President and CEO of Sport Manitoba and the driving force behind the Sport For Life Centre. In his Sport Manitoba role, Hnatiuk oversees the planning, programming, funding and development of amateur sport in the province. The Sport For Life Centre is a Hnatiuk concept that will house offices for all amateur sport organizations and aims to provide training facilities for Manitoba's provincial teams, the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and a wellness centre. One-stop shopping for athletes in Manitoba including dryland training, fitness testing, physiotherapy, biomechanics, nutrition, meeting rooms, computer access and other resources and facilities for coaches. There's nothing like it in the country and Hnatiuk is not only the brains behind the project but also the key to its execution.
Chairman of True North Sports and Entertainment and the Moose. Chipman has worked to make sure Winnipeg is no longer a dirty word in NHL headquarters. The NHL continues to say franchise relocation isn't on the agenda but when that changes, Chipman is positioned to make a run at a team. Getting the new rink built downtown and quietly politicking to have Winnipeg reconsidered as an NHL market makes Chipman a must on this list.
The old commercial "I liked the company so much I bought it" applies to Asper, who is such a fan of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers he wants to own the team. In order to make the deal, Asper has proposed building a new football stadium in exchange for the keys to the club. The deal has seen some ups and downs. The latest proposal has him building a stadium at the University of Manitoba, but the state of the economy has put the concept in peril.
Executive director of the Manitoba Soccer Association and a world-class referee with international experience. Has increased the profile of soccer in the province, improved facilities and programs and overseen the development of high-calibre athletes in this province. Say 'soccer' and Vegara comes to mind.
Captain of the Chicago Blackhawks and likely member of Team Canada the 2010 Winter Olympics. Has won gold at both the junior and senior levels and now has his eyes set on an Olympic medal. Not too long from now the entire province will have their eyes on Toews some night, whether he's in a Team Canada jersey or pushing the Hawks deep in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The mayor and founder of the Winnipeg Goldeyes. Built the downtown ballpark and the Fish into major staples of a Winnipeg summer. Political role makes him key in funding for any major project. Will have to play a role if talks about the NHL and Winnipeg ever heat up and has a part to play in the building of a new football stadium. He's involved.
CEO of the Bombers and key to any change in ownership or stadium projects. The club has a board of directors, but Bauer has a huge voice in the boardroom. Has changed his role of late to include football operations and is now more of a Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys owner) in the sense that he now oversees the club's business side and football side. Big role, let's see how he handles it.
Head coach of Canada's track and field program and previously director, International Performance, at the Canadian Olympic Committee. A key player in Canada's 'Own the Podium' program, Gardiner has had a major impact on changing Canadian goals at the Olympics from 'glad to be there' to 'the aim is to win.'
Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association executive director. If you spike a volleyball in high school or tackle a running back, Glimcher is involved. One of the busiest men in the business. From endless board meetings to the day-to-day business of overseeing the province's high school athletes to helping the media at every turn, Glimcher is hands-on. Originally chosen as a panelist for this project he was bumped to the Impact Team when he received a high number of votes (not his own).
Manitoba's most accomplished athlete? She's right up there and ramping up for another run at the podium in Vancouver. The star of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Klassen made speedskating the focus of Canadians from coast to coast. She's battled injury and off-ice distractions since Turin, but appears healthy and focused heading up to Vancouver. The entire province will be watching and Klassen has proven capable of delivering.
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In choosing our panelists, we looked for a diverse group with expertise in pro sport, amateur sport, fundraising and event management. Here's our panel.
Peter Woods: Executive director, Hockey Manitoba
Kari Schneider: Manager of strength and conditioning for the Canadian Sport Center Manitoba
Shawnee Scatliff: Canada's Chef de Mission at the 2008 Commonwealth Games, on contract to Sport Manitoba where she is responsible for interprovincial games and women in sport
Paul Normandeau: Head coach, Winnipeg Rifles junior football club
Bill Wedlake: Recently retired but longtime athletic director at U of W
Zivan Saper: Winnipeg Convention Centre chairman and longtime curling organizer
Bob Irving: CJOB sports director, voice of the Blue Bombers
Morris Glimcher: Executive director, Manitoba High School Athletic Association.
Jim Ludlow: CEO, True North Sports and Entertainment
Joe Poplawski: Former Bomber, member of the Bombers board
Andrew Collier: Winnipeg Goldeyes GM
Ted Bigelow: Sport Manitoba, director
Polly Craik: chair of the 2008 IIHF Women's Ice Hockey World Championship
Coleen Dufresne: Athletic director,U of M
Cal Botterill: Sports psychologist, currently assisting Speed Skating Canada athletes, in preparation for the upcoming Winter Olympics