Bailey, Boswell, Crooks, Felicien, McKoy and Petitclerc headline Athletics Canada Sport Ambassador Program

Bailey, Boswell, Crooks, Felicien, McKoy and Petitclerc headline Athletics Canada Sport Ambassador Program

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Montreal, QC – Athletics Canada, the national governing body for track and field, cross country and road running, officially launched today the Sport Ambassador Program, a new initiative today aimed at engaging alumni and current national team athletes in actively promoting athletics and healthy active living. The unveiling of the Sport Ambassador Program took place at City Hall in Montreal, Que., in conjunction with the media launch of the inaugural AC Indoor Open.

The Sport Ambassador Program features some of Canada’s best-known athletes including 1996 Olympic Games gold medallist Donovan Bailey, World Championship medallist Mark Boswell, Olympic Games medallist Charmaine Crooks, two-time World Champion Perdita Felicien, Olympic Gold medallist Mark McKoy and Chantal Petitclerc, the world’s most recognized and decorated Paralympian.

"Working with Athletics Canada and this esteemed group of Alumni, the Sport Ambassador Program will continue to highlight the achievements of the greats, and mentor the strong and successful talent emerging in Canada," said Donovan Bailey. "The opportunity to share my knowledge and insight with the next wave embodies the principles of being an Olympic athlete."

Donovan Bailey on the AC Indoor Open, "I am excited to support the AC Indoor Open in Montreal. Track and field, Athletics Canada, and this great country have given me so much to be thankful for, to see the sport continue to be embraced is very exciting."

Sport Ambassadors Karine Belleau-Béliveau of Montreal, Que., and Jessica Zelinka of London, Ont., attended and spoke at the Montreal launch. "Athletics has given me so much, it’s an opportunity to give back and inspire the next generation," said Zelinka. Both athletes will compete at the AC Indoor Open, taking place March 14 to 16 in Montreal, Que., at Centre Claude-Robillard.

The Sport Ambassador program will serve as a key pillar in Athletics Canada’s strategic plan, namely increasing overall participation and providing a positive sport experience. "Having active and healthy children is a goal for everyone", notes Athletics Canada’s Chief Executive Officer Rob Guy. "Athletics, being a foundation for all sports, provides us with a vehicle to accomplish this. We are very excited about the Sport Ambassador Program and are hopeful that our celebrity athletes can motivate today’s young Canadians and introduce them to our sport."

Sport Ambassadors – alumni
Donovan Bailey Double Olympic Gold Medallist
Mark Boswell 2-time World Championship Medallist
Charmaine Crooks 1984 Olympic Silver Medallist
Robert Esmie Olympic Gold Medallist
Perdita Felicien 2-time World Champion
Glenroy Gilbert Olympic Gold Medallist
Lynn Kanuka Olympic Bronze Medallist
Molly Killingbeck Olympic Silver Medallist
Atlee Mahorn 2-time World Championship Bronze Medallist
Mark McKoy Olympic Gold Medallist
Chantal Petitclerc 14-time Paralympic Games Gold Medallist
Tony Sharpe Olympic Bronze Medallist
Sport Ambassadors – current national team athletes
Melissa Bishop 2012 Olympian
Karine Belleau-Béliveau 2013 World Championship Team Member
Earle Connor 2-time Paralympic Champion
Inaki Gomez 2012 Olympian
Brent Lakatos Four-time IPC World Championship Gold Medallist
Lanni Marchant 2013 World Championship Team Member
Brianne Theisen-Eaton World Championship Silver Medallist
Gavin Smellie World Championship Bronze Medallist
Diane Roy 5-time IPC World Championship Medallist
Justyn Warner World Championship Bronze Medallist
Jessica Zelinka 2-time Olympian

The 2014 AC Indoor Open takes place in Montreal, Que., March 14 – 16 at the newly renovated Centre Claude-Robillard. The event serves as a Canadian Championship for youth and junior athletes and will feature a number of Olympians and World Championship national team members in invitational events. For more information visit


Emily Hooper
Coordinator, Marketing and Communications
Athletics Canada
(613) 260-5580 x.3332


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