Coaching Association of Canada

Steve Bush and Greg Picard take top national coaching awards at 2022 Petro-Canada Sport Leadership Awards Gala

November 11, 2022

Major awards recognize Bush’s lifelong contributions to Canada’s Water Ski Team and Picard’s contributions to Canada’s national Para snowboard team.

OTTAWA, ON, November 11, 2022 – The Coaching Association of Canada™ (CAC) will celebrate remarkable achievements in coaching and sport development during the Petro-Canada™ Sport Leadership Awards Gala.

Hosted by the CAC in partnership with Petro-Canada, a Suncor business, this annual gala honours coaches who exemplify the values and competencies of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) and their positive impact within the sport system of Canada. It is held during the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif conference, Canada’s annual conference for coaches, researchers, sport executives, and administrators. 

2022 Petro-Canada Sport Leadership Award Recipients 

Steve Bush (North Vancouver, BC) 
Recipient, 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award 

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a lifelong commitment to coaching and coach development. This prestigious award is presented to an outstanding individual who has positively influenced the growth of coaching in Canada, contributed significantly to the sport community, shown dedication to upholding the values of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), and inspired future generations of coaches.  

Steve Bush has been the Water Ski National Team Head Coach since 1978. In his time as the National Team Head Coach, Team Canada has won over 180 World Championships medals. Internationally recognized, Steve has made an indelible mark on the sport and has put Canada on the map as one of the strongest and most respected water ski nations in the world. He can always be found in conversation with young skiers, giving them tips to improve their skills. Under Steve’s leadership, there has been an increase in the number of athletes competing at world championships events and an increase in the number of junior skiers in Canada. 

“Steve has contributed enormously to Canada’s Water Ski National Team and to the sport community in Canada.” says Paul Carson, Chair of the CAC Board of Directors. “Steve truly deserves to be celebrated for his lifelong commitment to coaching, and we are honoured to present him with the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of all he has achieved over the past four decades.”

Greg Picard (Shefford, QC) 
Recipient, 2022 Coach of the Year Award 

The Coach of the Year Award recognizes the outstanding achievements of a coach in Canada, both for the sport performances of their athlete(s) or team in the previous competitive season and for exhibiting excellence in sport values. The recipient of this award guides their athletes to success in sport and in life by instilling in them the values of honesty, integrity, a positive attitude, competitiveness, and a love of sport. This coach leads by example and consistently demonstrates a dedication to lifelong learning and continuous improvement. 

Greg Picard is the head coach for the Canada Snowboard Para National Team. He played an integral role in identifying the needs of the athletes and implementing a periodized training plan to support these athletes to Paralympic medals. He is skilled in assessing the safety risks for each athlete and working with them to address their individual needs. By facilitating these safety discussions, Greg acts as a leader for not only his team but also as a role model for other coaches that attend World Cups and training camps. Last season, Greg took the lead role in organizing and planning a para recruitment camp for athletes to learn about para snowboarding pathways in Canada. In addition, he invited multiple coaches to this camp to learn and build their foundational knowledge of working with para-athletes.

“Greg is someone who is truly passionate about coaching and helping athletes achieve their best results in world competitions,” says Lorraine Lafrenière, Chief Executive Officer of the CAC. “This award celebrates Greg’s remarkable contribution to Team Canada's medal-winning performances at the Beijing Paralympics in 2022 and his dedication to helping coaches and athletes to excel in their sport.”

Beth Barz, ChPC (Kingston, ON) 
Recipient, 2022 National NCCP Coach Developer Award 

Launched in 2012, the National NCCP Coach Developer Award recognizes an individual who have gone above and beyond to develop trained and certified NCCP coaches in their community. The recipient of this award embodies the spirit and characteristics of the “best of the best” Coach Developers throughout Canada.  

