Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Executive Board member Bruce Robertson has been awarded Canada’s Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers in recognition of his contributions to sport in his home country and internationally.
The award is part of Canada’s honours system and is presented to individuals who have had exceptional volunteer achievements in a range of fields.
Robertson’s involvement in Commonwealth sport began as an athlete after he left the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch as Canada’s most decorated competitor with six medals.
He secured two gold, silver and bronze medals in swimming at the Games, adding to his Olympic silver and bronze two years earlier in Munich.
Robertson, a 100 metres butterfly world champion in 1973, was the recipient of several awards acknowledging his accomplishments.
This included being named Canada’s Male Athlete of the Year in 1973 and receiving the Order of Canada a year later, while he was added to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1977.
He has since become a key official in the Commonwealth sport movement, having held key roles in the CGF and previously being a member of the Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC) Board.
CGF President Louise Martin noted Robertson’s achievements when writing a letter in support of his nomination for the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.
"For over 30 years Bruce Robertson has made a significant yet selfless contribution to the Commonwealth Games and the Commonwealth Sports Movement, playing a fundamental role in our vision to unite athletes, citizens and communities across the Commonwealth through sport," she wrote.
"During his tenure, his achievements have been manifold.
"He has led the reinvention of the CGF sports programme; the development of our ground-breaking and world-leading Gender Equality Strategy; the establishment of the Commonwealth Sport University Network; in addition to a host of initiatives focused on supporting athletes, coaches and officials and driving forward the governance, budgeting and management of the CGF.
"We are genuinely indebted to his service."
Robertson has been a CGF vice-president since 2003 and has assisted with the organisation of every Commonwealth Games since Manchester 2002.
This included chairing the CGF Coordination Commission for last year’s successful edition in the Gold Coast.
Since 1990 he has held roles on the CGF board and several key committees,
This has included chairing the Audit and Risk Committee and being a member of the Finance and Sport Committees.
"Commonwealth Games Canada congratulates Bruce on this honour," Richard Powers, President of the CGC, said.
"His impact on Commonwealth sport, at home and abroad, is deep and enduring and reflects the shared values that are at the heart of the Commonwealth.
"Through sport, Bruce works tirelessly to instill those values into every citizen of the Commonwealth, uniting the diverse Commonwealth nations."
Robertson has been a key official in CGC, having served as a member-at-large, treasurer, vice-president, and as President of the Commonwealth Games Foundation of Canada at various times over the past 30 years.
He has also served on various CGC committees, including a term as chair of the International Development Through Sport Advisory Committee, as well as the International Relations Committee and the Bid and Hosting Committee.
The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers has incorporated and replaced the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, which was created in 1995.
The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers consists of a silver circular medal that depicts a contemporary effigy of the Sovereign and also includes the inscription in capital letters of the Canadian Royal title and the word "CANADA", separated by two maple leaves.
The reverse bears a large and a small heart, with five maple leaves on the outer edge of the large heart.