Vance Toner Development Award

Established in 1995, the Vance Toner Development Award is presented annually to an individual who has distinguished themselves by their excellent qualities as a teacher, coach and administrator, not only in their own community, but across the province.

Jean-Guy Robichaud is from Shippagan and has lived in Caraquet with his wife Gemma for several years. They raised 4 children and have 2 grandchildren. Mr. Robichaud has been active in the hockey in New Brunswick since the 1960s at all levels; whether as a coach, manager, league president, hockey school, sports manager, consultant, recruiter / scout for different teams; he covered all the necessary bases to carry out the plan.

In its infancy, hockey in NB was administered by the Maritime Hockey Association which included PEI, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The MHA was officially admitted to the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) in 1928 and continued like this for about 40 years.

In May 1967, Vance Toner of Moncton called a meeting for interested hockey enthusiasts, which was held in Memramcook. Jean-Guy Robichaud was a member of this committee from the start! Two other meetings were held in St. Andrews and Lancaster to further develop a branch in New Brunswick.

As a result of this momentum, at the annual meeting of the Maritime Amateur Hockey Association, New Brunswick received the blessing of the MHA to ask CAHA for official recognition as a separate branch. Consequently, in 1968, the New Brunswick Amateur Hockey Association (NBAHA) was formed and, at the national meeting in Windsor, Ontario, was formally admitted to the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association as a full member with all rights and privileges.

Mr. Robichaud was the spokesperson for hockey on the Acadian Peninsula from the beginning. He led a group of individuals who founded the minor hockey association in Caraquet in 1968, then in Shippagan, Tracadie, Lamèque and Bathurst.

Jean-Guy also worked on Vance Toner's study on hockey in New Brunswick. He was also very involved with the establishment of the hockey school at the University of Moncton. They created numerous development opportunities in rural areas, by providing hockey camps.

He is one of the few Canadians to have studied hockey in Russia in the 1970s after the Summit series. Jean-Guy made contacts with various players in the hockey world to ensure that he had professional players present at the hockey schools in the Acadian Peninsula or at the Aigles Bleus at the Université de Moncton, where he also helped with the development of their hockey team.

His career choice as a teacher was reflected in his passion for teaching all aspects of hockey. Jean-Guy has allowed many hockey players to develop their hockey skills with his many tips.

When asked why he devoted his life to the sport of hockey, he stated: " It is an obvious fact that the creation of the New Brunswick Amateur Hockey Association has become the gateway to various national programs”.

We are very proud to present the 2019-2020 Vance Toner Development award to Jean-Guy Robichaud.

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