Sport P.E.I. has released the list of finalists who will be recognized at the annual awards banquet April 10 in Charlottetown.
Recognizing the province’s most outstanding athletes, coaches, officials and administrators from 2012, the annual awards are one of the highlights of the Island sporting calendar. Eleven awards will be presented on the evening, in addition to the prestigious Premier’s Award for sports organization of the year, and the President’s Award, which recognizes a longtime volunteer and builder within the Island sports community.
The final award of the evening is always the Lieutenant Governor’s Award, presented to the Island’s top athlete.
Olympic sprinter Jared Connaughton is in the running to win his fifth senior male award but will face stiff opposition from Team Canada softball captain and Pan-American gold-medallist Jeff Ellsworth, and outstanding World Cup Para-Nordic biathlete Mark Arendz, who has emerged as one of the best in the world in the last two years.
The senior female award will recognize three athletes all recognized for the first-time in this category. Amy Kneebone, who went to the Paralympics in London for goalball, will be joined by Concordia wrestler Veronica Keefe, a past winner of the junior and intercollegiate athlete awards, and swimmer Janet Gamble, who had an outstanding season in the pool for the UPEI Panthers.
Ticket details for the banquet will be announced later, but any queries regarding the event can be sent to Nick Murray at Sport P.E.I., 368-4547.
Following is the list of finalists:
u Bell Aliant Senior Male Athlete: Mark Arendz (Para-nordic biathlon); Jared Connaughton (athletics), Jeff Ellsworth (softball).
u Senior Female Athlete: Janet Gamble (swimming), Veronica Keefe (wrestling), Amy Kneebone (goalball).
u Junior Male Athlete: Carsen Campbell (biathlon), Kameron Kielly (hockey), Justin Smith (powerlifting).
u Rodd Hotels and Resorts Junior Female Athlete: Lorena Ellis (wrestling), Molly Molyneaux (golf), Sarah Steele (hockey).
u SCORE Team of the Year: Team P.E.I. Special Olympics (curling), UPEI Women’s Panthers (hockey), Team PEI (powerlifting).
u Intercollegiate Male Athlete: Jimmie Mayaleh (UPEI, soccer), Connor McGuire (St. F.X., cross-country), Colby Pridham (SMU and UNB, hockey).
u Intercollegiate Female Athlete: Jean Baker (SMU, rugby), Stephanie Ramsay (Calgary, hockey), Molly Wedge (Dal, swimming).
u Masters Athlete: Tilman Gallant (powerlifting), Mike MacKinnon (distance running), Paul Wright (cross-country skiing).
u Coach of the Year: Bill Calhoun (swimming, UPEI Panthers and Charlottetown Bluephins), Bruce Donaldson (hockey, UPEI Women’s Panthers), Jonathan Vos (soccer, Holland College Men’s Hurricanes).
u P.E.I. Mutual Official of the Year: Najam Chishti (table tennis), Roy Main (tennis), Marguerite Middleton (swimming).
u ADL Volunteer Administrator of the Year: Bob Bentley (biathlon), Lori Lund (soccer), Richard Pettipas (Parasport and Recreation P.E.I.).