Jennifer Saunders becomes the first inductee to
the OAS Virtual Wall of Honour

Our  Ontario Artistic Swimming community is filled with dedicated and passionate individuals who collectively help to grow our sport. 

OAS is very proud to announce the creation of our OAS Virtual Wall of Honour to recognize the substantial contributions these members have made. We have created a new page on our website, intended to shine a light on those of our Officials, Athletes, Coaches and Volunteers who have made significant, long term impacts in our community. 

We are most excited at this time, to announce our first Wall of Honour inductee, being Jennifer Saunders (aka Jennifer Lloyd-Saunders).  Jennifer throughout her over 30 years of unconditional service, has been a strong leader with much integrity, passion, enthusiasm and love of our sport. She has made significant impact wearing many hats, as an Athlete, Coach, Official, Trainer and an unconditional contributing member on numerous Committees.

As an Athlete, Jennifer was determined, hard-working, fun and creative.  As one who loved water sports, synchronized swimming became her first choice and passion early on.  She swan and competed through the 70’s and early 80’s throughout high school at Oakwood Collegiate and at York University, earning her many victories along the way.

Jennifer saunders at Canada winter games 2015

Jennifer judging at the 2015 Canada Winter Games

As a Coach, Jennifer was much respected and held a consistent presence on Ontario pool decks at both Burlington and Toronto. From 1985 to 1991, a move to Saskatoon allowed that province to also reap the benefits of Jennifer’s incredible skills, where she coached and assumed the role of Synchro Saskatchewan’s Technical Director. Jennifer has always strongly believed that developing flexibility was critical for both improving athlete success and injury prevention in our sport.  This strong emphasis in her coaching, led to the creation of the Jennifer Lloyd-Saunders Flexibility Award of Excellence, a highly touted award still being presented annually to an athlete at the Burlington Synchronized Swimming Club. She used her expertise and kind nature to mentor and inspire countless young athletes, including both of her own daughters!  She was a dedicated mother to two athletes leading to many years of early morning drives to the pool and celebration of  their many successes.

As an Official, Jennifer was passionate and committed.  She began this journey as a Level 1 Provincial Judge in 1990 and progressed up to a National Level Judge in 2008, where she completed 12 years of service at this level, sacrificing many weekends to travel and attend competitions both nationally and internationally.  Throughout these 30+ years of service, Jennifer always performed her duties as an official with the greatest of competence and integrity and always finding time to mentor others and make great friends along the way.  One of Jennifer’s favourite highlights was judging at the 2015 Canada Winter Games.

As a Trainer of Officials Jennifer’s passion and enthusiasm never waned. Since 2015, she has held numerous leadership roles as Learning Facilitator and Instructor of OAS Provincial Levels 1 and 2 Judges courses. As a teacher and mentor, Jennifer  instilled the values of integrity, commitment, competence and love for our sport while inspiring the future generation of OAS Officials.

Accepting Innumerable positions as an unconditional contributing member on numerous Committees, Jennifer always stepped up to offer support wherever needed.   In Ontario, Jennifer was a key member of the Ontario Officials Committee,  the Provincial Jury of Appeal, the Rules Committee and many more throughout the years. Nationally, Jennifer was also a  member of Synchro Canada Coaches’ Development Committee for levels 1 to 3.

Having had this illustrious 30+ year career as an extraordinary volunteer, Jennifer Saunders has announced that she is retiring ahead of the 2020-2021 season…although it is said that you can’t retire from being great!  As much as we will all miss her very much, we also wish her the very best of good fortune, good health and relaxation as she turns her priorities to her growing family with her grandchildren and fulfilling new (and maybe also old) dreams in the years ahead.

OAS extends a heartfelt thank you to Jennifer for her part in our history and  OAS’ journey and for the many seeds of wisdom she planted along the way. Please join us as we say Happy Retirement Jennifer!!

Jennifer Saunders and I have been friends for 52 years; we met when we swam together on the swim team in Senior Public School. Jen loved every water sport that city kids could participate in and took every opportunity to play in the water. Synchro however, stole her heart early on!

Swimming together in highschool and university allowed me to watch her grow and excel in the sport… her creativity is incredible! It has been inspiring to watch her progress from Swimmer to Coach to Teacher and now Judge. I had the pleasure of taking a coaching course with her and her enthusiasm for the sport shone through; she loves synchro and most of all makes it fun!

I am very proud of Jen’s accomplishments, congratulations Jen!!!!

Joyce Montagnese

Friend & teammate of Jennifer

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