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Canadian Coach of the Year (Posted On: Tuesday, December 18, 2007)

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Local coach Ian Pavlik received the highest coaching honor within the Special Olympics Community – Special Olympics Canada 2007 Male Coach of the Year.

At a ceremony held December 4th at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, Ian graciously thanked the athletes for inspiring his involvement with Special Olympics. “It truly is an honour to receive this award. The Special Olympics organization is one which gives much more back than you give and has become an important part of my life”


How does a local coach come to receive such a prestigious award at the National level?

It begins at the grass roots level, and being recognized as a great coach to athletes in the community. For Ian, it started in Collingwood, where the Blue Mountain Special Olympics Alpine Ski Team awarded him the Hiegelsberger Award, in honour of Rudi Hiegelsberger, respected coach and Alpine Racing icon in Collingwood. From there he was nominated for coach of the year for the province of Ontario, and on November 10th received the Special Olympics Ontario 2007 Male Coach of the Year award. Special Olympics Ontario then nominated Ian for the National award.

Says Bill Rogers former Head Coach of the Blue Mountain team, "Having volunteered with Ian for several years on the Blue Mountain ski team, I found him to have several wonderful qualities which he constantly shares with all Special Olympics Athletes. Ian has a wealth of skiing and ski racing experience and he utilizes his unique interpersonal skills when dealing with Athletes with an intellectual disability. His tremendous patience and calm, friendly and confident presence is willingly displayed at all times. Congratulations and thanks to Ian for his continuing contribution to this very worthy cause." And from Patty Federer, Head Coach Ontario Alpine Team, “Ian is the best in Alpine Coaching in Canada – he is an inspiration to all of us”

As part of Special Olympics Day on TSN, Ian was interviewed for his roles as coach and a National award winner. On December 6th, as part of an announcement that the TSX was donating $100,000 to the 2008 Special Olympics National Winter Games in Quebec City, Ian was invited to participate in the opening of the Toronto Exchange.

As these awards were bestowed, Ian was busy with another season of coaching in Barrie and Collingwood. He is also preparing Blue Mountain team athletes, Brian Sproule and Robert Edmonds who will be representing the area at the 2008 National Winter Games in Quebec City.

For more information: contact Joan A Pajunen, 705 445 6487 pajunen@allstream.net Or you may directly contact Ian Pavlik at 705-726-2966 or 705-718-1214.

Following is a list of Ian’s accomplishments in coaching Special Olympics:

1998 to present – Technical Ski Coach for Blue Mountain Special Olympics Alpine Ski Team – Collingwood
2004 – Coach Alpine Skiing, Team Ontario at the National Winter Games, PEI
2005 – Head Coach Alpine Skiing, Team Canada at the World Winter Games in Nagano Japan 2005 – Petro Canada Coaching Excellence Award
2005 – present – Head Coach, Barrie Snow Dawgs Ski Team
2007 – Male Coach of the Year, Provincial and National
2008 – Coach Alpine Skiing, Team Ontario at the National Winter Games, Quebec City

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