For a fifth straight year, Hockey Canada’s Melody Davidson has been named to the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity’s (CAAWS) most influential women list.
Since 2006, Davidson has been a recurring name on the list, which this year celebrated its tenth year of being published “to inspire and motivate other women and girls to take leading roles in sport and physical activity – at the community, provincial, national or international level.”
Davidson, current head scout of women’s national team programs and former coach of Canada’s National Women’s Team, is recognized across the country and around the world for her contributions to growing the female game. Most recently, she guided Canada to a gold medal on home ice at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C.
Joining the Oyen, Alta., native on the 2010 edition of the CAAWS list are close to 30 other exceptional women in sport, ranging from 2010 Olympic Winter Games bronze medal-winning figure skater Joannie Rochette and her coach, Manon Perron, to the entire Women and Coaching Journal editorial board.
“I am truly honoured to be in the company of such exceptional women in sport,” Davidson said. “I salute CAAWS for its continued commitment to recognizing leaders and striving toward creating an equal playing field for females in athletics at all levels.”
The most influential women list honours “women who are influencing sport and physical activity in Canada by their work in boardrooms, field of competition and physical activity,” Nicole Smith, past CAAWS chairwoman, said in a news release. “Every year, female coaches, administrators, athletes, volunteers (and) officials are taking on more leadership roles, but there is still a glass ceiling. We still have a long way to go to create a truly equitable system.”
This ongoing recognition by CAAWS isn’t the only accolade bestowed upon Davidson since Vancouver 2010.
The Coaching Association of Canada awarded her with a 2010 Petro Canada Coaching Excellence Award, her fourth time receiving that honour, the United States Sports Academy recognized her with the 2010 C. Vivian Stringer Coaching Award and Coaches of Canada awarded her the 2010 Jack Donohue Coach of the Year Award, for exemplifying the same qualities as the legendary coach, including honesty, integrity, passion and positivity.
Additionally, the University of Alberta named Davidson, who graduated with a bachelor of physical education degree in coaching and sport administration from the post-secondary school in 1986, a 2010 Distinguished Alumni.
Davidson has coached at almost every level in Canada’s hockey system for more than 30 years, beginning with her younger brother’s team when she was in Grade 8. Over the years, she worked her way up from being a Canada Winter Games coach for Team Alberta to become head coach of Canada’s National Women’s Team.
Davidson became head coach at the 1994 IIHF World Women’s Championship, winning gold, and served in the same role in 2001, with the same result. After winning Olympic gold as an assistant coach in 2002, she was named head coach once again in 2004, leading Canada to a world championship win in 2007 in Winnipeg, Man., and Olympic gold medals in 20.
About the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS):
The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity is a national non-profit organization dedicated to creating an equitable sport and physical activity system in which girls and women are actively engaged as participants and leaders. CAAWS provides a number of services, programs and resources to a variety of clients, including sport and physical activity organizations, teachers, coaches, athletes, volunteers, health professionals and recreation leaders. Since 1981, CAAWS has worked in close cooperation with government and non-government organizations on activities and initiatives that advocate for positive change for girls and women in sport and physical activity.