Thursday May 19, 2016
Curl BC announces annual award winners
Rebecca Connop-Price, Curl BC
Karlee Burgess with teammates Mary Fay, Tyler Tardi and Sterling Middleton on the podium at Lillehammer.
wo BC curlers who won gold at the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer and a curling insider who was named to the World Curling Hall of Fame are among the athletes and volunteers who will be honoured at an awards ceremony in June.
Tyler Tardi and Sterling Middleton became world champions in 2016, along with Nova Scotia’s Mary Fay and Karlee Burgess, at the Youth Olympic Games in Norway. The pair have jointly won Curl BC’s Junior Male Athlete of the Year. Tyler, from Surrey, and Sterling, from Fort St John, were also champions at the 2016 Tim Hortons BC Junior Men’s Curling Championship. They claimed the bronze medal at the Canadian Juniors.
Port Coquitlam resident Warren Hansen, who has an impressive record both as a curling administrator and as an athlete, will also be honoured at the 2016 Curl BC Awards. Hansen was a Brier champion as a member of Hec Gervais’s 1974 Alberta team. He was also Curling Canada’s longtime Director of Event Operations, and is now working to promote the sport in the United States. He was inducted into the World Curling Hall of Fame in April.
A total of 20 awards will be handed out at the event which recognizes the vital contribution that volunteers, coaches, insiders and athletes have made to the sport of curling in BC over the past year.
Deborah Pound, the Chair of Curl BC’s Recognition and Awards Committee, paid tribute to the winners, saying: “Every year we are amazed by the commitment and dedication of our athletes, who continue to perform so well on the national stage. We are also grateful for all the volunteers and financial supporters who put so much into making our sport enjoyable for all. These awards are a tribute to these people.”
The awards will be handed out at the 2016 Curl BC Annual Awards Banquet on June 11 at the Fortius Sport & Health building in Burnaby, the home of Curl BC. For more information about the awards banquet, or to purchase tickets costing $40, visit www.curlbc.ca/2016-curl-bc-awards-banquet.
Other winners included:
Team of the Year – Team
Tardi (Surrey, Burnaby, Fort St John, Surrey and Langley)
Wally M’Lot Award for
Official of the Year – Patti Caldwell (Coquitlam)
Junior Female Athlete of
the Year – Marika Van Osch (Nanaimo)
Female Athlete of the Year – Karen Lepine (Surrey)
Karen Lepine started off the season right by winning a gold medal at the 55+ Games held in August at the Vancouver Curling Club. In November 2015 she skipped a masters men’s team to victory at a bonspiel, despite being the only woman in the bonspiel. She then went on to win the 2016 BC Masters Curling Championship, earning the chance to represent the province at nationals in Nova Scotia. Immediately after nationals, she headed to Kelowna to skip another team to victory at the Pacific Coast Masters Curling Association/BC Interior Masters Curling Association Combined Championships from March 13-18. Karen’s enthusiasm for curling, her unparalleled knowledge of the game and her incredible drive and determination has made her an inspiration to others, regardless of age or gender.
Male Athlete of the Year – Corey Chester (Victoria)
Corey Chester has been able to achieve an incredible amount this season, even though he was enrolled in full-time education. In addition to dedicating himself to two curling teams, he coached in the Victoria Curling Academy. His hard work paid off this season as he reached new heights at the 2016 Canadian Direct Insurance BC Men’s Curling Championship, finishing in fourth place with Team Jackson. In March he skipped his University of Victoria Vikes team to a bronze medal at the CIS/Curling Canada University Curling Championships. His fellow athletes view him as a great role model and very deserving of this award.
