The territory’s most notable athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers in sport over the past year were applauded last Saturday at the annual Sport North Federation awards banquet.
Awards were given out for youth, junior and senior athletes, team of the year, official of the year, community contributor, corporate contributor and the overall contributor to sport.
Each year, Sport North gives out awards based on nominations, which include detailed information about nominees’ sporting accomplishments.
Sport North has been doling out the territorial awards since 1977 when the first Ruth Inch Memorial: Contributor to Sport award was given to Arvard Pohlak. Since then, awards have been added to recognize athletes, coaches and volunteers.
According to the organization, the awards help encourage athlete success, volunteer efforts and recognize the NWT’s growing talent in sports.
Team of the Year
This year, the prestigious award for Team of the Year went to the NWT junior men’s basketball team, who beat out the NWT Rebels women’s broomball team and the Yellowknife First Air Flyers hockey team, runners up for the award.
The basketball juniors began the past season at the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que. last summer. The NWT players went in as underdogs, but made a name for themselves at the tournament for their goodwill and sportsmanship.
The team learned from its losses at the summer games and fought hard during the territorial season, taking gold at invitationals in Fort Smith and Inuvik.
The basketball team ended its season on the highest of notes at the Arctic Winter Games(AWGs) in Fairbanks, Alaska this past February, where they made it to the gold medal game against Team Alaska and brought home the win.
The junior men are the first basketball team from the NWT to bring home a gold from the AWGs.
Sport North Federation award Winners:
Youth Male & Female
Bryn Hill – Hay River
Donny Boake – Yellowknife
Junior Male & Female
Veronica McDonald – Fort Smith
Andrew Lirette – Hay River
Senior Male & Female
Molly Milligan – Yellowknife
Ryan Nichols – Yellowknife
Dennis Crane Memorial: Official of the Year
Don Gillis – Yellowknife
Delma Kisoun Memorial: Community Contributor
Les Skinner – Inuvik
NWT Power Corporation
Ruth Inch Memorial: Contributor to Sport
Juneva Green – Fort Smith
Team of the Year
NWT Junior Men’s Basketball