Ontario Athletes and Coaches Among RCA Excellence Award Winners
Announcement/ Jan 31

Ontario Athletes and Coaches Among RCA Excellence Award Winners

Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) announced the 2023 Excellence Award Winners over the weekend during the 2024 RCA National Conference in Québec City.

Ontario was well-represented among the award winners, with the Olympic-bound lightweight double of Jill Moffatt and Jenny Casson winning the Senior Athlete/Crew of the Year, Lucas Maroney of the Ontario NextGen Performance Centre winning the Junior Athlete of the Year, and long-time coach Tom Kent bringing home the Coach of the Year Award. Karissa Riley, who rowed with the Western Mustangs from 2020-23 also received the Tony Zasada Award, a bursary that provides support to an athlete who emulates Zasada’s strong character and gritty determination.

Moffatt (Bethany, ON) and Casson (Kingston, ON) capped off an outstanding year on the water by punching their ticket to the 2024 Olympic Games by winning their semi-final race at the 2023 World Rowing Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. The duo would go on to compete in their first A Final at a World Championships, narrowly missing out on a medal with a fourth-place finish.

Maroney (Welland, ON), a veteran of the ONGPC, competed in his second straight Junior World Rowing Championships in 2023, placing 10th overall in the single on the 2024 Olympic course in Paris, France. He recently committed to rowing at Dartmouth for the 2024-25 school year, and has his sights set on competing on the world stage again this year, when the World Championships return to St. Catharines for the first time since 1999.

Whether Kent was coaching at the St. Catharines Rowing Club or Brock University, the crews that he coached excelled in 2023. Along with co-coach Jacob Thomas, he helped lead the SCRC to win 27 events over the course of the year, including ten at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. During the fall season, Kent’s crews earned five gold medals at the Guelph Invitational Regatta, four at the Head of the Trent, four at the Brock Invitational Regatta, six at the Ontario University Athletics Championships and four at the Canadian University Rowing Championships (CURC). Kent along with coaching partner Scott Anderson were awarded the 2023 OUA Men’s Coach of the Year Award and helped lead Brock to winning the OUA men’s championship banner, as well as a second-place finish at CURC.

Full List of Winners

Volunteer of the Year: Charles Houle – Club d’aviron Terrebonne
Umpire of the Year: Julie Thibault – AQA
Coach of the Year: Tom Kent – St. Catharines Rowing Club/Brock University
Community NCCP Coach Developer Award: Karol Sauvé
Club Outstanding Achievement of the Year: Aviron Lachine Rowing
Tony Zasada Award: Karissa Riley – Western University
Junior Athlete of the Year: Lucas Maroney – Ontario NextGen Centre
U23 Athlete of the Year: Parker Illingworth
Senior Athlete/Crew of the Year: Jill Moffatt and Jenny Casson – National Training Centre
President’s Award: Simon Litherland – False Creek Rowing Club

*Stay tuned in February for Row Ontario to announce their 2023 Award Winners.