Safe Sport

Gaudet & Maheux receive 2023 Neil Daffern award for excellence

February 22, 2024

The selection committee for the 2023 Neil Daffern Award for excellence has nominated Alpine national team member Arnaud Gaudet and Slopestyle team rider Emeraude Maheux as the recipients of the prestigious accolade for this season. 

The pair are the 22nd annual recipients of the Award, which is named in honor of the legacy of Neil Daffern and aims to recognize and provide financial assistance to Canadian riders who have the potential to be among the world’s best in their respective disciplines.  In recognition of their outstanding achievements, both athletes will receive a $10,000CAD grant to support their competitive pursuits

Daffern, A pioneer of the sport who is credited with co-designing the first twin-tip snowboard under the BARFOOT name, which paved the way for progression of freestyle snowboarding as we know it today. His legacy has lived on and through his charity has helped numerous Canadian athletes achieve their goals. 

"I want to express my gratitude to the Daffern family for the honour of receiving this award. It means a great deal to me and aids me in the pursuit of bringing home medals. Your support will help make this dream a reality." - Arnaud Gaudet

"I’m so thankful for the honour of receiving the Neil Daffern award, the award will help me continue to qualify for the Olympics without the stress of funding. It means a lot to me and I’d like to personally thank the Daffern family for providing such an amazing award and legacy for snowboarding." - Emeraude Maheux

Canada Snowboard offers on-going thanks to the Daffern Family for their continued contribution to developing riders within the sport system in Canada. 
Neil Daffern Award for Excellence Recipients to date:

2022 Cam Spalding (SBS)* Juliette Pelchat (SBS)
2021 Tyler Turner (PARA)* Colby Graham (SBX)* Ben Heldman (Alpine)
2020 Brooke D’Hondt (HP)* Liam Moffatt (SBX)* Liam Gill (HP)
2019 Kaylie Buck (Alpine)* Liam Brearley (SS & BA)
2018 Audrey McManiman (SBX) * Evan Bichon (SBX)
2017 Laurie Blouin (SBS) * John Leslie (PARA) * Carter Jarvis (SBS)
2016 Zoe Bergermann (SBX) * Timothy Crighton (SBS)
2015 Katie Anderson (SBX) * Kiersten Higginson (SBS) * Michelle Salt (PARA)
2014 Audrey McManiman (SBS) * Zoe Bergermann (SBX)
2013 Michael Ciccarelli (SBS) * Marianne Leeson (PGS)
2012 Carle Brenneman (SBX) * Brooke Voigt (SBS)
2011 Chris Robanske (SBX) * Dan Csokonay (SBX)
2010 Palmer Taylor (HP) * Kevin Hill (SBX)
2009 Matthew Tunnicliffe (SBX) * Jake Holden (SBX)
2008 Christelle Doyon (SBX) * Micheal Lambert (PGS)
2007 Mike Robertson (SBX) * Matthew Morison (PGS)
2006 Kimikio Zakreski (PGS) * Kory Wright (HP)
2005 Erin Simmons (SBX) * Philippe Bérubé (PGS)
2004 Sarah Conrad (HP) * Tom Velisek (SBX)
2003 Amy Newton (PGS) * Neil Connolly (HP)

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