Equestrian Canada (EC) is pleased to welcome Mireille Bilodeau of Gatineau, QC as the newest EC National Para-Equestrian Classifier.
Bilodeau is fully bilingual, and holds an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Human Kinetics, as well as a Masters of Health Sciences in Physiotherapy from the University of Ottawa. After completing her Masters degree in 2014, she has worked as a physiotherapist at Physio Outaouais in Aylmer, QC, assessing and treating a variety of orthopedic conditions. Her skills were further augmented through work experience at top institutions, such as the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the Ottawa Canadian Forces Health Services Centre.
Bilodeau’s professional career is complemented by her personal involvement with horses. She is an EC certified Competition Coach, and is currently working toward certification as an Eventing Competition Coach Specialist. Bilodeau also received a diploma from the Equine Science College Program at the Institut de Technologie Agroalimentaire in 2008.
“I am so excited to get more involved with the para-equestrian community,” Bilodeau said of her new role as a Classifier. “Everybody was so supportive in the certification process, and I had the chance to meet amazing athletes who inspired me to take the steps to become a classifier. I want to promote the sport and help develop it, and supporting the athletes’ classification system seems like a good starting point.”
The combination of Bilodeau’s professional proficiency and equestrian expertise positions her to excel as an EC National Classifier. Furthermore, her ability to provide assessments in both French and English will improve the ability of Canadian para-equestrian athletes to progress up the levels of national competition.
Bilodeau joins four other EC National Classifiers:
- Kim Anderson – Saanichton, BC
- Sue Foell (who also holds International Classifier status) – Sharon, ON
- Marion Slatter Blitstein – Langley, BC
- Dr. Paula Welton – North Alton, NS
About EC National Classifiers
An EC National Classifier is a person authorized by EC to conduct evaluations for athletes who are ready to compete at EC Silver and Gold competitions. A classifier assesses athletes in accordance with the methods and standards of the Fédération Équestre International (FEI), as outlined in the FEI Classification Manual.
Becoming a classifier is an opportunity to give back to the community, enhance the life of a person with a physical or visual impairment, and grow both professionally and personally. EC National Classifiers play an integral role in an athlete’s journey from grassroots to representing Canada at the international level. By providing assessment, classifiers are essential in supporting athletes and their coaches by helping them to identify and use the compensating (adaptive) aids that are best suited to their needs. EC National Classifiers have the opportunity to become International Classifiers, who are invited to competitions all around the world, including the Paralympic Games and FEI World Equestrian Games.
For more information on Para-Equestrian Classification, visit www.equestrian.ca/sport/para-equestrian/programs. Those interested in becoming an EC National Classifier are encouraged to contact Jamie-Ann Goodfellow, Coordinator, Para-Equestrian by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-866-282-8395 x 146.