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Curl BC announces 2014 award winners

Two Paralympic gold medallists are among the recipients of the 2014 Curl BC Annual Awards.

Lead Sonja Gaudet, who was Canada’s flag-bearer at the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games, was named Female Athlete of the Year. Meanwhile her teammate Ina Forrest, who played third on the Paralympic team that struck gold in Sochi, was given the award for Athlete with a Disability.

coquitlam best western featureSonja, Ina and 14 other award winners have been invited to a banquet in their honour at the Best Western PLUS Coquitlam Inn on June 14.  Ina and volunteer Karen Watson will be giving the keynote address at the banquet on the topic of the Paralympics in Sochi. Tickets are available through http://www.curlbc.ca/2014-curl-bc-annual-awards-banquet/.

Gerry Peckham, High Performance Director at the Canadian Curling Association, was just one of the people to support Sonja’s nomination. He said: “As an athlete Sonja is relentless in her pursuit of excellence and has also emerged as a great ambassador of wheelchair curling world-wide. In addition to her commitment and responsibility to the life of a training Paralympian, she continuously demonstrates unwavering caring and dedication to her community. “

Ina, meanwhile, was described as “hard-working, community-minded and always pleasant to be around.” She is the absolute epitome of her motto that “life is a journey, so plan a great trip.”

Both Sonja and Ina are members of Vernon Curling Club.

Another member of Vernon Curling Club, Jim Cotter, was named Male Athlete of the Year. Jim had an incredibly successful season in 2013-14, winning the chance to play in the Olympic Trials after clinching victory at the 2013 Capital One Road to the Roar. Then in December, with his team of John Morris, Tyrel Griffith and Rick Sawatsky, Jim narrowly missed out on the chance to play at the Olympics – finishing as runner-up behind eventual Olympic gold medallists Team Brad Jacobs.

In February, Jim went on to win gold at the 2014 Canadian Direct Insurance BC Men’s Curling Championship, earning the opportunity to play at the Tim Hortons Brier in his hometown of Kamloops. His team blazed through the round robin games and into the playoffs, but lost to Team Kevin Koe in the final, taking home the silver medal.

Coquitlam Curling Club was named Curling Centre of the Year because of the fantastic work they have carried out in the 2013-14 season. The Coquitlam Curling Association, the volunteer association that runs the club, has been able to increase enrolment in junior curling and to host a variety of competitive and fundraising events. Barry Ayers, the association’s vice president, was named Volunteer of the Year for his efforts to make all this possible. Barry’s energy is admirable and he consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty to help make the club a better place.

The Sponsor of the Year (Provincial) award has gone to Curl BC’s hotel sponsor, Best Western. The hotel brand has been a big supporter of curling in B.C. for more than a decade, and has made a particular impact on women’s curling with its sponsorship of the Scotties BC Women’s Curling Championship, Presented by Best Western. Curlers from Delta to Prince George and beyond have been able to benefit from the partnership, with Best Western giving members up to 20% off hotel stays around the world.

Other award winners

Team of the Year:

Team Kesa Van Osch, from Victoria Curling Centre. This team won the 2014 Scotties BC Women’s Curling Championship, presented by Best Western, despite this being only their first year together. They punched above their weight against much more experienced teams at the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts. The team was nominated because of their dedication and commitment to the sport.

Master Athlete of the Year:

Ralph Will, from Fernie. Ralph skipped the Masters team that won the 2014 BC Masters Curling Championships representing Cranbrook and Sparwood Curling Clubs. He travelled to Coaldale, Alberta, where his team narrowly missed out on a medal at nationals. At age 68, Ralph still lives to curl.

Anita Cochrane Award for Coach of the Year:

Paul Tardi, from Langley Curling Club. Paul coached juvenile and junior teams at the 2014 Tim Hortons BC Junior Curling Championships, the 2014 BC Winter Games, the BC High School Curling Championships and the Canada Winter Games qualifier. His teams medalled at each event, including gold at the Canada Winter Games event. Paul was nominated not just for his results but because of his great attitude toward knowledge. He shares his knowledge, not just with players but also with other coaches in the curling community.

Wally M’Lot Award for Official of the Year:

Vonda Hofferd, from Prince George Golf and Curling Club. Vonda took over the role of Curl BC Officiating Coordinator in the 2013-14 season. She has proved herself to be a dedicated volunteer and a bundle of energy. She is understanding, willing to learn, and very easy to work with.

Junior Female Athlete of the Year:

Sarah Daniels, Delta Thistle Curling Club. This is the second year in a row that Sarah has won this award. Sarah, who recently turned 15, has a remarkable commitment to the sport of curling. She helped her junior team to a silver medal at the 2014 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championships and skipped her Under-17 team to a gold medal at the Canada Winter Games qualifier in Vernon. The result means her team will represent BC at the Canada Winter Games in February and March 2015.

Junior Male Athlete of the Year:

Tyler Tardi, Langley Curling Club. Tyler had a fantastic competitive season in 2013-14. He won the W.R. Bennett Award for Athletic Excellence at the BC Winter Games – this year was the first time a curler had won this award. He also won silver at the 2014 Tim Hortons BC Junior Curling Championships and silver at the 2014 BC High School Curling Championships. In March, Tyler skipped a team at the Canada Winter Games qualifier, winning a gold medal and the chance to represent BC in Prince George next season.

Sponsor of the Year (Regional):

Colour Time Printing and Digital Imaging, Vancouver. Colour Time has been a great supporter of curling and a great supporter of the Coquitlam Curling Club. Colour Time and its General Manager, John Plonka, has produced posters, tickets, programs and other material at no charge for several championship events. Colour Time also prints tickets and promotional material for the Optimist/Curl BC Junior Curling Raffle, an important fundraising for junior curling.

Janette Robbins Award (Builder):

Mike West, Juan de Fuca Curling Association/Parksville Curling Club. Mike, who recently moved to Qualicum Beach from Victoria, is a committed volunteer who is never too busy to help the curling community. He has served on the Curl BC board for six years and been Curl BC’s Head Statistician for five years. Mike is a familiar face at Curl BC and other curling events and never hesitates to help when asked.

Pat Kennedy Award (Long Service Volunteer):

Marianne Bauld, Elkford Curling Club. Marianne has been the president of Elkford Curling Club for more than a decade. She has been involved in the club’s Little Rockers and junior programs, helping to inspire the younger generation to curl. Marianne is always there to help, and shows no signs of slowing down.

Elsie MacKenzie Youth/Junior Curling Award:

Dave Gaspar, Invermere Curling Club. Dave was a key person behind the establishment of an inter-club program for youth in Region 2 (East Kootenays). He also helped to coordinate the Optimists’ Getting Started in Curling Camp that was hosted at Invermere in October 2012. His goal has been to recruit as many young curlers as possible to promote the sport of curling in the region.

Friendship Award:

Royal City Woodward’s League/Westwood League, New Westminster. The Woodward’s League started at the Westminster Club in 1953. When that club was closed and the Royal City Curling Club was built, the league moved there. Since Woodward’s closure, the league was renamed the Westwood League and is still going strong, 60 years later. A celebration of the league’s 60th anniversary was held on April 12, 2014.

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About Curl BC

Curl BC is the provincial sport governing body responsible for the development, promotion and organization of curling in British Columbia. Curl BC is also responsible for the championship system that declares provincial representation at National events. In cooperation with its Members, Curl BC provides services to both competitive and recreational curlers, including a variety of adaptive groups.

 

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