< Back
You are here  >   Home  >  News

Latest News

Thursday, May 18, 2017

And the finalists are . . .

Sport Nova Scotia announces 2017 Support4Sport Award Finalists


Halifax, NS (May 17, 2017) – National greats, provincial record-smashers and homegrown international champions will be among those honoured on Saturday May 27th for the 2017 Support4Sport Awards.

 “We have an exciting group of finalists to highlight this year,” said Jamie Ferguson, CEO of Sport Nova Scotia. “Among them, we have a fifteen-year-old baseball phenom, a crowd-thrilling basketball team that ended a nearly 30-year drought, one of the world’s best paddlers who balances high performance training and motherhood, an NBA prospect, a snowboarder from Truro climbing the ranks, and both Olympic veterans and hopefuls.”

 The Support4Sport Awards recognize the achievements of Nova Scotia’s greatest athletes, teams, coaches, officials, and volunteers in amateur sport over the past year. This year also marks the inaugural year of Support4Sport’s title sponsorship.

 “We are proud to partner on an event that shines a light on the very best in sport,” says Bob MacKinnon, CEO of the Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation who founded the Support4Sport program. “These are the types of people who inspire us and, through their leadership, help build our sport system. Nova Scotians can be very proud of this group.”

 Ferguson adds, “Support4Sport was a game-changer for our sport system. A lot of the success our province is seeing today is a result of the diverse funding opportunities this program has created, from grassroots to high performance and everything in between.”

 The overall finalists highlighted today were first selected by their provincial sport organization as the best in their sport. Over 180 winners were submitted by 39 provincial sport organizations. They have then come through a rigorous selection process where they were judged against the best from numerous other sports. Overall finalists were selected based on their best achievement of the season, in addition to their performance throughout the year.

The overall finalists were announced in seven of the ten categories. They are: 

The Support4Sport Team of the Year

U17 Boys Provincial Team, Basketball

Team Jones, Curling

Nova Scotia Men's Open Team, Gymnastics

 

The Support4Sport Female Individual Athlete of the Year

Ellie Black, Gymnastics

Michelle Russell, CanoeKayak

Pamela LeJean, Athletics

 

The Support4Sport Male Individual Athlete of the Year

Danial Murphy, Swimming

Liam Moffatt, Snowboarding

Mark de Jonge, CanoeKayak

 

The Support4Sport Female Team Athlete of the Year

Erin Rafuse, Sailing

Genevieve Orton, CanoeKayak

Katie Hagen, Baseball

 

The Support4Sport Male Team Athlete of the Year

Cody Bailey, Rowing

Marshall Hughes, CanoeKayak

Lindell Wigginton, Basketball

 

The Support4Sport Coach of the Year

Mark Smith, Softball

David Kikuchi, Gymnastics

Lisa Ross, Sailing

 

The Support4Sport Official of the Year

David Graham, CanoeKayak

Marie-Soleil Beaudoin, Soccer

Thorne Sutherland, Gymnastics & trampoline

 The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on May 27, 2017 at the World Trade and Convention Centre.  Additional winners to be announced at the ceremony include the Sport Nova Scotia Chair’s Award, the Support4Sport Associations of the Year, and the Support4Sport - Sport Makes a Difference Awards. Sport Nova Scotia and Support4Sport will also recognize the Volunteer of the Year and Sponsor of the Year winners from each of the provincial sport organizations.

 About Support4Sport

The Support4Sport Program was introduced by the Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation in 2006. Funds are raised through the sale of designated lottery products. Each time one of those products is sold, 100% of the proceeds help Nova Scotians get in the game. Since its inception in 2006, the program has helped raise over $31.2 million for amateur sport in Nova Scotia. In 2015-16, $4.1 million was raised to help develop community and provincial sporting programs, and provide training and development opportunities for athletes, coaches and officials. The allocation of Support4Sport funding is managed by our program partner, Sport Nova Scotia.

 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 organization representing over 55 Provincial Sport Organizations and more then 160,000 member Nova Scotians. 

