Mary Ann Reeves
2015 Paragon Award / Synchronized Swimming
Mary Ann Reeves was a key player in the development of synchronized swimming at the national and international level for Canada. Her contributions to the sport are the forerunner to what has evolved today. She founded the Calgary Aquabelles in 1965, a Canadian
synchronized swimming institution, which the International Swimming Hall of Fame has inducted six of its members! Mary Ann has been involved internationally on many different levels; as a coach, a technical director, a high performance director, an author and even a video producer! Mary Ann may not seem to stand out, but her reputation and her past achievements surely do. Her work for synchronized swimming became a model in the Canadian Sport System for developing coach training programs for all sports in the country. She became the first woman to take on a coach education leadership role in Canada when she became the Director of the National Coaching Institute in Calgary.
In 1966, Mary Ann founded the renowned Calgary Aquabelle Synchronized Swimming Club, where she also became the head coach; she continued coaching through 1975. She was named High Performance Director for Swim Canada from 1976 through 1992 and under Reeves leadership, Canada won 12 World and 6 Olympic medals during those years. In 1996, Reeves took over the role of Director of the National Coaching Institute (NCI)- Calgary, Alberta. The NCI is the premier institute for coaching education in Canada. Mary Ann was the Director for ten years and during this time she put together a program that has produced many of Canada’s most successful coaches leading to a great number of Olympic medals. As an Academic leader, she developed a curriculum that was not only successful, but has also been used across Canada and around the world.
As one would imagine, Mary Ann Reeves has won many awards. In 1974, she was presented the Calgary Booster Club Outstanding Leadership Award; in 1976, the Outstanding Leadership in Canada; in 1977, the Canadian Government Award; Alberta Sports Award; FINA Certificate of Merit, 1993; IOC Olympic Solidarity International Synchronized Swimming Clinical Certificate, 1992; Technical Council Administrator of the Year Award, 1993; and was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.
Recipients of the