Ottawa, ON, Feb. 3, 2022 – 4-H Canada is honoured to name Canadian Olympian Sage Watson of Medicine Hat, AB as the recipient of the 2021 4-H Canada Distinguished Alumni Award.
Sponsored by Glacier FarmMedia, the Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to Watson during the 2022 4-H Canada Leadership Awards, to be held virtually with host Peter Mansbridge on Feb. 23, 2022. To join us for this inspiring night of celebration, purchase your tickets today.
A true embodiment of the 4-H mission and values, Watson is being recognized for the positive change she effects in the world as an elite athlete, mentor, philanthropist, and changemaker.
“Sage Watson is the very definition of a responsible, caring, and contributing leader, and we are honoured to add her name to the illustrious list of Distinguished Alumni Award recipients,” said 4-H Canada CEO, Shannon Benner. “In addition to her incredible accomplishments as an elite athlete, Sage is a remarkable role model who advocates for female athletes, donates time and energy to her community, and continually gives back to youth.”
Watson, a two-time Olympian, credits her agricultural background for her work ethic and fierce determination. She says growing up on a cattle ranch in southern Alberta taught her how to work hard toward her goals. As a youth, she joined her local 4-H beef club, and went on to become a District Grand Champion for her steer. Watson was also a finalist in several regional public speaking finals, chaired a variety of committees, and was elected to her club’s executive. She attributes her confidence in speaking at schools and events, and interacting with the media, to her time in 4-H.
From rural Alberta to the world stage, Watson is one of Canada’s most beloved track and field athletes, easily recognized by the trademark red lipstick she wears in competition. An NCAA Champion, one of her proudest accomplishments is balancing athletics and academics at the University of Arizona, where she graduated at the top of her class with a degree in Business Marketing.
Watson made her Olympic debut at Rio 2016, where she earned her way into the semifinals of the 400m hurdles. She also stepped up as anchor to lead Canada to a fourth-place finish in the 4x400m relay – a feat she repeated at Tokyo 2020. She has also made two Pan American Games appearances, helping Canada take bronze in the 4x400m relay on home soil at Toronto 2015. She moved up the podium at Lima 2019, winning individual gold in the 400m hurdles, then adding silver in the 4x400m relay. That same year, during the semifinals at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, QAT, Watson broke the 400m hurdles national record that had stood since 1996.
Lauded within the sport community both on and off the track, Watson is recognized around the world for speaking up to advocate against media sexualization of female athletes, and was part of a strong movement that resulted in increased awareness and adjustment of camera angles during Tokyo 2020. She is also a pillar of her community, passing on the values taught to her by reaching out to youth on a personal level through speaking engagements and volunteer work in clubs and school groups. Watson has even created a foundation in her hometown to provide shoes to underprivileged student athletes through her partnership with Nike. In addition, she champions agriculture through her role as an Ambassador for Canada Beef. She proudly represents the ranching community and is passionate about showcasing the industry’s strong commitment to grasslands and sustainability.
Watson is joining an esteemed group of 4-H Canada Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. Proudly supported by Glacier FarmMedia, the award recognizes the outstanding leadership and contributions of 4-H alumni – a community of over 350,000. It is one of four prestigious awards presented annually at 4-H Canada’s signature event, the Leadership Awards, which showcase the achievements of leadership at every level of 4-H in Canada, while helping to raise important funds for the Canadian 4-H Foundation.
“It is an honour to support the 4-H Canada Distinguished Alumni Award and to see it awarded to Sage Watson,” said Bob Willcox, Glacier FarmMedia president. “She is an inspiring leader who embodies the spirit of 4-H Canada.”
Stay tuned as we continue to unveil award recipients in the coming weeks. To buy tickets and get full details on the 2022 4-H Canada Leadership Awards, visit 4-h-canada.ca/4hawards.
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About 4-H Canada
For over 100 years, 4-H Canada has been one of the most highly respected positive youth development organizations in Canada. 4-H in Canada has close to 23,500 members and more than 8,500 volunteer leaders. Our goal is to help young Canadians “Learn To Do By Doing” in a safe, inclusive and fun environment. We believe in nurturing responsible, caring and contributing youth leaders who are committed to positively impacting their communities across Canada and around the world. To learn more about 4-H Canada, please visit 4-h-canada.ca and follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
About Glacier FarmMedia
Glacier FarmMedia is the agricultural division of Glacier Media Inc., an information communications company focused on the provision of primary and essential information and related services through print, electronic, and online media. Some reaching as far back as 100 years; Glacier FarmMedia’s strong agricultural publications and online properties engage millions of readers every week and provide advertisers and marketers countless opportunities to reach target audiences with unique and integrated programs. Glacier FarmMedia is focused on the future, with a strategy positioned for success in a new media world.
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