The community can be proud of a whole lot of outstanding sports achievement in 2017.
The Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards announced the finalists selected, and as usual, it’s a diverse group that includes provincial, national and even world champions.
The 13th annual gala event will be held Feb. 16 at the Coast Bastion Hotel. To become an event sponsor, to make a donation to the silent auction (money raised benefits local high-performance athletes), or for ticket information, please call event chair Marilyn Sullivan at 250-716-6110.
This year’s finalists include:
Male Team Athlete of the Year – Jordan de Graaf, soccer; Chase Fraser, lacrosse; Brycen Mayoh, football.
Female Team Athlete of the Year – Riley Knight, rowing; Megan Rosenlund, volleyball; Veronica Wong, baseball.
Male Individual Athlete of the Year – Wyatt Brook, golf; Ben Rudson, triathlon; Ellis Tull, wheelchair curling.
Female Individual Athlete of the Year – Simar Kaur, jiu-jitsu; Rachel Robertson, kettlebell; Melissa Ross, cross-country.
Male Junior Team Athlete of the Year – Anders Cederberg, basketball; Adam Fulton, lacrosse; Zach Taylor, football.
Female Junior Team Athlete of the Year – Chantelle Lee, lacrosse; Kate Reynolds, soccer; Kassandra Richardson, volleyball.
Male Junior Individual Athlete of the Year – Korin Gardner, judo; Ethan Katzberg, track and field; Nate Paris, track and field.
Female Junior Individual Athlete of the Year – Amelia Cooper, karate; Gabby Sanderson, boxing; Jordan Singer, bowling.
Team of the Year – V.I. Raiders, football; Vancouver Island University Mariners, men’s soccer; Shima Karate School, karate.
Junior Team of the Year – Nanaimo Christian School Trail Blazers, senior girls’ volleyball; Nanaimo District Secondary School Islanders, senior boys’ basketball; NDSS Islanders, junior girls’ cross-country.
Masters Athlete of the Year – Jody Berry, dragonboat; Dennis Lynch, cross-country skiing; Norm Thibault, cyclocross.
Partners of the Year – Isaac Bevis and Jeff Webb, beach volleyball; Josh Jeffers and Julia Morris, sailing; Clive Jones and Brenda Stewart, pickleball.
High Performance Coach of the Year – Doug Hocking, football; Bill Merriman, soccer; Lucian Serban, soccer.
Grassroots Coach of the Year – Toni Angell, lacrosse; Linda Connolly, dragonboat; Joel Smith, lacrosse.
Sport Administrator of the Year – Bob Franklin and Marg Obee, U18 curling; Mary Mark and Judy Villeneuve, mountain biking; Kurt Nordli, karate.
Official of the Year – Jackson James, basketball; O-Lin Metz, soccer; Gwen Pemberton, softball.
Sports Story of the Year – Harris Auto Group bathtub wins Great Race the day after Tom Harris’s celebration of life; Lantzville’s Dylan Ferguson plays in his first NHL game; Steve Smith Bike Park opens.