Six Victoria-based coaches, teams and athletes have been nominated for Sport BC’s 50th Athlete of the Year Awards Gala, of a possible 18. The Gala will take place on Thursday, March 10th, 2016 at the Vancouver Convention Centre East.

The local nominees are:

University Athlete of the Year: Chris McLaughlin (Victoria) – Basketball
Female Coach of the Year: Carolyn Murray (Victoria) – Triathlon
Male Coach of the Year: Randy Bennett (Victoria) – Swimming
Male High School Athlete of the Year: Graeme Hyde-Lay (Victoria) – Soccer/Basketball/Rugby
Team of the Year: Victoria Shamrocks (Victoria) – Lacrosse
Male Senior Athlete of the Year: Ryan Cochrane (Victoria) – Swimming
Male Coach of the Year: Bob Heyes (Shawnigan Lake) – Lacrosse

Shamrocks’ General Manager Chris Welch said, “it’s an honour for the Shamrocks to have been nominated for these prestigious awards and to be named as finalists in the Team of the Year and Male Coach of the Year categories. We’re very proud to stand in the elite company of our fellow finalists and we congratulate them on their achievements.”

Coach Carolyn Murray told Victoria Sports News, “It is an honour to be nominated  for this Sport BC award. As the number of female coaches in Canada declines, these awards are even more important. Recognizing successful female coaches is a great way to encourage women to get involved and stay involved in sport.”

Sport BC, on behalf of the BC Sport community, has proudly announced the outstanding amateur athletes, coaches, and officials, named as finalists for 14 of the 18 award categories to be presented at the upcoming Athlete of the Year Awards presented by Canadian Direct Insurance. We are proud to be the longest standing sport recognition event in Canada and this year signifies a historic achievement for sport with our 50th anniversary milestone.

The 50th Annual Awards Ceremony and Gala dinner is set for Thursday, March 10th, 2016 at the Vancouver Convention Centre East. The ceremonies will recognize BC’s best in amateur sport including athletes, coaches, and officials for outstanding performances in their sport over the 2015 season. Each finalist was nominated by their Provincial or Multi-Sport Organization, High School, College or University. The Selection Committee, chaired by Bernie Pascall, included 20 highly regarded sportswriters, broadcasters, and amateur sport leaders in British Columbia.

“A significant number of very strong nominations for each of the categories were received this year,”

notes Sport BC President & CEO, Rob Newman. “The Athlete of the Year Awards provides a great opportunity to recognize these talented and deserving athletes, coaches and officials. This year’s nominees in all of the award categories are certainly a testament to the strength and depth of sport development in our province over the last 50 years. In addition, we are appreciative of the outstanding support that we continue to receive from our volunteers, sport and business partners.”

Finalists for the 2016 Sport BC Athlete of the Year Awards represent 23 sports from 22 various cities and are noted below. An additional four awards will be presented at the ceremony including the Best of BC, KidSport BC Community Champion, Harry Jerome Comeback and the Daryl Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Athlete with a Disability

Darren Douma (Creston) – Blind Golf
Trevor Hirschfield (Vancouver) – Wheelchair Rugby
Nathan Stein (Maple Ridge) – Swimming

College Athlete of the Year

Justin King (Kamloops) – Basketball
Graydon Robb (Nanaimo) – Badminton
Shayna Cameron (Chilliwack) – Basketball

Female Coach of the Year

Ariana Van Der Starre (Burnaby) – Speed-Skating
Brit Townsend (Coquitlam) – Athletics
Carolyn Murray (Victoria) – Triathlon

Male Coach of the Year

Gerry Dragomir (Vancouver) – Athletics
Bob Heyes (Shawnigan Lake) – Lacrosse
Randy Bennett (Victoria) – Swimming

Female High School Athlete of the Year

Alexia Seal (Mission) – Wrestling
Callum Pilgrim (Abbotsford) – Athletics/Volleyball/Basketball/Soccer/Softball
Emma Johnson (Kelowna) – Basketball/Soccer/Volleyball

