‘Toxic climate’ at Boxing Canada | The “Liberation” by Danielle Bouchard

“Finally, finally, finally! “Starts Danielle Bouchard from the beginning. The boxing trainer is currently experiencing a real “liberation”.

Posted at 4:29pm

Jean Francois Teotonio

Jean Francois Teotonio
The press

“It’s a liberation to be able to speak. »

On Wednesday, Boxing Canada’s Director of High Performance, Daniel Trépanier, was openly accused of creating a “toxic climate” within the national program. The letter was signed by more than 120 people, including coaches, former athletes, officials and members of provincial associations.

He is accused of harassment, favouritism, safety and transparency issues at events that have taken place since 2008.

And we demand his departure. Because yes, despite recent revelations and disappointing results at the Olympics for decades, Daniel Trépanier is still in office.

On this subject, “decisions are made in the best interests of the sport of boxing in Canada and its athletes,” said Yvon Michel, General Administrator on Boxing Canada’s Board of Directors.

Accompanied by The press on the phone on Friday afternoon, Michel confirmed that the CA “had several meetings [vendredi] “. “Given that[il fait] part of a [C.A.] and the'[il] have to stick together,” Yvon Michel can’t say anymore at the moment.

“We have to evaluate several things,” adds the promoter.

“Crossing the Barrier of Silence”

Danielle Bouchard is among those who included her name in Wednesday’s document.

In the end, the one who coaches Kim Clavel is particularly happy “to have made the decision [s]’open up and cross the barrier of silence’.

I say to myself: finally. I’ve been in the training business since 2008 and can never say anything. I can never express myself because I always want to protect my athletes. I’m always afraid of the repercussions of my comments, that what I’m going to say will have consequences for my athletes.

Danielle Bouchard

Kim Clavel commented on the subject in a Facebook post on Thursday evening. She speaks of “preferential treatment” but also of “injustice”. She says she saw Darkening Dreams.

“I have seen Boxing Canada put obstacles in the way of promising, talented and dedicated athletes. I’ve heard horrific, sexist, aberrant comments,” the Quebec boxer wrote.

“I saw Daniel Trépanier gradually pushing aside my coach Danielle Bouchard (appreciated by everyone) to prevent me from having her in my corner at certain competitions […]. He made the rules. »

Kim Clavel is currently on vacation and was unable to respond to our interview request.

But its publication on Facebook has been part of a veritable plethora of testimonies since Wednesday. As if the lid had been removed from a boiling pot and its contents were already spilling over.

And from what she’s read in the media this week, Danielle Bouchard “didn’t learn anything new.”

“I speak for myself, but there’s nothing I wasn’t aware of,” she emphasizes. […] I’ve had athletes cry in my arms. Who cried, cried. I had to rebuild teams because morale was completely destroyed. »

” What is the solution ? ”

In response to the recent revelations, Boxing Canada said the federation had already “taken rapid action over the past few months to improve the organization’s transparency and governance.”

A High Performance Advisory Group was set up […] to ensure transparency of decisions” at that level. It is also said to have “separated the role of high-performance director from coaching responsibility”, one of the major complaints in Wednesday’s complaint.

But Danielle Bouchard is not impressed.

They told us in black and white that there had been real changes. But none, and I mean nothing has changed.

Danielle Bouchard

The former boxer knows what she’s talking about. She had signed another letter in 2015 denouncing essentially the same thing as today.

“We took a step and it really fell through. We’d practically been hit one by one to say, “Come on, that doesn’t make any sense.”

“I was still in a relationship at the time to say what I think of Daniel. I’ve always wanted to change something. And I remember telling him in 2015 that I signed. Because everything we say, everything we try to change, doesn’t change. What is the solution ? »

Wednesday’s letter was sent notably to Sport Canada, Executive Director of Own the Podium, Federal Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge… and several media outlets.

When she addressed the media, “it was our last resort, our last resort,” she says.

“A Little Incompetence”

It must also be said that in addition to what her athletes are going through, Danielle Bouchard herself is bearing the brunt of this toxic environment in the federation.

“I always had four athletes who were in the national team for almost 8 to 10 years. I was constantly confronted with the character. […] Rules were created to prevent me from working with my athletes. »

“I chose the national team because that’s where the majority of girls will be. And there, because you train for the national team, you no longer have the right to coach your daughters on a personal level. Completely absurd regulations when you think of the well-being of the athlete. »

She shows him that.

He never worked by performance factors [des athlètes], so with psychological well-being. On the other hand, [il s’agissait] always putting them down, changing the way they think, showing them that they didn’t have the power, he did.

Danielle Bouchard

She says that in one year only two of her four Canadian champions were able to compete at the World Championships.

“You can imagine. I have four girls that I work with every day, they train together, they are motivated, and I’m told that my team is split in two. Why that? For criteria that didn’t make sense. One of the criteria was that Myriam Da Silva Rondeau was too old at the time that she couldn’t afford to dream of the Olympics. Then she finally headed to Tokyo in 2021. You see how twisted it is.”

Danielle Bouchard received her Level 4 in 2012 from the National Coaching Certification Program. But to this day she is fighting for this level to be recognised.

“We like to put on a bracelet at every Canadian championship that tells me I’m Level 3. Every time I say no, I’m not level 3, I’m level 4.”

“Instead of having an association that says, wow, I’ve developed a trainer that will have his level 4 to be proud of. [de reconnaître] This beautiful prestige, on the contrary, we hit you on the head and say no. »

The question that arises at the end is very simple. Why ?

“I’m not going to be nice in what I’m going to say, but I think there’s a bit of incompetence. »

She puts her statements into perspective in the same breath.

“He’s excellent at bureaucracy, at reports, at all of that logistics. He has great qualities, we can’t hide that. But on the other hand, he unfortunately claimed to be the national coach. He played several roles. If he had been content to really be a high-performance technical leader and surrounded himself with competent trainers, assistants with expertise and a great background in coaching, I think that would have been a different scenario. »

“It all starts with the athlete,” she sums up. It is the athlete that should be the focus of any organization. And there what we feel is what we feel, the complete opposite. These are all decisions made against the athlete. »

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