- 2016 President’s Award Award Recipient
- 2002 Ivan Velan Award Recipient
- 2001 Coaching Award Recipient
2016 President’s Award
2002 Ivan Velan Award
(from Racquetball Canada Archives. Source: Canadian Racquetball, vol. 2, no. 8)
Racquetball Canada’s most prestigious award, the Ivan Velan Award, was presented to Michel Gagnon at the banquet for the 2002 Canadian National Championships in Brossard, Quebec.
Michel has been involved in racquetball for many years as a player, referee, coach, administrator and organizer.
As a player, he has won many singles and doubles national championships in his age category.
As a referee, he has served on the national officiating committee, and has represented Canada at the World Championships. He has been Chief Referee at countless Canadian championships.
As a coach, Michel has coached at the Pan Am Games, Tournament of the Americas, and World Championships since 1999. He has been the coach of the Canadian Espoir Team since 1997, and has coached the Quebec junior team since 1989.
Michel is well respected provincially, nationally and internationally as a visionary for the sport of racquetball and for the sport system in general. He is very highly regarded as a credible, yet humble, organizer of our sport. He has been president of the Quebec association since 1993.
According to Michel Foster, Director of the Quebec Four-Wall Sports Federation, “Our sport is still active and well because of Michel Gagnon’s involvement. He was instrumental in negotiating the collaboration of Nautilus Plus, the most important group of club owners in Quebec. He has a strong sense of leadership that, coupled with his organizational skills, allows him to deal with many programs and volunteers at once. He is an unbelievable asset to our sport in Quebec.”
In 1977 Al Greene, the editor of “Racquetball Canada” published a tribute to Ivan Velan which highlighted his “magnificent multi-role job”, his readiness to pinch-hit for any volunteer that needed help, his ability to personify the sport and create a sale-able image of the sport. These praises could equally well apply to this year’s recipient, Michel Gagnon.
Racquetball Canada is fortunate indeed to have such a talented, professional and dedicated person like Michel Gagnon who contributes so much of his time and energy and expertise to the support and development of our sport at so many levels.
2001 Coaching Award
(from 2001 Racquetball Canada Archives)
Michel Gagnon has been awarded Racquetball Canada’s Coaching Award for coaching excellence.
Cal Smith writes :
“Michel earned our recognition in coaching due to his hard work with the National Team Program and his efforts at working with elite athletes. These athletes are benefiting from Michel’s insight into the scouting of opponents and developing game plans. We are sure that Michel will continue to excel as a coach at both the National level and the Regional level. Michel is also one of our coaches who runs a Regional Training Centre in Montreal and will be working with some up and coming athletes as well as National Team Athletes. We feel that Michel will be able to bring some of these athletes to the top level and will eventually be coaching them at International Events.”