International Women’s Day – Cheryl Gallant, MP Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, is pleased to congratulate local Olympian Melissa Bishop on being named by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) to the 2016 Most Influential Women List. This award celebrates remarkable Canadian women and their impact upon sport and physical activity in Canada.

“Thank-you to CAAWS for giving me the privilege of nominating Melissa Bishop for this award,” said Cheryl Gallant, MP. “We celebrate Melissa for her achievements, her contributions and her willingness to forge new paths in sport for the girls and women. As ‘one to watch,’ we will all be cheering Melissa on as she pursues excellence in her sport.”

800m runner, Melissa Bishop is the 2015 Pan Am Games gold medalist and the 2015 IAAF World Championship silver medalist. A 2x Olympian, with a 4th place finish in Rio this past summer, she is a 5x medalist at the Canadian Track and Field Championships and the current indoor and outdoor record holder. Further accolades include a top 10 finish in the 800m, as well as a top 5 finish in the 4×400 relay at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Bishop is a 2x Academic All Canadian, a 10x Ontario University Athletics All Star, and a 9x CIS champion.

Despite her arduous training schedule, Melissa Bishop has always made time for community outreach in the form of motivational speaking engagements at local schools and community clubs. She has been recognized in her hometown of Eganville, Ontario, and with a park named in her honour. Bishop is the inspiration for, and first recipient of the “Renfrew County Melissa Bishop Community Role Model Award”, which will be granted in the future to others demonstrating her level of commitment to the community. She has overcome injury and disappointment to achieve success, and continues to strive toward her goals, inspiring current and future generations of runners across Canada.

“This year’s Most Influential Women List once again shines a spotlight on the incredible leadership that women bring to sport and physical activity in Canada,” commented Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, CAAWS CEO. “Changes to the program this year broadened the scope, showcasing even more areas where women are making a difference.”

The CAAWS Most Influential Women List is voted on by a CAAWS selection panel. Names for consideration are compiled principally through public nominations, with contributions from knowledgeable sport and physical activity leaders. The new Award distinction was voted on by a second, external selection panel. This is the 17th edition of the list.

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