 -30-

 For more information and/or photos please contact:

Carolyn Townsend

Director, Communications and Public Relations

Sport Nova Scotia

(902) 425-5450 ext.321

ctownsend@sportnovascotia.ca

 
2017 Support4Sport Awards

Finalists’ biographies

 

 

Official of the Year – Finalists

 

David Graham, CanoeKayak

David served as the chief official at the 2016 Olympic team trials and both national team trials last year. In any Olympic year, the official nominated as “Chief” is understood to be the best. He is able to maintain a high standard of work under the tremendous pressure and responsibility that comes with the event. David, who hails from Dartmouth, is a veteran of international events, but also works almost every one of the 22 regattas in Nova Scotia. He has been the Atlantic Division registrar for the last four years and is a level five national official, and ICF international official. He is integral to the success of local and national events in our sport.

 

Marie-Soleil Beaudoin, Soccer

Marie-Soleil earned her Air Miles last year, but the feather in her cap was her assignment at FIFA women's under-17 World Cup in Jordan. The Halifax referee worked the semifinal between Japan and Spain after impressing supervisors with her work in previous international matches. These include several CONCACAF, youth and senior events, and international friendly games. Her consistent performance earned her an invite to attend the FIFA World Cup candidates camp in Portugal this past February. This event prepares officials for the 2019 Women's World Cup in France. Having passed all the testing and training she is now a prospect to officiate at the top women’s soccer event in the world. 

 

Thorne Sutherland, Gymnastics & trampoline

Thorne is one of the highest-ranked trampoline judges in the country and has been a valuable member of the local, national, and international circuits. He has extensive international competition experience including two world championships and two World Cups. Last year, he worked at the Pan-American Championships – for the second time – and also at the test event for the Rio Olympics. The Lunenburg resident serves as chairman of Gymnastics Nova Scotia’s Trampoline and Tumbling Technical Committee and is a longtime member of that group. He's also served as a course conductor for judging courses and workshops provincially (since 2001) and nationally (since 2007).

 

 

Coach of the Year – finalists

 

Mark Smith, Softball

Mark has led Canada's national women's softball team to many great results. Last year, he led them to a bronze medal at the women's softball world championships. It's the second bronze Canada has won at the event since Mark took over coaching duties eight years ago. Mark who hails from Falmouth, was also honoured by the Coaching Association of Canada as he received the prestigious Jack Donahue Award that annually recognizes the country's most outstanding coach.  In January, Mark earned a promotion for his fine work when Softball Canada named him as the high performance director and head coach to lead the women's program preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

 

David Kikuchi, Gymnastics

David was named Gymnastics Canada's top women's coach for the fourth consecutive year. David, who has been a finalist for Nova Scotia coach of the year four years in a row, won this award in 2015. He is the personal coach for Ellie Black and has helped her become Canada's top female gymnast. Last summer, David was one of two coaches that travelled to Rio where Black finished fifth, the best yet for a Canadian at the Olympics and the women's team finished 9th overall. David, who coached five national team athletes last year, guided his athletes to 14 medals at nationals, including several members of the men's team that won gold in the all-around. David, who lives in Fall River, is the head coach at Halifax Alta Gymnastics Club. He also guided his protégés to nine medals as the club hosted Elite Canada in February.

 

Lisa Ross, Sailing

Lisa reached the pinnacle of her sport last summer as she coached Brenda Bowskill in the Laser Radial class at the Olympics in Rio. Under Lisa's guidance, Brenda finished in 16th place, which is the best finish by a Canadian in that division at the summer games. It's the same event Lisa – a two-time Olympian – specialized in. The Haligonian is also the provincial sailing coach but took a leave of absence to prepare and go to Rio. As a coach, Lisa strives to put together a race plan for the sailor to minimize the amount of thinking they have to do on the course. That way, they can focus solely on coaxing every last bit of speed out of the sails and the available wind.

 

 

Team of the Year – finalists

 

U17 Boys Provincial Team, Basketball

Nova Scotia won its second consecutive Canada Basketball U17 National Championship with a gritty come-from-behind win over Ontario. The previous year Nova Scotia thrilled crowds by capturing the gold as host, but travelled to Winnipeg with only four returning players (including Andrew Milner and Alex Muise) on the 2016 squad. Chase Tynes won the tournament MVP award while Eli Kraushar was named a first-team all-star. In the final against Ontario, Nova Scotia trailed by 16 points in the third quarter before mounting a comeback that culminated in an 86-80 victory. Tynes led the way for Team Nova Scotia with 22 points in the final while adding eight steals and seven rebounds. Ben Stevens netted 17 points and snared 15 rebounds.