Beth Barz’s work and leadership is grounded in the NCCP. Her master’s thesis, Professional Development for Canadian Rugby Coaches, has been widely shared and is used by Rugby Canada to improve opportunities for coaches in various contexts. She is currently completing her Ph.D. with a focus on coaching and coach development. Her support for women in coaching, training and education is evident in her contributions to the CAO’s Coach2Coach Female Mentorship program, the Women and Girls Mentorship Program, and the Transformational Parasport Coaching program.
“We are truly delighted to have been successful in nominating Beth for this award. Beth is an incredible person and coach developer,” says Jacqueline Tittley, Manager of Training and Education at Rugby Canada. “She lives a growth mindset and everyone who works with her can recognize her sincerity and commitment. I have personally learned so much from Beth and feel privileged to have her in our sport.” 

Renée Sonnenberg (County of Grande Prairie, AB) and Jeff Ross (North Battleford, SK) 
Recipients, 2022 National Indigenous Coaching Awards 

The CAC is honoured to support the Aboriginal Sport Circle in their presentation of the National Indigenous Coaching Awards, which recognize coaches who strive to foster the development of the whole individual through sport. In addition to their coaching achievements, recipients of this award have demonstrated a personal commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and fair play while acting as positive role models. Recipients also exemplify a commitment to a holistic lifestyle – one which embraces personal, physical, mental, cultural and spiritual capacities.  

Renée Sonnenberg is the consummate coach who found her ultimate calling via successful careers in teaching and high-performance competition. Renée is not only a shining example of achieving coaching excellence to the highest degree, but she is also in constant pursuit of self-improvement and learning and is now investing in the growth of coaching by mentoring and guiding Indigenous coaches and athletes. She treats everyone around her with respect and embodies what we prioritize as “safe sport” values and principles

Jeff Ross is a national level volleyball coach where he is the current head coach of the Douglas College Women's Program & an assistant coach with the UBC Thunderbirds Women's Program. He is involved at all levels in the sport of volleyball. From grassroots sport and player development to high performance coaching with Volleyball Canada's National Women’s program from 2019-2021, to his involvement with Indigenous sport through the North American Indigenous Games teams. In addition to mentorship and professional development, Coach Ross is also heavily involved at the grassroots sport development level in the club volleyball system within Volleyball BC which allows him to remain grounded in the foundational aspects of coaching, and community engagement.

“The Aboriginal Sport Circle is honoured to be celebrating the accomplishments and impact Renée and Jeff have made for Indigenous youth. The National Indigenous Coaching Awards not only celebrate a coach’s achievements but the positive influence they create by being committed to the principles of sportsmanship, fair play and being a positive role model. Renée and Jeff are leaders within the Indigenous sport community and are blazing the path for Indigenous youth across the country.” states Matt Tapper, ASC Chief Executive Officer.

Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Awards 

Petro-Canada will recognize 46 coaches from 20 unique sports with the annual Petro-Canda Coaching Excellence Awards. These awards recognize coaches who have supported their athletes to a medal-winning performance at a world championships event, the Olympic and Paralympic Games, or the Special Olympics World Games. Since 1986, Petro-Canada has honoured 1,351 coaches with this award. 

“The annual national coaching awards are our opportunity to recognize the leadership demonstrated by these recipients as they guided their athletes to a return to competition at international events.” says Kristina Schaefer, Director, Petro-Canada Brand Loyalty. “The coaches we are celebrating this year have shown tremendous resilience and perseverance. We are proud to honour the accomplishments of these exceptional coaches, and I offer my heartfelt congratulations to all of the recipients.” 

The 2022 Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Award recipients are: 

More information on the award recipients is posted on the Awards & Recognition page of the CAC’s website,

For media inquiries, contact: 
Selma Baaziz 
Manager, Marketing and Communications 
Coaching Association of Canada 

About the Coaching Association of Canada 

The Coaching Association of Canada unites stakeholders and partners in its commitment to raising the skills and stature of coaches, and ultimately expanding their reach and influence. Through its programs, the CAC empowers coaches with knowledge and skills, promotes ethics, fosters positive attitudes, builds competence, and increases the credibility and recognition of coaches. For more information, please visit, follow us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram

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