This year’s TTCAN Coach of the Year award winner is Canadian Junior National table tennis coach Maxime Surprenant. The annual award is given to a dedicated and hardworking coach who uses their knowledge to develop athletes and increase the profile of Table Tennis in Canada.

Maxime began playing table tennis at age 12 and started coaching fellow players seven years later. In 2012 – at age 21 – he started coaching full-time and quickly distinguished himself as a passionate and energic leader. His ability to adapt his coaching style to each individual player has led athletes to compete at top events including the World Cadet Challenges, Pan Am Junior Championships, World Junior Championships, and World Championship.

“I really enjoy sharing my knowledge with younger players and helping reaching their goals,” said Maxime. “I love the part when I get to sit in my coach chair for a big match and team up with my athlete to fight for the better outcome.”

The Montréal-based coach has helped table tennis players and teams win national and international titles. He successfully coached the Canadian junior boys and men’s team to a bronze medal at 2019 Pan Am Championships and has served as Edward Ly’s and Tommy Xu’s main coach, both who have won national titles in their cadet and junior categories. What  also includes players Sophie Gauthier and Émilia Cabrera Malette. Gauthier having won the title of champion at the 2019 US open junior, finalist at the 2019 Canadian championship, 2nd in the Olympic qualification, junior champion in mixed doubles and finalist with Émilia Cabrera Malette in women’s doubles at the 2019 Canadian championships.

When asked what makes his coaching unique, Maxime said that he is always ready and open to suggestions on how to improve his coaching.