 

Team Jones, Curling

Three-fourths of one of the greatest women's curling teams in history reunited last year to have an amazing season. Led by skip Colleen Jones, the team included third Kim Kelly, second Mary Sue Radford, and lead Nancy Delahunt. They cruised to victory at the 2016 Nova Scotia senior women's championship before going on to the Everest Canadian senior women's championship. There, the team competed against the provincial and territorial champions from across Canada. The team won the national title, which earned them the right to represent Canada – once again – at the World Curling Federation's World Senior Women's Curling Championship held last month in Lethbridge, Alberta.

 

Nova Scotia Men's Open Team, Gymnastics

This talented group of young men won the overall gold medal at the Canadian National Gymnastics Championships in Edmonton last spring. Not only was it the first gold by a Nova Scotia team at that event, it was the first medal of any kind for the province at nationals. The seven-member team of Kahlil Benjamin, Stephen Clouter, Ben McCarthy, Jeremy Sutherland, Miguel Hernandez, William Jackson, and Dujon Holness edged out Ontario by the slightest of margins with Quebec, another traditional powerhouse, not far behind. These young men worked together for several weeks before competing together and had to train up to 20 hours per week for several years to achieve the level of skill required to pull off this amazing accomplishment.

 

 

Female Team Athlete of the Year - Finalists

 

Erin Rafuse, Sailing

As part of Team Rafuse Boyd, Erin Rafuse of Halifax teamed up with Danielle Boyd to finish 16th in their 49erFX skiff at the Rio Olympics. They returned to action on the World Cup circuit in January at a race in Florida, which was the first stop of the season. Erin and Danielle were sitting in sixth place, which earned them a spot in the medal race. In that, they sailed a strong double-point final to lock up fifth place overall in the 16 boat fleet. This marks a personal best at a World Cup for the Canadian 49erFX team and earned them Sail Canada sailors of the month award.

 

Genevieve Orton, CanoeKayak

The Dartmouth paddler earned a spot on Canada's team that went to the Summer Olympics in Rio. She knew going in that it was going to take career best results for her and teammate KC Fraser to make it through to the A final of the K2, 500-metre. They paddled faster than they had ever paddled, but it just wasn't enough, and they finished 5th in the 'B' final for a 13th place overall. Orton then joined the K4, 500-metre boat where a strong semifinal performance put them in the A final in which they finished eighth. After the summer games, Genny came home to support her home club – Orenda Racing – at the national championships and has her sights set on Tokyo in 2020.

 

Katie Hagen, Baseball

For Dartmouth pitcher Katie Hagen, it's difficult to imagine how 2016 could have been any better. Hagen's tour de force included playing in three national championships and two world championships – including the senior women's world championship at the tender age of 15. Hagen's meteoric rise from being the “secret weapon” for Dartmouth AAA Arrows bantam  (U15) club team to pitching a complete-game win for Team Canada in front of thousands of spectators in Korea is a story for the ages. Katie, who is the youngest athlete to make the senior women's baseball team, struck out 10 batters in her victory and helped Canada win a silver medal at the event. And she did all this while being legally blind.

 

 

Male Team Athlete of the Year – Finalists

 

Cody Bailey, Rowing

Originally from St. Mary's, Ontario, Cody moved to Nova Scotia to attend Dalhousie University and began training with the Mic Mac Amateur Aquatic Club and Row Nova Scotia Provincial Team in Dartmouth.  At the under-23 National Team Trials last spring he was placed in the heavyweight men’s double boat with Trevor Jones of Ontario. Their performance punched their ticket to the under-23 World Rowing Championships in Rotterdam. Competing against 16 other boats in the Netherlands, Cody helped power the team to strong second-place finishes in their heat and semi-final races. Advancing to the final, they finished fifth against the best under 23 rowers in the world.

 

Marshall Hughes, CanoeKayak

The Waverley paddler was almost left on the sidelines for the K2 race at the national team trials. Marshall had strong singles results, but national team coaches didn't give him a partner for the K2. Luckily for Marshall, fate intervened and Pierre-Luc Poulin's partner was injured during a warm-up. Marshall and Pierre-Luc petitioned officials to let them team up and were given approval just 40 minutes before the race started. Marshall proved the coaches wrong by meshing well with Pierre-Luc as they finished first place in the K2, 1,000-metre event to advance to the continental Olympic qualifier. Marshall also represented his Cheema club at nationals where he powered crews to silver medals in the men’s K4 1,000-metre and C15 1,000-metre.

 

Lindell Wigginton, Basketball

Lindell was the star for Canada's team that won a silver medal at FIBA Americas under-18 men's championships in Valdivia, Chile. Wiggington, of Halifax, finished sixth in points for all athletes in the tournament. He was the top scorer for Canada against Puerto Rico with 22 points and was also the team's top scorer against Argentina with 21 points. He finished the tournament with 70 points in five games. Lindell also played in the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Oregon, where he had a chance to showcase his talents in front of NBA scouts. He attends Oak Hill Academy in Virginia where he averaged more than 20 points per game. He's earned a basketball scholarship and is headed to Iowa State in September.

 

 

Female Individual Athlete of the Year – Finalists

 

Ellie Black, Gymnastics

Ellie Black continued her upward trajectory on the international stage last summer with a fifth-place finish at the Rio Olympics. It's the best finish yet for a Canadian woman at the event and it helped Canada earn a ninth-place finish overall. Ellie also added an impressive performance at the Canadian Championships in Edmonton with a second in the all-around, third in vault, second in beam, and first in floor. The Halifax gymnast also brought home a bronze medal in the all-around from the American World Cup in Newark, New Jersey.

 

Michelle Russell, CanoeKayak

Michelle had a stellar performance at the national team trials, but narrowly missed out on an Olympic berth after losing a best-of-three showdown with Emily Fournel. Russell, who lives in Fall River, won first in the K1, 500-metre and first in the K2, 500-metre events. She was going into the trials having qualified a lane for Canada at the Rio Olympics and she wanted to be the one to paddle in it. After easily advancing to the A final and taking the first race against Fournel, she lost the next two to miss out on an Olympic berth. To wrap up her season, Michelle supported her Cheema club at the National Championships where she won two silver medals and a bronze.

 

Pamela LeJean, Athletics

Pam narrowly missed out on her first Paralympic medal as she finished fourth in her shot-put event in Rio de Janeiro. The 31-year-old Cape Bretoner, who now calls Halifax home, started in the sport just four years ago. She had to overcome some injuries last year, but still managed to register a 4.31-metre throw for a silver medal at the world championships in Qatar. Last summer, she set a career-best mark – and Americas record – with a throw of 4.48 metres at the Aileen Meagher International Track Classic in Halifax. She wasn't able to match her best effort in Rio, but she did bring home a gold medal from the international Czech Open in Prague.

 

 

Male Individual Athlete of the Year

 

Danial Murphy, Swimming

Danial was a late addition to Team Canada for the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The 27-year-old Halifax native met the standards to compete, but had been left out because of a numbers crunch. When Russian swimmers were banned because of a doping scandal, Danial got a spot on the team. He made the most of his appearance in Rio as he finished 13th in the 200-metre freestyle event. Danial, who has been a great role model for para swimmers, has been a frequent national team member and holds five national para records. He warmed the hearts of Nova Scotians last year when he started a crowd-funding campaign so his longtime coach, Kevin Ross, could accompany him to Brazil.

 

Liam Moffatt, Snowboarding

This young snowboarder from Truro has a bright future in the sport. He finished 10th at the junior worlds in two consecutive years – the first coming in April 2016 and the second occurring this past February. It was a busy and successful year for Liam as he competed in 20 individual events. He earned his first podium finish in a North American Cup event with a silver medal, and finished in 10th place in the North American Cup standings (the second place Canadian).

 


Mark de Jonge, CanoeKayak

By normal standards, it was a great year, but world-record holder Mark de Jonge was hoping for more. After back-to-back golds at world championships, de Jonge had hopes to add Olympic gold in Rio. That would put him on the podium for five successive years, starting with his bronze medal at the London Olympics in 2012. That is an achievement exceptionally rare for this sport. The powerful kayaker finished 7th in the 200-metre kayak event. Mark sees some unfinished business in his incredible record and has eyes on Tokyo for 2020.


Comments

Categories: Support4Sport, Press ReleasesNumber of views: 1223

Tags:

Copyright (c) 2017 Sport Nova Scotia Terms Of Use Privacy Statement