Although the sport of artistic gymnastics was reasonably well established in New Brunswick, that of rhythmic gymnastics was another matter - at least until Romania's Mariana Ardelean joined the faculty of the Université de Moncton in 1971. As is so often the case with true pioneers, she was faced with selling the sport to her university bosses and the general public, identifying potential talent, training coaches and officials, negotiating for appropriate venues, organizing competitions. That she succeeded can be seen in her appointment as National Coach; and director of the Centre for Excellence, based at U de M, her selection as visiting coach and clinician to the Peoples Republic of China, the creation of a network of local clubs as well as a provincial association, and the achievements of at least two of her protégés - national team member Debbie Bryant and Olympian Lise Gautreau. Enrolled in the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame June 1st, 2002.
Arrived in New Brunswick from Romania in 1971 to join the Physical Education faculty at the Université de Moncton
Established a local club in Moncton and organized the first provincial competition in 1973
Appointed Technical Director of newly formed NB Rhythmic Gymnastics Association in 1981
Served as a National Coach from 1977 to 1989
Selected by the Canadian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation to conduct clinics in China in 1982
Named the national coach and manager of technical programs for the high performance center at U de M from 1986 until 1992
Developed athletes for national and international level competitions including Honoured Members Lise Gautreau and Debbie Bryant.
Named New Brunswick Coach of the Year in 1982 and 1983
Elected to the Moncton Sports Wall of Fame as a builder in 1993