As chief of competition for the 2010 Haywood Ski Nationals, hosted by Whitehorse in March, Claude Chabot was agonizing over what the weather was going to be like weeks before any of the 400 elite skiers arrived in the territory’s capital.
As it turns out, the weather and the conditions were great and the event went off without a hitch.
But it was that level of dedication that has led to Chabot and fellow Whitehorse resident Joan Stanton being honoured by Cross Country Canada at its recent AGM in Newfoundland. They jointly received Volunteer of the Year awards.
“It’s a great honour to be given this award and the success of the event was certainly, in part, due to the overwhelming volunteer support that we have in Whitehorse within the ski community – and from outside the ski community,” said Stanton, who was the chair of the event committee. “It was truly an event where the community pulled together and people from across Canada were absolutely thrilled by the results, the quality of the competition and the other activities that went along side the competition.
“I’m proud to have received this award and I think the whole community should be proud.”
In some sense, the two volunteers had a warm-up to hosting the Canadian championships by performing the same volunteer duties at the Northwestel Westerns in 2006.
“We been collaborating on these things for a while and I think we did well,” said Chabot.
“We set out to make it an event that the athletes would have fun at and enjoy themselves, and I think we succeeded – despite all my paranoia about weather.”
Perhaps providing her with some useful insight, Stanton is the mother of two national-calibre cross-country skiers, Graham and Emily Nishikawa, both of whom Stanton consulted in the months leading up to the Haywoods.
“Joan brings to the event firsthand knowledge of what the athletes are really after,” said Chabot.
“She is such a pleasure to work with, and her and I have been collaborating on stuff for a long time,” added Chabot. “We just compliment each other really well.”
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