The Lou Marsh Legacy - Honouring Canada's Top Athletes

Susan Nattrass



Photo of Susan Nattrass aiming her gun

Photo of Susan Nattrass aiming her gun

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

Win Number 6…But wait there’s more!

Susan Nattrass first gained notoriety in 1976 as the first woman to compete in the Trapshooting event in Olympic history; however it was in 1981 that she truly came into the spotlight with some richly deserved attention. To hear her reminisce about being named Canada’s outstanding athlete is quite moving. She only just contains her emotion when describing her astonishment in receiving the Lou Marsh Memorial Award. It’s been over twenty-seven years and she makes you feel as though it was yesterday. She’s also quick to point out the significant ‘wow’ response she has gotten from competitors around the world over the years with this award.

A trip to northern Argentina late in 1981 clinched it for her. Susan remembers arriving in the beautiful city of Tucumán and finding heavily armed military everywhere—the leftovers of a dictatorship—and a hotel without water. She does not recall the oppressive heat or her battles with a sore back and shoulder, but then she’s always been one tough competitor. Like the time she won her first Women’s World Trapshooting Championship in Berne, Switzerland in 1974, just weeks after major surgery. And she doesn’t remember decimating the field in the three-day event with a 16-target victory and a final score of 189 targets out of 200. But then what could compare to her unforgettable 1978 performance in Seoul, Korea where she set the world record with a score of 195 out of 200 to clinch that World title. No, she’ll never forget that one, or the fact that the Argentina win marked an un-matched sixth consecutive Women’s World Trapshooting Championship title!

Her brilliant career includes a seventh title in Zagreb, Croatia in 2006 at the age of 55, a quarter-century after her last one in Argentina and 32 years after her first big title in Switzerland. An integral part of ‘Team Nattrass’ is Susan’s coach, travel mate, and best friend, who just happens to be her mother. Marie has been with Susan for every World Trapshooting Championship event since 1969. She celebrated her 86th birthday in Zagreb in 2006!

The 1981 win in Argentina was a catalyst for recognition Susan has leveraged for the good of her sport throughout her career. One example is the testy and difficult multi-year battle to have a separate women’s trap and skeet event at the Olympics. She finally realized that dream at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. It is one of her proudest moments and since then women’s participation in the sport has doubled.

As a competitor, the record speaks for itself. She is one of the finest. Her contribution to bringing women to the forefront in trap and skeet, the inspiration she has provided in bringing countless young men and women into the sport and her overall efforts as a builder have left an indelible imprint.

A quintessential ambassador for her sport and for Canada - 2009 marked the 40th year that Susan Nattrass represented Canada internationally in trapshooting.

Nattrass Marsh winner Adobe PDF Transcript


1968 - 1983
National Women’s Trapshooting Title
1973 - 1977
Top female trapshooter in North America
1973 - 1978
Captain, Women’s All-American Trapshooting Team
1974 - 1980
Women’s World Championship Title
First Women trapshooter to compete at Olympics
1976, 1988, 1992, 2000
Member, Canadian Olympic Team
1977, 1981
Velma Springstead Award
Lou Marsh Memorial Award
Named to the Order of Canada
Pan-American Games - Silver medal
Commonwealth Games - Two Bronze medals
Pan-American Games - Bronze medal
Commonwealth Games - Two Silver and one Bronze medal