Volunteer of the Year. Meredith has put his heart and soul into Ski Hawks Ottawa, and his impact has been felt by several generations of skiers.
LIFETIME AWARD – COACH: HEATHER WALLACE
Heather Wallace is a past head coach of both the Canadian Junior Women and the Canadian Senior Women’s squash teams, including at at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and the 2004 Pan American Championships, and multiple World Championships. Locally she has been the teaching pro at Queensview Athletic Club, now Goodlife Queensview, for over 20 years and has developed many young squash Ottawa players of note to national and international levels.
An NCCP level 4 coach, Wallace has organized over 15 international events at Queensview in addition to many national and provincial tournaments. Wallace is a member of the Squash Canada Hall of Fame thanks to her stellar career as an athlete, which included winning eleven straight Canadian Championships.
A Pan American gold medallist and a world championship bronze medallist, she was inducted into the Ontario Squash Hall of Fame in 2007 and was named one of Ottawa’s top 100 athletes of the twentieth century. She has more than cemented her legacy as a dynamic and vital part of squash in Ottawa thanks to her dedication to coaching.
MAYOR’S CUP – PHYLLIS BERGMANS
Phyllis Bergmans has been a driving force supporting youth sports participation in Ottawa, and is a strong advocate for girls and women to be involved at all levels of sport. Bergmans has served as a board member for South Ottawa Little League and the City of Ottawa Ringette Association (CORA), bringing energy and a growth orientation to all her roles.
Whether on the ice as an assistant coach or as Association President, when Phyllis says yes, it’s a full on yes, followed by how can I help? That approach has allowed CORA to be a leader in developing women as head coaches, build a popular Ringette for All program, and implement a Breaking Down Barriers program which works to reduce or remove systemic barriers that exist for ice sport participation.
Phyllis is driven by a need to help others and ensure there are sport opportunities for all. Every Sunday afternoon, the ice time is filled with the sounds of joy as children are active, engaged and thrilled to be participating.
From media relations to sponsorship to joining her first ringette team as a player at the age of forty, just to ensure she understood the flow of the game from the player’s perspective, Phyllis Bergmans’ passion and vision have made sport in Ottawa better.
The Ottawa Sports Awards will shortly be announcing further award winners for 2023, including annual major award winners in the categories of Coach of the Year, Team of the Year, and Athletes of the Year, as well as individual sport award winners and Special Recognition Award winners.
Tickets for the February 7, 2024 awards dinner will go on sale January 1.
The Ottawa Sports Awards honours the finest in the Ottawa sports community. Click here to view our past winners!