Congratulations to Team BC NAIG swimming coach, Leanne Sirup, for the much-deserved recognition of the National Indigenous Coaching Award, together with co-recipient Patrick Leask of Manitoba! Each year the Aboriginal Sport Circle presents the “National Coaching Award for Indigenous Excellence in Sport” to one female and one male Indigenous coach who demonstrates exemplary integrity in their approach to coaching. Leanne, you are a true role model and we are so lucky to benefit from your leadership as part of the Team BC NAIG family! Congratulations!


Aboriginal Sport Circle Announces the 2021 National Indigenous Coaching Award Recipients


November 1, 2021

The Aboriginal Sport Circle is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 National Indigenous Coaching Awards. This year’s winners are Patrick Leask of Manitoba and Leanne Sirup of British Columbia. “It is an honour for the Aboriginal Sport Circle to be celebrating the accomplishments and impacts these two coaches have made for Indigenous youth in their communities. Patrick and Leanne are leaders within the Indigenous sport community and are creating positive opportunities for Indigenous youth across the country.” states Rob Newman, ASC President

Leanne is a national level swim coach who has coaches at both the Canada Games and the North American Indigenous Games. Leanne has assisted in developing and implementing the Indigenous Community Leadership Program in British Columbia. Throughout the COVID pandemic Leanne continued to engage with her athletes, running Zoom programming and having regular check-ins with her athletes. Leanne provides a variety of programs for her athletes including strength and conditioning programs, outdoor activities and open water swimming.

“This Award is an absolute honor to receive. I strive daily to work with the whole athlete, taking a holistic approach. It is my hope that this example will encourage others to continue doing what they are doing in developing their athletes into being not just athletes but good all-round individuals – creating leaders for our future! While none of us get into coaching for the accolades, it is always appreciated to be recognized for the time and effort we happily sacrifice daily,” expressed Leanne Sirup, 2021 National Indigenous Coaching Award recipient.

Patrick Leask is a softball coach in Manitoba. What began as a way for him to stay connected to his children became an opportunity for him to mentor young athletes. Throughout the pandemic, Patrick hosted as many clinics as he could with the restrictions that were in place. He partnered with Sport Manitoba to make the sport more accessible to the young people in his community. Patrick offers free clinics to youth ages 7-16, encouraging athletes who have never played before to try the sport. Patrick is committed to removing barriers Indigenous athletes may have accessing sport in their community.

“I’d like to thank my wife and kids for supporting me and my program it would not be possible without them, as they have been by my side every step of the way supporting me and all my new adventures. I have the best support system in place to push me to be not only a better man but a better coach. Anything is possible with the right people in your corner and a great mindset.” said Patrick Leask, 2021 National Indigenous Coaching Award recipient.

On November 4, 2021 the National Indigenous Coaching Award recipients will be presented their award virtually at the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership Awards Gala the public is invited to view the live stream event.




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View the PDF English version of the media release here.

View the PDF French version of the media release here.