When Marie-Pier Cantin-Drouin walked up to the podium to claim her second consecutive Fittest Female athlete award it extended the stranglehold that women’s hockey has on that award.
Since the department began handing out the awards for the fittest athlete 15 years ago, a women’s hockey player has always won the award.
Les Lawton, the head coach of the Stingers women’s hockey team for the past 24 years says it all has to do with team conditioning.
“From what I can see, we are the only team that does in season off-field training as a team,” Lawton said.
The way that the best athlete is figured out is that each athlete on each team is put through a sport-specific test. The player with the best result is then listed as a nominee.
The results are then standardized and the fittest athlete is then announced at the banquet.
A former winner of the fittest athlete award, in 2001-2002 Lisa-Marie Breton, is now an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Concordia.
She is putting the women’s hockey team through a five phase summer training program which has already begun.
She is in good company. Two former Concordia strength and conditioning coaches now find themselves in the NHL. One with the Montreal Canadiens and one with the New York Rangers.
“Once we start working with the players and they get a good partner, working out is very contagious.”
“We’ve had great leadership and great instruction in the past and that has led to these results,” Lawton said.