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ROWONTARIO is pleased to announce Tom Blacquiere as Sanctions Officer, effective April 15th

Tom brings a wealth of experience to this role.  He served for four years on the RCA Safety and Events Committee, during which time the current sanction process was created and first implemented.  Tom has been actively involved with the RO Umpires Committee as well as being the Ontario representative, on the RCA Umpires Committee, then Chair, a position he held until late 2018.

Tom has extensive experience “on-the-ground” that will greatly contribute to this role.  He served as the Regatta Chair for the RO Masters Championships and RO Championships regattas for five years as part of his role as RO Vice Pesident-Events and Umpires.  He also served as the Regatta Chair for the South Niagara High School Invitational Regatta for a number of years in the late 1990s.  Tom has been a licensed RCA umpire for twenty-five years.  In this time, he has served on numerous local, provincial, and national juries, including many opportunities at each level as a Chief Umpire.  Additionally, he has been a FISA-licensed umpire for eight years. Tom’s experience working with LOCs of regattas large and small gives him a unique appreciation of the context within which each regatta operates, allowing him to apply the RCA Rules of Racing in an equitable and consistent fashion.

“I am excited to work with the organizing committees and Chief Umpires across the province to ensure we continue to provide the safe and fair regattas that rowers have come to expect from events across our great province,” Tom says, of being named as Sanctions Officer for Ontario.

In 2018, regatta organizing committees experienced a challenging year of transition to RCA’s new membership model, while simultaneously adjusting to the launch of the online sanction process via WRS, a move that had been in the works for several years as the sport continues to evolve with the technology available.  In April 2018, ROWONTARIO also formed a new Sanctions Committee to support former Sanctions Officer Andrea Miller (RO Sport Development Manager) in reviewing sanction applications and establishing more consistent standards with regards to applying the RCA Sanction Policy. At that time, five experienced Chief Umpires were named to the committee – Tom Blacquiere, Melanie Bryce, Lynda Dundas, Andrew Smith and Judy Sutcliffe – representing a variety of experience from across the province.

“Seeking the right person to be our next Sanctions Officer as well as chair the Sanctions Committee was critical for the Association. When Tom’s name was brought forward, it was an easy decision to appoint him to those roles,” says Andrew Backer – Executive Director.  “ROWONTARIO has been fortunate to have many great Sanction Officers in the past.  Tom is committed to continuing that great work, as well as look to recruit and train others who one day can follow in his footsteps.”

On March 30th, 2019, the RO Board of Directors approved a Terms of Reference for the RO Sanctions Committee.  ROWONTARIO is now seeking expressions of interest from the community to fill the two remaining spots on the committee.