Master Athlete of the Year – Keith Switzer (Vancouver)
One year ago, you might not have bet on Keith Switzer reaching the podium at a BC championship in 2016. In February last year, at the BC Mixed Doubles Championship in White Rock, Keith suffered a serious heart attack on the ice. His heart stopped and he had to be revived through CPR and two AED shocks. He spent several weeks in the hospital and required surgery to repair a near total blockage. Fast forward a year and Keith not only got back on his feet and completely recovered, but he also became a BC champion for the second time in his life (He was BC Mixed Champion in 2013). He competed in the 2016 Senior Men’s playdowns and the 2016 BC Mixed playdowns (making it to the C semi-final). Most impressive, he led his team to win the 2016 BC Master Men’s Championship and finished an amazing fourth at the Canadian Masters Championship against teams with Brier experience. His incredible recovery and outstanding athletic achievements are an inspiration to everyone.
Adaptive Curling Athlete – Vince Miele
Anita Cochrane Award for
Coach of the Year – Katie Witt (Coquitlam) and Paul Tardi (Surrey)
Paul Tardi led Team Tardi to success at the 2016 Tim Hortons BC Junior Curling Championships. The team won gold at provincials and bronze at nationals and a spot in the Canadian Direct Insurance BC Men’s Curling Championship. Widely respected by athletes and coaches, Paul is a true leader. Key to his success has been his level-headed approach to coaching. Described by his team as “a great role model” Paul exhibits outstanding sportsmanship both on and off the ice. The team said his help was invaluable, and that the award would show him that he is appreciated for all that he has done to push them to be better.
Regional Sponsor of the Year – Langley
Chrysler (sponsor of the Region 11 BC Men’s Tour)
Provincial Sponsor of the Year –
Warner Rentals (sponsor of the 2016 BC Junior Curling Championships)
Janette Robbins Award (Builder) –
Colleen Trozzo (Elkford)
Elsie MacKenzie Youth/Junior Curling
Award – Ray Olsen and Brenda Nordin (Kamloops)
Brenda Nordin led the host committee for the 2016 Tim Hortons BC Junior Curling Championships. She worked tirelessly to make sure the event was a great experience for the athletes and volunteers. Brenda, who also won this award in 2015 for her support of junior curling, is a great ambassador for the sport. She juggles numerous commitments, but always manages to support those commitments 100%.
Volunteer of the Year – Earl
King (Golden Ears Winter Club in Maple Ridge) and Ross Milward
Over the past eight years Ross Milward has dedicated himself to the Lillooet Memorial Curling Club, doing everything possible to ensure Lillooet would have some of the best ice in BC, enhancing the appeal of the club to the membership and the wider community. When Ross moved to Lillooet 10 years ago, he knew what it felt like to curl on great ice (since he had been in the Brier). He wanted to share that feeling with the curlers in Lillooet, so he took on the position of volunteer head ice maker. Ross dedicated himself to the club and put countless hours into improving the ice. With his help, the popularity of the club has increased. The club went from almost cancelling its annual spiel to having over 34 teams attending! Ross volunteers his time not only for the ice, but also for the benefit of the club, doing everything from running the bar to vacuuming the floor. Alongside his wife, he will jump in to lend a hand where needed, no questions asked.
Long Service Volunteer of
the Year – Maurice McIlrick (Invermere)
Friendship Award – Gary Kingston (Vancouver Sun)
Gary Kingston was with the Vancouver Sun as a sports writer from 1989 to earlier this year, when he retired ahead of his 60th birthday. He first covered the CFL and NBA, but started to write about curling when he inherited the Olympics/amateur sports beat around the year 2000. But he told PostMedia news, his former employers, that he didn't discover his calling until he was assigned on late notice to cover a Paralympics. Ian MacIntyre, a columnist for PostMedia, said Gary was a natural in this role. He wrote: “You get Paralympic sports when you stop seeing the athletes as disabled. This seemed to happen instantly with Gary, who went on to cover six Paralympics and became the defining media voice on the movement in Canada." Over the years, Gary covered wheelchair curling and curling for the Vancouver Sun. Despite an ever-increasing workload juggling a huge sports beat, which in the later years included all amateur sports and covering the Vancouver Whitecaps, Gary continued to follow BC's top curling events, giving recognition to BC’s athletes.
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