The Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards were another chance to cheer a tremendous collection of athletes, coaches, teams, officials and sport administrators.
The 12th annual awards gala was held Friday at the Coast Bastion Hotel.
Winning Team of the Year was the Vancouver Island University Mariners women’s volleyball team, which won a national championship in 2016. From that team, Tylar Turnbull was chosen Female Team Athlete of the Year.
Male Team Athlete of the Year was Josh Burgmann, a baseball player who played for Canada’s national junior team and was selected in the MLB Draft last spring.
Female Individual Athlete of the Year was golfer Shelly Stouffer, who won the B.C. Mid-Amateur and Mid-Masters championships.
Male Individual Athlete of the Year went to boxer Ross Walker, who won the WBC B.C. amateur middleweight championship.
Junior Team of the Year went to the U14 Upper Island Storm rep girls’ soccer team, which had an undefeated regular season and won the Island, Coastal and provincial championships.
Junior Male Team Athlete of the Year was Finn Bradbrooke, NDSS quarterback and MVP of the Subway Bowl B.C. junior varsity football championship. Junior Female Athlete of the Year was Hayley Goodwin, a youth national team volleyball player and all-star.
Winning Junior Male Individual Athlete of the Year was Adin Brenner, a gymnastics champ and gold medallist at the Indo-Pacific Trampoline and Tumbling Championships. Junior Female Individual Athlete of the Year was B.C. sprinting champion Hassy Fashina-Bombata.
Masters Athlete of the Year was Dwayne Johnston, who won gold at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation Pan-American championships. Partners of the Year were blind lawn bowler Gus Thorne and his director Donn Sherry, who won B.C. and Canadian championships.
High Performance Coach of the Year was Janice Walker, who led VIU badminton athletes to provincial gold, while Grassroots Coach of the Year was Meghan Carver, who coached four different volleyball teams and helped the NDSS senior girls reach provincials.
This year’s co-winners of the Michael Rhode Memorial Award were Bill McGuire and Margaret Johnson, longtime volunteers with the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society who saw the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race reach its 50th anniversary last summer.
A new award this year, the Steve Smith Memorial Award for achievement in extreme sport, was presented to BMX athlete Aidan Webber, who competed at world championships and was a Canadian and grand-national champ.
Also, baseball exec Jereme MacKinnon was selected Sport Administrator of the Year; hockey ref Ryan Sirk was chosen Official of the Year and special-needs soccer coach Jerry Hannah received the Hero In You Award. The Nanaimo Track and Field Club hosting the B.C. High School Track and Field Championships was deemed to be the Sports Story of the Year.
The event is a fundraiser for the Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards Athlete Assistance Program which offers financial assistance to high-performance athletes for expenses such as equipment, training and travel. For more information, please visit www.nanaimosportachievementawards.ca.