Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sports honours its elite - Sport P.E.I. banquet

Sports honours its elite
Jarrod Ballem named Lieutenant Governor Award recipient at Sport P.E.I. banquet

The Guardian

Gardiner MacDougall, Patrick Knox and Kristina Weatherbie all have something in common.

All were winners at Sport P.E.I.’s annual awards banquet Wednesday in Charlottetown partly because all reached their sport’s highest level in 2007, but also all have maintained the lofty perch over their careers.

The night’s big winners were open-water swimmer Jarrod Ballem, the senior male athlete and Lieutenant Governor award winners, and modern pentathlete Kara Grant, the senior female athlete winner.

Neither could attend the banquet because of 2008 Olympic Games qualifying commitments in Europe.

MacDougall, a Bedeque native, received his second straight coach of the year for leading the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds hockey team to a national collegiate title and winning a gold medal at the World University Games with an Atlantic University Sport all-star team last season.

MacDougall’s Varsity Reds have been AUS top dogs since he took over the program in 2000, but he’s quick to credit UNB’s high plateau to those around him.

“You’ve got to give a lot of credit to our dressing room and the people in it. It’s the culture. The standard in the dressing room is outstanding, our leadership is just tremendous.”

Knox, a judo and wrestling athlete who is from Cornwall but trains in Montreal, earned his second junior male athlete-of-the-year award in three years after winning a judo gold medal at the Canada Winter Games and his third national wrestling title in 2007.

For Knox, who moved up to the beefier and taller senior division this year (some opponents are eight inches taller than the five-foot, nine-inch Knox), long-term success is as much pure perseverance as not hitting the snooze button.

“Like, everyday,” said Knox. “You’ve just got to force yourself up.”

Meanwhile, Weatherbie, a Covehead native, won her first award (intercollegiate female athlete of the year) for leading the Cape Breton University female soccer team to a national championship and earning Canadian Interuniversity Sport all-Canadian athletic and academic selections.

Weatherbie graduates next month from CBU’s nursing program and is one goal away from becoming the team’s all-time scorer.

She was shocked to be singled out among the finalists, she said, all who understand the act of balancing university and athletics at a high level.

“You just keep going until your fifth year. You know there’s an end that’s going to come,” said Weatherbie, who returns to Cape Breton for a fifth season in the fall. “So I think that’s your motivation behind it, that one day you won’t be able to compete at that level.”

Charlottetown’s Alicia Wilbert also earned her second junior female award, thanks to medals at the Canada Winter Games (bronze) and the Island Games in Rhodes, Greece.


Sport P.E.I. award winners for 2007:

  • Masters – Paul Wright.
  • Administrator – Barb Carmichael.
  • Official – Joe Ryan.
  • Coach – Gardiner MacDougall.
  • Team – Brett Gallant curling rink.
  • President’s Award for Outstanding Contribution – John Wilbert (judo).
  • Premier’s Award for Sports Organization of the Year – Swim P.E.I.
  • Intercollegiate Male Athlete – Darryl Boyce.
  • Intercollegiate Female Athlete – Kristina Weatherbie.
  • Junior Male Athlete – Patrick Knox.
  • Junior Female Athlete – Alicia Wilbert.
  • Senior Female Athlete – Kara Grant.
  • Senior Male Athlete – Jarrod Ballem.
  • Lieutenant Governor Award – Jarrod Ballem.
See also :

No comments: