Sport Quarterly

Saturday, May 31, 2014

And the winners are . . .

Sport Nova Scotia honours recipients of the 2014 Ricoh Sport Awards

Halifax (Saturday, May 31) – The winners of the Ricoh Sport Awards were unveiled tonight by Sport Nova Scotia. Among them, a coach from Westville whose team gave Canadian hockey fans a thrill of a lifetime, a comedic role model who went from Kingsburg to Sochi on a snowboard, a sought-after trampoline official from Lunenburg, a retired coal miner from Glace Bay, and girl from East Preston who has been dubbed the best university women’s basketball player in Canadian history.

“Nova Scotians were punching above their weight this year in many different sports,” said Jamie Ferguson, CEO of Sport Nova Scotia. “Our results and our depth just keep getting stronger. Many of the award winners are still teenagers and it’s humbling to see what they’ve already achieved.”

Over 500 members of the Nova Scotia sport community gathered at the World Trade & Convention Centre to see Sport Nova Scotia present the 18th annual Ricoh Sport Awards. The marquee celebration of amateur sport excellence honoured the achievements of over 200 athletes, coaches, officials, sponsors, sport associations, and volunteers from across the province.

“Sport is a force for good,” says Ferguson. “It can have a terrific impact on community development, economic development and social development. If we can continue building quality sport programs for all ages and abilities, Nova Scotia will be a stronger province.”

Paul Murray, Director of Atlantic Canada for Ricoh Canada, the event’s Title Sponsor, says, “Ricoh is honoured to be part of this event. It fits well with our philosophy and other partnerships across Canada and around the world. Each of the nominees represent what our company believes in – hard work, dedication and excellence.”

The biggest award winners of the night are (bios at end):

The RICOH Team of the Year – Junior World Championships Womens K2 (Ailish
McNulty & Anna Hetzler)

The RICOH Female Individual Athlete of the Year – Alex Duckworth from Kingsburg
(Snowboarding)
 
The RICOH Male Individual Athlete of the Year - Mark de Jonge from Halifax
(CanoeKayak)

The RICOH Female Team Athlete of the Year – Justine Colley from East Preston
(Basketball)

The RICOH Male Team Athlete of the Year – Sidney Crosby from Cole Harbour (Hockey)

Coach of the Year - Lisa Haley from Westville (Hockey)

The RICOH Official of the Year – Thorne Sutherland from Lunenburg (Gymnastics)

The Ricoh Association of the Year Award (three winners): the Mount Uniacke Mustangs (softball), the Provincial Taekwondo Society of Nova Scotia, and the Winter Multisports Race Series Society (Triathlon)

The Ricoh Sport Makes a Difference Awards (two winners): Go Truro (Triathlon) and the
Youth Running Series

Sport Nova Scotia Chair Award: Richie Warren from Glace Bay



Sport Nova Scotia members (the Provincial Sport Organizations) submit one nominee per category based on achievements over the past year (April 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014). These are the sport-specific winners or “PSO winners”. Forty two different sports submitted 210

PSO winners. Except the Sport Nova Scotia Chair Award, all overall winners (as above) were then selected from this field. Two committees reviewed all the nominations. These volunteer committees were comprised of leaders of the Provincial Sport Organizations, representatives from the Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic, members of the media, and community sport stakeholders. The first committee looked at the nominee’s most outstanding performance of the past year. This is worth 60% of the nominee’s overall score. The top five candidates in each category advanced to the second committee. Members of the second selection committee were tasked with looking at “the whole picture” - the overall year, past successes, obstacles, the competitive field, and any other outstanding considerations. This mark was worth 40% of the nominee’s overall score.


About Ricoh Canada

Ricoh is a global technology company specializing in office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems and IT services. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in more than 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ending March 2012, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 1,903 billion yen (approx. 23 billion USD).

The majority of the company's revenue comes from products, solutions and services that improve the interaction between people and information. It is known for the quality of its technology, the exceptional standard of its customer service and sustainability initiatives.

Ricoh Canada Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ricoh Americas Corporation with its head
 
office located in Toronto, employing over 2,100 employees nation-wide. We are pioneers in the development of office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems and IT services.

Under its corporate tagline, imagine. change. Ricoh helps companies transform the way they work and harness the collective imagination of their employees.

