Rory Campbell (left) is presented with the Pte. Jack Nihara Challenge Trophy as Lumby’s 2020 Athlete of the Year by Linda Vlasveld of the Lumby Historical Society Sunday, July 13, at the Lumby Golf Course. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Multi-sport performer named Lumby’s Athlete of the Year

Rory Campbell loves basketball, plays volleyball, soccer, hockey and ultimate frisbee

His nominator listed 10 reasons why Rory Campbell should be considered for the Pte. Jack Nihara Challenge Trophy recognizing the Village of Lumby’s top athlete.

The nominator was sure Campbell has many more sporting achievements they’re not aware of (Campbell does play ultimate frisbee).

In a special ceremony in front of his younger brother, mom and dad and grandparents, Campbell was presented with the Nihara trophy Sunday, July 12, at the Lumby Golf Course by Linda Vlasveld of the Lumby Historical Society.

“It’s a huge honour, I never even imagined it,” said Campbell, 18, who graduated from Charles Bloom Secondary School in June. He was the Timberwolves’ boy’s basketball captain and member of the volleyball team with young brother Riley.

Campbell used to play hockey and soccer but when soccer became more of a commitment, he dropped hockey where he’d been official and won the Most Improved Referee Award one year.

Back to Bloom, Campbell was a volunteer coach for the junior boy’s basketball and volleyball teams, and scorekeeper for the Senior Timberwolves’ girl’s squad. He organized a Grade 7 boy’s basketball tournament (hoops is his favourite sport) and created a three-on-three tourney at Bloom.

Campell was the school’s Athlete of the Year in 2018 and won the CBSS Coaches Award in 2019. He also was the recipient of the Troy Metz Memorial Award, presented to a dedicated team player.

Campbell succeeds disabled skier and good friend Logan Leach as the village’s top athlete.

“I talked with Logan when he won it last year. It’s a huge honour with the likes of all the people on here (trophy),” said Campbell.

Vlasveld said the award was commissioned by Nihara, a single man who lived in a cabin where the Lumby Skate Park now sits.

“He didn’t much money, and he didn’t have any children, but he loved kids and sports,” said Vlasveld of the trophy that has been awarded annually (save for a few exceptions) since 1969.

Campbell will attend Okanagan College and then off to UBC Okanagan to pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree. Upon completion, Campbell plans to enrol in the Bachelor of Education program to become a school basketball coach, or pursue a doctorate in physics.

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