Male High School Athlete of the Year

Chase Claypool (Abbotsford) – Football
Torrey Toribio (Vancouver) – Wrestling
Graeme Hyde-Lay (Victoria) – Soccer/Basketball/Rugby

Female Junior Athlete of the Year

Michelle Kim (Surrey) – Golf
Emily Overholt (West Vancouver) – Swimming
Raquel Tjernagel (New Westminster) – Athletics

Male Junior Athlete of the Year

Khyber Barnett (Vancouver) – Karate
Michael Milic (Delta) – Triathlon
Markus Thormeyer (Delta) – Swimming

Master Athlete of the Year

Lenore Montgomery (North Vancouver) – Athletics
Allan Campsall (Williams Lake) – Archery
Siew Har Hong (North Vancouver) – Badminton

Official of the Year

Louise Kennedy (Brentwood Bay) – Synchronized Swimming
Howard Hum (Burnaby) – Volleyball
Michelle Pye (North Vancouver) – Soccer

Female Senior Athlete of the Year

Kim Gaucher (Mission) – Basketball
Sophie Schmidt (Vancouver) – Soccer
Christabel Nettey (Surrey) – Athletics

Male Senior Athlete of the Year

Benjamin Thorne (Kitimat) – Athletics
Denny Morrison (Speed-Skating) – Fort St. John
Ryan Cochrane (Swimming) – Victoria

Team of the Year

Victoria Shamrocks (Victoria) – Lacrosse
UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver) – Men’s Football
UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver) – Women’s Cross-Country

University Athlete of the Year

Chris McLaughlin (Victoria) – Basketball
Quinn van Gylswyk (Vancouver) – Football
Maria Barnard (Vancouver) – Athletics

About the Athlete of the Year Awards:

The Athlete of the Year Awards, founded by Sport BC, is the longest standing amateur sport recognition
event in the country. Awards in 18 different categories are given each year to athletes, coaches, and officials on their performance and contribution to sport in the province of British Columbia. The awards play a valuable role in nurturing athletic success while recognizing extraordinary accomplishments in BC.

About Sport BC

In 1966, a small group of dedicated volunteers created an organization to provide a unified voice for amateur sport in British Columbia. While much has changed in 46 years, our core purpose remains the same.

Who we are:

Sport BC is the non-profit sport federation, representing over 60 Provincial Sport Organizations in British Columbia. As a member-based organization, Sport BC offers services and programs to build the capacity of our members and advocate on their behalf to improve the landscape for organized sport in BC.


Sport BC, as a member-based organization, supports the growth of amateur sport in BC and provides leadership through delivery of its programs and services for members.


Sport in British Columbia is thriving through the leadership of Sport BC and our members.


Integrity, Transparency, Collaboration, Creativity and Innovation

Selection Committee Members

Bernie Pascall – Chair, Ajay Patel (Langara College), Allison Mailer (BC Sports Hall of Fame), Bob Mackin,

Brian Dance (CBC), Charmaine Crooks (NGU Consultants), Gary Kingston (The Vancouver Sun), Judy

Joseph-Black (Sports Reports Consulting Services), Karin Larsen (CBC), Kelly Mann (BC Games Society),

Len Corben (North Shore Outlook), Marilyn Payne (Sport Consultant), Rob Gray (Team 1040), Tom

Berridge, Wendy Long (Freelance Writer), Wendy Pattenden (CSI Pacific), Michelle Collens (City of

Vancouver Sport Hosting), Lynda Cannell (Fortius Sport & Health), Carey Dillen (Sport BC Chairman)
TICKET INFORMATION: For information on the purchase of a table or individual tickets for the 50th Annual Athlete of the Year Awards, please visit

or contact:

Heather Sharpe, Production Manager, Athlete of the Year Awards

Tel: 604-314-8685 Email: hsharpe@brandlivegroup