Saluting our best at the Saskatchewan Sport Awards

Sask Sport Inc. today announced the finalists for the 2005 Athlete of the Year Awards and the recipients of the Saskatchewan Volunteer Recognition Awards. The awards will be presented at the Saskatchewan Sport Awards Dinner on Thursday, March 23 at the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina. Cocktails are at 5:30 p.m. and Dinner at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Awards presentation.

The awards are designed to recognize outstanding achievements in amateur sport and to recognize the generous individuals who volunteer their time and talents to the betterment of amateur sport.

"Sask Sport is proud to recognize and celebrate the achievements of our athletes and volunteers. The awards are not only a celebration of our athletes and volunteers, but also a celebration of the benefits of sport in Saskatchewan. Through sport and physical activity, individuals gain self-esteem, goal setting skills, friendships and the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle," said George Rathwell, Sask Sport Inc. President.

The Athlete of the Year Awards are divided into several subcategories - Master, Youth Male, Youth Female, Male, Female and Team. Nominees for the Athlete of the Year Awards are submitted to the Sask Sport Inc. Awards and Recognition Committee by the Provincial Sport Governing Bodies. The committee received 41 nominations for the Athlete of the Year Award, and then narrowed this list to three finalists for each category. The volunteer Presidents of the Provincial Sport Governing Bodies and the Saskatchewan sports media will then vote to select a recipient in each category. The votes will be compiled and audited by The Virtus Group, and the recipients will be declared at the awards dinner.

There are three Volunteer Recognition Award recipients which were selected by the Sask Sport Inc. Awards and Recognition Committee from a total of 10 nominations.

The finalists for the Athlete of the Year Award are:

Master:

  • Bev Anderson, Regina, Saskatchewan Canoe Association
  • Ken Orr, Churchbridge, Saskatchewan Cycling Association
  • Jennifer Stewart-Mitchell, Regina, Saskatchewan Rowing Association

    Youth Male:

  • Justin Greif, Tisdale, Saskatchewan Athletics
  • Morgan Kirzinger, Regina, Saskatchewan Rowing Association
  • Cory Rublee, Regina, Saskatchewan Canoe Association

    Youth Female:

  • Christine Richardson, Regina, Saskatchewan Racquetball Association
  • Brianne Theisen, Humboldt, Saskatchewan Athletics
  • Whitney Vanderleest, Regina, Saskatchewan Canoe Association

    Male:

  • Simon Bairu, Regina, Saskatchewan Athletics
  • Graham DeLaet, Weyburn, Saskatchewan Golf Association
  • David Stevens, Saskatoon, Football Saskatchewan

    Female:

  • Kelsie Hendry, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Athletics
  • Kerry Simpson, Melville, Saskatchewan Amateur Speed Skating Association
  • Chelsea Stone, Regina, Saskatchewan Taekwon-Do Federation International Inc.

    Team:

  • Kyle George Junior Men's Curling Team
  • 2005 Canada Summer Games Sask Canoe/Kayak Team
  • 2005 Canada Summer Games Wrestling Team

    The recipients of the Volunteer Recognition Award are:

  • Anne Doig, Saskatoon, Swim Saskatchewan
  • Myron Mehler, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Volleyball Association
  • Terry Mountjoy, Regina, Saskatchewan Athletics

    Guest speaker for the dinner will be five-time Olympian Diane Jones Konihowski, who has claimed more than 70 national championship titles in the pentathlon, high jump and long jump. She was a gold medalist at the 1975 and 1979 Pan American Games and at the 1978 Commonwealth Games. She broke records at the Canadian, Commonwealth and Pan American Games, and was ranked number one in the world in pentathlon at the end of 1978. After retiring from active competition in 1984, she served as a Vice President with the National Sport Centre in Calgary and is currently the president of Premiere Executive Suites. Konihowski also serves on numerous boards and committees, including a director with the Canadian Olympic Committee.

    Special thanks to the award sponsors: Global TV, McMaster Photographers, Saskatchewan Lotteries, and the Canadian Sport Centre Saskatchewan.

    For biographies on all the finalists and nominees for the Athlete of the Year Awards and the recipients of the Volunteer Recognition Awards please click HERE.

    For more information contact Diane Stephan at (306) 975-0816 or email dstephan@sasksport.sk.ca or Pat Rediger at (306) 780-9307 or email prediger@sasksport.sk.ca.

    January 19, 2006