About Sport Nova Scotia

Sport Nova Scotia is a voice for amateur sport that promotes the benefits of health, personal development and achievement of all participants. Sport Nova Scotia is a non-profit, non- government federation representing over 55 Provincial Sport Organizations and more then 160,000 member Nova Scotians.

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For photos or more information, please contact:

Carolyn Townsend
Director, Communications and Public Relations
Sport Nova Scotia
Phone: 902-425-5454 ext.321
Cell: 902-830-7227 

ctownsend@sportnovascotia.ca
 

2014 Ricoh Sport Awards
Winners’ BIOGRAPHIES



Official of the Year

Thorne Sutherland – gymnastics

Thorne has the highest possible level one can attain as a trampoline judge. The Lunenburg resident is a FIG Brevet 1 judge – the only one in Nova Scotia and one of just three in the country. He began judging in Nova Scotia in the late 90s – then lived in Alberta and BC for a number of years before returning to Nova Scotia two years ago. He most recently judged at the World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria in November where he was the chair of the judges’ panel for both the women's and men's senior individual double mini trampoline finals. Thorne continues to run judging courses in Nova Scotia and across Canada to assist anyone that is interested in becoming a judge. His passion for the sport shows through in all that he does. Thorne first served on the Gymnastics Nova Scotia board of directors as a member-at-large in 1998 and 1999.  He has since served as president and then vice-president. Since Thorne's return to Nova Scotia, he has been very active with the trampoline & tumbling program committee and serves as their judging chairperson.



Coach of the Year

Lisa Haley – hockey

Lisa helped guide Canada's women's hockey team to a perfect 6-0 record in Sochi en route to a fourth straight Olympic gold. Canada trailed 2-0 with less than five minutes left in the gold medal game, but roared back for a 3-2 overtime victory. It was a sweet finish after a rocky
road leading up to the tournament. Less than two months before the Olympics, Lisa was
placed in the role of co-coach of Canada’s national women’s team following the resignation of head coach Dan Church. She took over the reins behind the bench alongside Danielle Goyette until Kevin Dineen was hired in December just a few weeks before the biggest tournament in women’s hockey. Heading in to the Olympics, Canada had also lost four straight games to the United States. That meant a lot of readjusting and Lisa played a big role in helping the new head coach get acquainted with his players. Having grown up in Westville, Pictou County, Lisa’s extensive coaching resume includes stints behind the bench of Nova Scotia’s Canada Games team and Canada’s under-22 female squad. She has also served as an assistant coach for Canada’s under-18 team and with the national team at the IIHF women’s world championship.
 
Team of the Year

Ailish McNulty and Anna Hetzler – canoe-kayak

Anna and Ailish were a strong entry for Canada at the world junior championships. They placed third in their heat, by-passing the semifinal to advance directly to the final where they finished seventh. The duo was also part the women's K4, 500m crew. While the K4 team was eliminated in the semifinals, the ability to compete in more than one crew event takes serious commitment and confidence. After the pair returned home to Halifax, they started preparing to represent Nova Scotia at the 2013 Canada Games. There, the pair teamed up again in the K2,
500m -- this time against slightly older (under-21) competitor – and won gold. Anna and
Ailish were also members of the gold-medal winning K4, 200m crew and also won silver in the K4, 500m. After just a few days rest, they left for the national championships in Montreal. Although they represented different clubs (Anna, Cheema and Ailish, MicMac) they continued their stellar performance. Both are currently training in Florida as members of the U23 team in preparation for the 2014 racing season.



Association of the Year –three winners

Mount Uniacke Mustangs – softball

The Mount Uniacke Mustangs fastball organization is entering its 10th year of teaching young people the game of fastball. During this time, it has hosted many events to promote the game– culminating with two provincial championships and an Eastern Canadian championship this past season. All of their events are based on one concept: that all of the athletes enjoy their experience whether they are on a winning team or not. The Mustangs seek to promote good sportsmanship as much as seeks to promote competition. They accomplish this by providing activities off of the field, so that all of the athletes can make new friends and interact in a fun non-competitive atmosphere. With a committed, hard-working team of volunteers that grows every year, the Mustangs have built and maintained their own facility thanks to diligent fundraising efforts. The Mustangs are also the least costly organization in the province for athletes who want to play. They take pride in the fact that money will never be the reason that stops an athlete from playing fastball. This ensures everyone in their community can enjoy the game and reach their potential.

