Back row, left to right: Amelia Cooper, Junior Female Individual Athlete of the Year; Rachel Robertson, Female Individual Athlete of the Year; Veronica Wong, Female Team Athlete of the Year; Kaitlyn Vanderkooi, Nanaimo Christian School volleyball captain, Junior Team of the Year; Don Goodman, Michael Rhode Memorial Award winner; Doug Hocking, representing Brycen Mayoh, Male Team Athlete of the Year; Bill Merriman, High-Performance Coach of the Year; Dennis Lynch, Masters Athlete of the Year; O-Lin Metz, Official of the Year; Kurt Nordli, Sport Administrator of the Year; Stephanie White, representing Wyatt Brook, Male Individual Athlete of the Year. Front row, left to right: Chantelle Lee, Junior Female Team Athlete of the Year; Joel Smith, Grassroots Coach of the Year; Ethan Katzberg, Junior Male Individual Athlete of the Year; Brandon Leigh and Tony Harris, Sports Story of the Year; Jeff Travis, VIU men’s soccer captain, Team of the Year. NEWS BULLETIN photo

Nanaimo sport awards honour outstanding achievement

Nanaimo Sport Achievement Award winners were announced Friday at gala event at Coast Bastion Hotel

Outstanding achievement in local sport was celebrated this week in Nanaimo.

The Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards were held Friday at the Coast Bastion Hotel and as always, a wide range of sports were represented in the room.

One of the big winners Friday was Vancouver Island University’s national-championship-winning men’s soccer team, selected as Team of the Year. Bill Merriman, coach of that side, was honoured as High-Performance Coach of the Year.

Male Team Athlete of the Year went to V.I. Raiders all-Canadian receiver and return specialist Brycen Mayoh, while Female Team Athlete of the Year went to Team B.C. baseball player Veronica Wong.

Male Individual Athlete of the Year was VIU golf standout Wyatt Brook; Female Individual Athlete of the Year was world-champion kettlebell competitor Rachel Robertson.

Junior Male Team Athlete of the Year went to Nanaimo District Islanders all-star Anders Cederberg, with Female Team Athlete of the Year going to Nanaimo Timbermen MVP Chantelle Lee. The Junior Male Individual Athlete of the Year category was won by national-champion hammer thrower Ethan Katzberg, while Junior Female Individual Athlete of the Year was won by Amelia Cooper, a world champion in karate.

Junior Team of the Year went to the Nanaimo Christian School senior girls’ volleyball team, Island champions.

Sports story of the Year was Brandon Leigh in the Harris Auto Group bathtub winning the great race the day after Tom Harris’s celebration of life.

The special guest speaker at this year’s awards was distance runner Erin Burrett, who has won Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards twice in past years.

“Sport is not always easy,” she said. “As athletes and coaches, you’ll learn that sport isn’t a linear line of progression where you just continue to improve. You generally have some ups and downs and sometimes a lot of heartbreak.”

She said there will be races won and lost, sponsorships gained and ended, and times of good health and periods recovering from injury.

“We’re constantly striving to improve our performance. Ultimately, though, it’s the love for our sport that keeps us pushing through the hard times,” Burrett said. “So if I can suggest one thing to all the athletes here, it’s to never lose your love for the sport.”

The evening included three special awards. Nanaimo White Rapids swimming volunteer Don Goodman won the Michael Rhode Memorial Award for longtime dedication to sport; multi-sport scorekeeper Don Millar won the Hero In You award for special contribution to sport and Ben Leslie won the Steve Smith Memorial Award for achievement in extreme sport.

Other award winners include: Partners of the Year, Jeff Webb and Isaac Bevis, beach volleyball; Masters Athlete of the Year, Dennis Lynch, cross country skiing; Grassroots Coach of the Year, Joel Smith, field lacrosse; Sport Administrator of the Year, Kurt Nordli, karate; and Official of the Year, O-Lin Metz, soccer.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Doug Routley has retained his seat as Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA. (Photo submitted)
Routley retains his post as Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA

NDP stronghold in the riding continues despite a strong challenge from the Greens’ Istace

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Two men were stranded on Snake Island after their small boat was blown away by strong winds Wednesday. (News Bulletin file photo)
Boat blows away, stranding fishermen on Snake Island in the strait near Nanaimo

Marine search and rescue team picked up men on windy afternoon Wednesday

Most Read