Athletes worthy of nominations

The Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards are starting to accept nominations for Athlete of the Year and other honours.

Drew Cooper

As 2011 starts to draw to a close, organizers of the Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards want people to look back on the year that was.

The call for nominations went out last week.

“We look forward to receiving some fabulous nominations because we have some fabulous athletes and administrators and coaches and referees,” said Marilyn Sullivan, event chairwoman.

She said the awards are unique in that they bring together people from all different sports into the same room once a year.

The awards recognize those who have excelled in their sports, Sullivan said, and also honour those who give so much to their sport and their community.

Proceeds from the banquet go to local high-calibre athletes, to be used for purposes such as travel costs.

Drew Cooper, general manager of PacificSport’s Vancouver Island regional centre, gave the example of Nanaimo para-alpine skier Andrea Dziewior. She was one of the first local athletes to receive funds raised from the Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards. Cooper said the money allowed Dziewior to attend key training camps, and she went on to represent Canada at the 2010 Paralympic Games in Vancouver/Whistler.

“That gives you an idea of how much of an impact these funds can make on some athletes,” Cooper said.

The banquet isn’t until Feb. 4, so the nomination process is most important right now.

Categories include Individual Athlete of the Year, Team Athlete of the Year, Junior Athlete of the Year, Masters Athlete of the Year, Partners of the Year, Team of the Year, Junior Team of the Year, Grassroots Coach of the Year, High-Performance Coach of the Year, Official of the Year, Sport Administrator of the Year, Sports News Story of the Year and the Michael Rhode Memorial Award for dedication.

Nomination forms are available online at www.nanaimosportachievementawards.com.

The deadline for nominations is Dec. 14.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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