Provincial Taekwondo Society of Nova Scotia (PTSNS)

PTSNS is a newly recognized PSO under Sport Nova Scotia, the Province of Nova Scotia Health & Wellness, and its NSO, Taekwondo Canada. Over the past year, PTSNS has helped boost the legitimacy and membership of the sport to levels not previously seen in the province. PTSNS has developed sport specific long-term athlete development models, NCCP coaching pathways from a ground-roots level integrating into national pathways, and established a try- learn-play model throughout the province. PTSNS qualified approximately 180 athletes and coaches to be able to compete on a national level and beyond. PTSNS has had an incredible year with five members on national teams including several medal winners at international events. The group is also qualifying for its first Participation Development Grants as well as
 
the recently announced Support4Sport - Provincial Program (non-Canada Games sports) funding. PTSNS is also pleased to be recognized by its NSO, Taekwondo Canada, as one of, if not the best, PSO model in the country.

Winter Multisports Race Series Society - triathlon

The Winter Multisports Race Series Society brought winter triathlon to Nova Scotia and opened multisport racing to a whole new group of participants who may not have considered it previously. Traditionally triathlon is swimming, cycling, and running, but the format of Tri the Oval (skate, mountain bike, run) appeals to those who can't swim as well as speed skaters and hockey players. In addition, creating an event that appeals to a broad base of the population extends the season for veteran multisport/triathlon competitors and creates a winter festival- like atmosphere in the heart of the city on the Halifax Common. Last year, the Winter Multisports Race Series Society donated their surplus to the Nova Scotia Canada Games
Team.



Female Team Athlete of the Year

Justine Colley – basketball

Justine Colley, a 22-year-old guard from East Preston, always makes her presence felt on the court – even at the highest level. Justine first competed for Canada in 2008 with the junior women's team and has continued to represent her country at international events. Last year, she starred for the senior women's team at a tournament in Brazil. She had an average playing time of 22 minutes per game, with an average of more than 15 points per game, as she led her team to a 3 and 0 record. She also had a tournament-high 22 points and three steals in one game. She also sparked her team to a second-place finish at the FIBA America Tournament where it lost to Cuba by only eight points. This was an impressive performance considering it was Justine’s first season playing on the national senior women’s team. Before her first appearance at the FIBA America finals last year, she had competed in just 11 international exhibition games. She finished a brilliant athletic career at Saint Mary's university as the CIS all-time scoring leader has been referred to as “one of the best players in the history of Canadian university women’s basketball.”



Male Team Athlete of the Year

Sidney Crosby – hockey

The pride of Cole Harbour led Team Canada to an undefeated 6-0 record and a gold medal in Sochi. Sidney solidified his place as the best hockey player in the world and was a standout on a star-studded Canadian team. The leading scorer in the NHL finished the Olympic
tournament with just one goal and two assists, but he was a dominant presence on the ice every shift. The Canadian captain's work ethic was an inspiration to his teammates as he led by example and helped guide Canada to a second consecutive gold medal. Just like he did in Vancouver, when he scored the gold-medal winning goal in overtime, Sidney found the back of the net in the gold medal game. While his second period breakaway goal was not quite as
 
climactic as his tally in Vancouver, it did prove to be the clincher. Sidney finished the NHL
season as the scoring leader to win the Art Ross Trophy.



Female Individual Athlete of the Year


Alexandra Duckworth – snowboard

Alex had the best season of her athletic career winning the Canadian female halfpipe championship and finishing 17th at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Her results, trick performance, and consistency improved during this past year. Over the past few years, the Kingsburg, Lunenburg County, resident has travelled the world to compete in Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Russia and North America.
Alex's path to Sochi was not without adversity. She has to work as her own manager, financial supporter, and travel agent. She's also had to deal with multiple injuries, but did her best to implement a regimen to allow her to compete with the best – a difficult task that was achieved with minimal funds. She worked hard to raise money and was successful in generating support and closing the gap from community, corporations (to support private coaching) and the inspirational new crowd funding called Pursu.it. Alex inspired Nova Scotians, who were galvanized by this young woman who shared her experiences through media interviews and social media. She made frequent visits to speak to school children, or community and business groups and participated in several fundraising events for the disabled.



