Breakthrough Winners 2004


Ottawa, ON, . . . The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) will present four Breakthrough Awards for accomplishments in the calendar year 2004. Three individuals and one organization will be honoured. These awards recognize exceptional achievements that break through traditional barriers and pave the way for girls and women to participate in sports and physical activity at every level. This year’s winners, represent a cross-section of Canadians ranging from people involved with community level programs to people coaching and competing at the national and international levels.

Jade Jager Clark, Peterborough, ON

Youth Award – Recognizing an outstanding female, 18 years of age or younger as of December 31, 2004 who has taken an active role in encouraging more girls and women to participation in sport and physical activity

Jade Jager Clark is a young woman who has been able to see a need in her community, and to seize the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. When she saw the disappointment in many young girls at her high school at not making the top 20 to be part of the Elite Dance Team, she began an extra-curricular dance program. No auditions were required, and everyone was welcome to join as long as they had a love for dance. After three years, The Urban Dance Squad has taken over 50 girls through the program, and now competes in and wins dance competitions in the greater Toronto area. Jade now also teaches dance at the YMCA as well.

Originally looking for a coach for herself in the YMCA’s badminton program, after one practice, she began coaching the participants in the beginner program herself. A competitive badminton player at the regional, provincial and national levels, she also coaches her high school team. She is now taking her interest in physical activity and combining it with her leadership skills to become a certified fitness leader.

Jade’s school counsellor has indicated that “She has enriched our community by offering activities beyond the normal school calendar and encouraged many students to get involved – something they might not have done without her.” It is obvious that with her determination, encouragement and leadership, she has played an important role in the lives of many girls and young women in her community.

Tine Moberg-Parker, North Vancouver, BC

Individual Provincial/Community Award – Recognizing an individual whose accomplishments have pushed the limits and enhanced the participation of girls and women in sport and physical activity.

Formerly an Olympic competitor in sailing, Tine Moberg-Parker continues to bring her passion and devotion to sport. Fourteen years ago she founded what has now become the largest sailing team in western Canada, the Royal Vancouver Race Team. She serves as a role model to girls who aspire to become more involved in a sport that has been traditionally dominated by men. She holds high expectations for her sailors, and while challenging them to be dedicated and disciplined, she also shows exceptional sensitivity to their emotional development as well. She has paid particular attention to the motivation of female athletes, offering Girls Only clinics for young girls, ages 8-15. She recognizes the different needs of females in sport, encouraging and keeping teenage girls actively involved in physical activity. She has also been instrumental in involving women of all ages in fitness at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. She also leads runs up Grouse Mountain, and instructs a cross-generational fitness class for women.

Tine’s endless energy and dedication helps to inspire others, and she actively works at passing her love for sport, and its physical, mental and emotional rewards, on to others as she promotes life-long involvement in sport and active living.

Go Girl 2004 Steering Committee, Calgary, AB

Organization Provincial/Community Award – Honouring an organization that has provided funds or services to enable fuller participation by girls and women in sport and physical activity

Go Girl is a one-day ‘get active’ workshop where girls aged 10-16 are invited to try out a variety of physical activities and sports in a girls-only environment. After nearly a year of planning, with a steering committee that represents eight different community partners, 350 girls took part in the fifth annual Go Girl conference, held in Calgary in November 2004.

This event encourages and inspires young girls to be physically active. Participation on the Steering Committee allows opportunity for women in leadership development. The committee structure enhances growth and builds a strong committed team, dedicated to addressing issues, challenging barriers and ultimately encouraging more young women to reap the positive benefits from participating in sport and physical activity.

78 different activity options were included in the day, each started with a 10-minute health session that addressed issues of body image, nutrition, injury prevention and active living. Popular activity sessions in 2004 were fencing, kayaking, rock climbing, trampoline, cheer squad, self-defense, kick boxing, wheelchair basketball, synchronized swimming and hip-hop. Each year between 20 to 30 new sessions are introduced, to keep the sessions fresh and current. Over 100 volunteers and several community sponsors helped execute the event on the day.

Dr. Dru Marshall, Edmonton, AB

Marion Lay ‘Herstorical’ Award – Recognizing an individual, group or organization whose long-term activities and achievements directly affected, improved, or positively influenced girls and women in sport and physical activity.

Over the past three decades Dru Marshall has made significant contributions to sport as a player, a manager and as a coach. She began her field hockey career while completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Manitoba, and also played on the National Squad in 1978, earning her first international competitive opportunity. She then went on to manage and serve as the exercise physiologist for several Canadian National Field Hockey Teams. She honed her administrative skills during these tours, liaising with local contacts, monitoring athletes, uniforms and equipment during trips with the Under-21 team to Jamaica, The Netherlands and Germany. As well, she managed the Senior Women’s Indoor Team in 1985 and the Senior Women’s’ World Cup Team in 1994.

While finishing her Master of Science degree and a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology at the University of Alberta, she worked as head coach of the women’s varsity field hockey team. She was head coach of the Junior women’s national team from 1988 until 1996, when she became head coach of the Senior women’s team. Since only 11 per cent of Canadian National Team coaches are women, her exceptional and rare capability as a high performance coach is evident. One of Canada’s most honoured and decorated coaches, she is one of only four field hockey coaches to have achieved the 3M NCCP Level V Coaching Certification, and had the courage to promote an all-female staff – virtually unheard of on the international field hockey circuit.

But her contributions to coaching go far beyond any awards. She made positive differences in women’s lives on a day-to-day basis. She believed in her athletes as individuals and enabled many women to fulfill their dreams. She provided state-of-the-art technical and tactical support, and inspired them to practice harder, eat properly and to keep a balanced life. Although she prepared her athletes to win, she also instilled values to allow them to accept defeat gracefully. Ultimately she provided them with the ability and confidence to face many challenges and overcome any obstacle.

Although now retired as national coach, she continues to stay active as a mentor coach, a role which she believes is an enriching experience. Dru Marshall’s passion for women’s field hockey has inspired other women, and helped the women’s field hockey program become one of the best in Canadian team sports.