Claude Allain, an Ambassador for the Gatineau Region with the Ottawa Senators, was awarded with the Hockey Canada Order of Merit for his extensive contributions to minor hockey last week.
From Hockey Canada...
After more than 40 years in the game, Claude Allain’s name is synonymous with hockey in Quebec. He’s been a coach, an instructor, an administrator, an executive and an event coordinator in Gatineau, at the Olympic Winter Games and in rinks in between. This devotion and passion to the growth of the game has led Claude to be honoured with the Hockey Canada Order of Merit.
The Gatineau Minor Hockey Association was the first beneficiary of Claude’s dedication to developing well-rounded hockey players. He spent 14 years with the organization, serving at various times as a coach, coordinator, treasurer and director.
From there he set out to reach more players, spending the next eight years as the executive director, then vice-president of Hockey Outaouais. During this time he oversaw the rep divisions of the Outaouais Minor Hockey League. In addition to earning his Level 3 coaching certification, he was an instructor for both the national coaching program as well as the Risk, Conduct and Safety Management program.
In 1992 Claude was named president of Hockey Outaouais, becoming a member of the Hockey Quebec board of directors. In his new role he made immeasurable contributions to various technical, developmental and ruling commissions, and represented Quebec on Hockey Canada’s minor, junior, senior, hockey development and female councils.
Long recognized and admired for his leadership Claude was instrumental in the organization of several important events, including the 1981 Daoust Cup, 1986 International Esso Cup, 1994 Chrysler Cup and 1998 Espoir Cup.
By this time Claude’s contributions were being noticed beyond the hockey community. In 1999 the government of Quebec presented him with the Dollard-Morin Award for his outstanding volunteerism in the name of sports and recreation. The following year the provincial Ministry of Employment and Social Solidarity named him Administrator of the Year.
In June 2002 Claude was elected president of Hockey Quebec. Before the end of his four-year term he would be bestowed the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for his contributions to amateur sport.
A decade later, in 2013, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and was inducted into Hockey Quebec’s Hall of Fame.
In 2005 Claude joined the Hockey Canada Board of Directors, a post he held for eight years. During that time he represented Hockey Canada at 22 national and international events, including the World Junior A Challenge, World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship, IIHF World Junior Championship and the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Claude has proudly represented Quebec amateur hockey at all levels of play, willingly accepting any challenges and taken on any tasks in the name of building a better and stronger game.
"I always think about all the great people I've gotten to work with." says Allain reflecting on his time spent involved with hockey. "The people were always the best part."
Claude has been involved with the sport for 48 years at various levels but from speaking with him, it appears to have flown by.
"When you do what you love you don't really look at the hours."