Male Individual Athlete of the Year

Mark de Jonge – canoe-kayak

Mark is not only one of Canada's finest athletes and an early medal contender for the 2016
Olympics in Rio, he is a working engineer, able to balance the commitment of two demanding careers. Following up on his Olympic bronze-medal performance from 2012, Mark started the year strong by winning the K1 200m race at Canadian team trials by more than a second. This win gave the Halifax native a spot on the World Cup team and the member of Maskwa
Aquatic Club competed in Europe against the best in the world. Mark won a World Cup final
in Poznan, Poland, taking gold by .14 of a second, and putting a lock on the Canadian entry for
the 2013 world championships. In the first round of the world championships, Mark won his heat with the fastest time of all 48 starters and advanced to the semifinals. He won his semifinal to set up a showdown in the final that included the three medalists from the London Olympics and the 2011 world champion. He used a strong start and quick acceleration to earn a silver medal – just 0.03 seconds behind the gold medalist.



The Sport Makes a Difference Award – two winners

Go Truro - Triathlon

Jody Mattie and Troy Bond are two friends in Truro who share a love of sport and wanted to find a way to share that love with their community. They wondered what it would take to get
 
Truro and Colchester Country to embrace active lifestyles. They knew that if they were going to get the town moving, they would have to start at the grassroots level and create something that would attract entire families. In August 2012, gotruro.ca was born with a goal of organizing safe, fun, inclusive, accessible activities that fostered leadership and promoted environmental stewardship. The initial focus was on running and triathlon activities but the breadth of their events has grown to include hosting cross-country and trail running, off road duathlon, splash and dash, kids triathlon, a track mile, winter triathlon and a Halloween run. Go Truro has had 19 events since they began, 13 of them in 2013. Jody and Troy keep the costs as low as they can; typical fees are $5 each to a maximum of $10 per family. The community has embraced Jody and Troy’s idea and more than 600 people have participated in Go Truro events.

Youth Running Series


The Youth Running Series is a program that aims to provide Nova Scotia youth with an opportunity to participate in running as a means to a healthy, active and positive lifestyle. This program has been in existence since 1996, is run entirely by volunteers, and is supported by Athletics Nova Scotia and Run Nova Scotia. This series offers 10 different races a year from April to October. The locations of each race are spread throughout the province (though mostly in HRM), to ensure youth from all over have the opportunity to participate. In 2013, there were more than 2,800 runners who took part in all 10 races, and many more who participated in select runs. The program gives youth the opportunity to run age-appropriate distances, and aims to include youth of all abilities. In recent years, the Youth Running Series has teamed up with Capital District Health Authority to create a School Participation Challenge, which rewards schools for having high levels of participation in their running events. The Youth Running Series exemplifies fair play as it allows youth of all abilities an equal opportunity to participate in an activity that teaches the importance of having fun while being physically active.



Sport Nova Scotia Chair Award

Richie Warren

In the winter of 1988, Richie Warren and his friend, Timmy Hines, took a trip to Port Hawkesbury to watch some friends play in the Tiger Mackie hockey tournament. While sitting in the stands, Richie said to Timmy “You know, we could do this, too.” When the two coal miners returned to Glace Bay, Richie spoke to some members of the Devco Hockey League about his idea and the first thing they discussed was what they would do with the proceeds. Without much hesitation, they decided that they would use the money to give scholarships to local high school students. They named the tournament after a talented amateur player who passed away on Nov. 25, 1988 and, in March 1989, the first Vince Ryan Memorial Hockey Tournament began with a total of eight local teams. The tournament was a huge success and, for many years, Richie would do all the planning in his spare time. Soon, word spread and the tournament grew.

Today, the tournament hosts 150 teams and has given in excess of $600,000 to students from high schools across Cape Breton Island. Richie Warren has developed a strong volunteer base
 
and great relationships with sponsors to help make the tournament the success that it is. The tournament today is the largest adult hockey tournament in the world and it makes a substantial economic impact on the island's economy -- estimated at 5.1 million dollars each year. In Richie’s words, “This tournament is all about the kids, they’re the big winners here.”




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