“Toxic Climate” at Boxing Canada | The “liberation” of Danielle Bouchard

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

Posted yesterday at 4:29 PM.

Jean-François Teotonio

Jean-François Teotonio
The press

“A liberation from being 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 federations.

He is charged with issues of intimidation, favoritism, security and transparency over events that have taken place since 2008.

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

On this subject, “decisions will be made in the best interests 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 Friday afternoon, Michel confirms that the CA has had “several meetings” [vendredi] “. “Given that[il fait] part of a [C.A.] and that'[il] must be united”, Yvon Michel can no longer say for the time being.

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

“Crossing the Barrier of Silence”

Danielle Bouchard is among those who put their name on Wednesday’s document.

At the end of the line, whoever trains Kim Clavel in particular is delighted that he “made the decision to” [s]’open up and cross the barrier of silence’.

I say to myself: finally. I have been in the training profession since 2008 and I 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 affect my athletes.

Danielle Bouchard

Kim Clavel spoke on the topic in a Facebook post Thursday night. She does indeed speak of “favoritism”, but also of “injustice”. She says she saw “dreams darkened”.

“I have seen Boxing Canada stand in the way of promising, talented and dedicated athletes. I heard horrible, sexist, deviant comments,” the Quebec boxer wrote.

“I saw how Daniel Trépanier gradually put my trainer Danielle Bouchard aside (appreciated by everyone), so that I could not have her in my corner in certain matches […]† He made rules for that. †

While she was on vacation, Kim Clavel was unable to respond to our interview request.

But his publication on Facebook has been part of a veritable plethora of testimonials since Wednesday. As if the lid had been removed from a boiling pot and the contents were already overflowing.

And from everything she read in the media this week, Danielle Bouchard has “learned nothing new”.

“I speak for myself, but there isn’t one thing I didn’t know,” 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 ? ”

Commenting on the recent revelations, Boxing Canada said the federation has already “taken rapid action to improve transparency and governance of the organization” in recent months.

A “High Performance Advisory Group” has been established […] to ensure the transparency of decisions” at this level. It is also said to have “separated the role of high performance director” from coaching responsibilities,” 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 there has been no change.

Danielle Bouchard

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

“We made a move, and it really didn’t work out. We were practically individually met to say to us, “Come on, that makes no sense.” †

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

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

Contacting 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 go through, Danielle Bouchard herself bears the brunt of this toxic environment in the federation.

“I always had four female athletes who were on the national team for almost 8 to 10 years. I was constantly confronted with the character. […] Rules have been made to prevent me from working with my athletes. †

“I made the choice to go to the national team because that’s where most of the girls will be. And there, because you coach on the national team, you no longer have the right to coach your daughters on a personal level. Completely absurd regulations, when you think about the well-being of the athlete. †

That’s what she blames him for.

He never worked based on performance factors [des athlètes], that is, with psychological well-being. On the contrary, [il s’agissait] always to bring them down, to change their way of thinking, to show them that it was not they who had the power, but he.

Danielle Bouchard

She says that in a year only two of her four Canadian champions were able to go to the World Championships.

“You can imagine. I have four girls that I work with on a daily basis, they train together, they are motivated and I was told that my team is split in two. Why? For criteria that made no sense. One of the criteria was that Myriam Da Silva Rondeau was too old at the time, that she couldn’t dream of the Olympics, then she finally went there in Tokyo in 2021. You can see how crooked it is.”

Danielle Bouchard achieved her Level 4, awarded under the National Coaching Certification Program, in 2012. But to this day she struggles to achieve this level to be recognized.

“We like to put a bracelet around me 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 a federation that says, wow, I’ve developed a coach who will be his level 4, to be proud of that, [de reconnaître] this beautiful prestige, on the contrary, we hit you on the head and we say no. †

The question that eventually comes to mind is very simple. Why ?

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

She nuances her comments in the same breath.

“He is excellent in bureaucracy, in reporting, in all that logistics. He has great qualities, we must not hide it. But on the other hand, he unfortunately claimed to be national coach. He played multiple roles. If he had been content to be a really high performance technical director and surrounded himself with competent coaches, assistants with expertise, with a great background in coaching, I think there would have been a different scenario. †

“It all starts with the athlete,” she sums up. It is the athlete who should be at the heart, at the center of every organization. And there, what we feel, what we feel, is completely the opposite. These are all decisions made against the athlete. †

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