The Calgary Booster Club today unveiled the names of its nine new Honoured Athletic Leaders.
Congratulations to the Class of 2021: Alan Rickwood (soccer), Michael Simonson (rowing), Mike Jorgensen (power wheelchair hockey), Olga Khabarova (rhythmic gymnastics), Dawna Morrow (field hockey), Dan Guglielmin (Calgary 55-plus Games Association), Mark Greenwald (inline, speed skating), Marie Powell (Special Olympics), Thomas Calvert (rugby).
Media members interested in setting up interviews with any of the winners should contact Scott Cruickshank, Content Manager of the Calgary Booster Club ([email protected]).
Award winners will be officially recognized June 26 at the Calgary Booster Club’s 68th annual Gala. Tickets for the afternoon reception at WinSport are available here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/68th-annual-calgary-booster-club-sports-gala-tickets-338641544977.
Alan Rickwood — For more than 20 years, he has devoted his spare time to soccer in Calgary for all ages, all levels, all roles. Rickwood played, coached, volunteered. He served as executive director for the Calgary Blizzard Soccer Club. One nominator wrote of Rickwood’s reputation: “A sounding board, a positive influence, logical, and ethical presence within Calgary and Alberta Soccer.” In particular, he had a hand in boosting female participation in the city.
Michael Simonson — As a coach with the Calgary Rowing Club for nearly 20 years, he helped the programs thrive. With that came competitive success. In 2016 and 2017, Simonson was named the Rowing Canada Aviron coach of the year. He also serves as the Technical Director of the Alberta Rowing Association. He is an advocate of para-rowing development in Alberta. “Michael has always been a go-to guy when there was extra work or effort needed for rowing.”
Mike Jorgensen — A key contributor to the Calgary PowerHockey League for more than 30 years, as a player, organizer, administrator. Jorgensen runs the CPHL website (Powerhockey.ca) — posting all game results and updating individual statistics — and co-ordinates player registration. Till recently, he was on the CPHL’s board of directors. “He hasn’t done any of his countless hours of work for validation and he will continue to work quietly behind the scenes.”
Olga Khabarova — Head coach of the Chinook Rhythmique Gymnastics Club, she had devoted more than 30 years to the association. “The club would not be where it is today without Olga’s passion and dedication.” In addition to coaching, Khabarova also pitches in as a volunteer, officiating and handling administrative duties for competitions and educational seminars. The only coach the club has ever known, she’s responsible for its solid reputation across Canada. Nine of her students have been promoted to the national team.
Dawna Morrow — Devoted to the sport of field hockey for more than a quarter-century, her contributions have run the gamut, from player to coach to umpire to administrator, on behalf of Field Hockey Alberta, Saracens Field Hockey Club, Field Hockey Association of Calgary, Calgary Senior High School Athletic Association, Canada Masters. “Her leadership and encouragement … ‘to make a difference, no matter how small’ is a true testament to her dedication as a volunteer and ambassador for our sport.”
Dan Guglielmin — In addition to coaching softball and serving as a leader for Scouts Canada, he has been volunteering for the Calgary 55-plus Games Association since 2004. He’s been the group’s president as well as Calgary’s representative on the provincial board. Right now he is the local summer activity director. “Dan spends countless hours supervising, officiating and administrating the activities to their successful completion, plus filling and signing out forms for city and provincial competitions.”
Mark Greenwald — Touted as a speed skating and multi-sport builder, he has put together 24 years’ worth of service. An Olympic Oval mainstay, Greenwald has spent volunteer time on the boards of Olympians Canada and various committees for the Alberta Amateur Speed Skating Association, as well as chairing United Way campaigns for the U of C’s Faculty of Kinesiology. He’s donated Alien In-Line skating nights for the PEER Program (Pediatric Cancer Survivors Engaging in Exercise for Recovery). “It takes a very special person to recognize the importance of community outreach when you’re so immersed in the high-performance arena.”
Marie Powell — For a total of 15 years, she has been involved with Special Olympics Calgary. As a coach, Powell has guided athletes to their best experiences. She also mentors volunteers interested in coaching. During the COVID pandemic, she was instrumental in keeping her athletes active via livestream sessions and virtual workouts. She created templates for others to follow. Powell’s contributions were celebrated by Special Olympics at the national and North American levels.
Tomas Calvert — With terms as vice-president and president of the Calgary Rams Rugby Club, he is a leader. Calvert extends his goodwill to the Calgary Rugby Union, too, pitching in with its board and various sub-committees. As director of communications and marketing for the CRU, he’s been given credit for advancing the enrolment and visibility of the rugby in the city. “Thomas embodies everything good about rugby culture as we know it. He is kind, giving, inclusive, and is the first to step up when we have a community member in need.”
The Calgary Booster Club has celebrated athletic excellence and community leadership in the city since 1952.
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