For Immediate Release – Thursday March 10, 2016
Lethbridge, Alberta: The Lethbridge Sport Council is pleased to announce the winners of the 6th annual Lethbridge Sport Council Achievement Awards for their achievements and contributions to sport in Lethbridge in 2015. These awards recognize and celebrate outstanding achievements on and off the field, which support and demonstrate respect of the game, a love of sport, respect for others and a commitment to fair play and ethical sport.
Lethbridge Sport Council Executive Director, Susan Eymann said, “Lethbridge has a fabulous reputation provincially and nationally as a sport mecca and this year is no exception. It is with honour that we host these community sport awards and we look forward to celebrating with the community the 2015 achievements of our local athletes, coaches and sport leaders.”
We are pleased to announce the 2015 Lethbridge Sport Council Achievement Award winners.
- Junior Male Athlete - Coby Iwaasa
- Junior Female Athlete - Jessica Zarowny
- Senior Male Athlete (sponsored by Horns Hockey Alumni) - Nico Pasquotti
- Senior Female Athlete (sponsored by Pronghorn Athletics) Rachel Nicol
- Special Olympics Athlete - Mary Jean Lawson
- Coaching Excellence - Bertil Johannson
- Servus Credit Union Outstanding Sport Citizen - Dylan Tait
- Amateur Team - Lethbridge Bulls
- Officiating Excellence - Micheal Barwegen
- Knud Petersen Spirit in Sport (sponsored by Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame) - Carol Thibert
Award ceremony information:
- Tuesday April 5th, doors open 6:00 PM, program 7:00 PM
- ENMAX Centre, Canadian Western Bank Lounge
- Tickets: $15.00 (youth $10)
To purchase tickets contact 403-320-9371
For further information please contact:
Program and Communication Coordinator, Lethbridge Sport Council
2015 Junior Male Athlete
Coby had a very impressive season in 2015. It was a year for records to be broken, as Coby set a new record as the only Junior to have won both the Canadian National Men’s Singles and Doubles in the same season as winning the Canadian Junior Singles and Doubles title. Coby also set a new record in Canadian Junior Racquetball history, as the first junior to win 4 consecutive U18 singles titles. In July, Coby represented Canada at the Pan American Games held in Toronto, earning a Bronze medal in the Racquetball Team event. Coby is not only an exceptional young racquetball player, but also highly regarded on and off the court for his professionalism and personal attributes.
2015 Junior Female Athlete
As the leading scorer and top rebounder on the LCI Senior Varsity Basketball team, Jessica Zarowny has been identified at the Provincial and National level for her elite athletic potential. In 2015, as a U16 athlete, Jessica was on the Basketball Alberta U17 Provincial team. Jessica is recognized by her coaches as a leader, well respected by coaching staff, teammates and opponents. In addition to excelling on the basketball court, Jessica is also considered a force on the LCI Senior Varsity Volleyball team. In addition to her talents on the court, Jessica is regarded as a diligent student.
2015 Senior Male Athlete (Sponsored by Horns Hockey Alumni)
Nico Pasquotti was a significant contributor to the success of the Lethbridge College Kodiaks Men’s Soccer team this past year. The team finished first in the ACAC South Division and reached the ACAC final at the provincial championship. His contribution to that success earned Nico selection to the ACAC South All Conference team. Nico was awarded the ACAC Player of the Year award, as well as the CCAA Player of the Year award. As the top goal-scorer at both the provincial level in the ACAC and nationally in the CCAA, this accomplishment is a first for a Lethbridge College Soccer athlete.
2015 Senior Female Athlete (Sponsored by Pronghorns Athletics)
2015 was a breakthrough year for Rachel Nicol. Rachel won Gold in the 50m and 100m breast at the Canadian World Championship trials. In July, Rachel represented Canada at the Pan American Games, winning a Silver in the 4x100 medley relay, and a Bronze in the 100m breaststroke. From there, Rachel traveled to Kazan, Russia to compete at the World Championships, finishing in 10th and 11th place in the 50 and 100 m breaststroke. Rachel is also recognized by her exemplary work ethic in the pool and the gym, and she is seen at the pool as down to earth and a great role model to the younger athletes that look up to her.
2015 Special Olympic Athlete
Mary Jean Lawson
Mary Jean Lawson has been swimming with the Special Olympics for over 25 years. In 2014, at Nationals, Mary Jean had a great performances, placing first in the 25m free, 50m free and 50m back stroke. This earned her a spot on the Team Canada Training Squad, and she began preparing for the Special Olympics World Games to be held in Los Angeles in 2015. While training for the World Games, Mary Jean swam up to 5 times a week, and did other exercises to keep in shape. The hard work paid off, as Mary Jean swam her best ever in the 25m backstroke, winning Silver, and placing 5th in the 25m freestyle, where the difference between first place and eighth place was 3/10 of a second. Mary Jean was also recognized as Special Olympics Alberta Female Athlete of the Year, for proving that no matter your age, your ability or your sport, you can achieve your best.
2015 Coaching Excellence
Bertil Johansson has been a coach with the Lethbridge College for the last 29 years, inspiring excellence in his students, athletes and peers. Over his 29 years at the College, Bertil coached over 400 athletes, and has had an enormous impact on Track and Field in Lethbridge. Recently, Bertil created the Exercise Science Program, and his course development in physical education has laid the groundwork for the new Physical Education and Leadership Diploma. Bertil always has the best interests of his athletes at heart, and is a true leader in sport.
2015 Officiating Excellence
Micheal Barwegen started refereeing soccer young, when he was just 12 years old in 1998. At 16, he stopped playing soccer himself, to focus on refereeing. At 18, Micheal officiated his first Alberta Major Soccer League, which is the highest level of amateur soccer, and officiated College and University soccer. Micheal was selected by the Canadian Soccer Association to officiate at the Canadian Senior Nationals in 2005, and has attended every year since. Micheal received his National Badge in 2011. The Lethbridge Soccer Association is proud to have such a successful official in the Lethbridge area. In addition to his soccer officiating accomplishments, Micheal (also known as Mr. Barwegen) teaches math at Coalhurst High School.
2015 Knud Petersen Spirit of Sport (Sponsored by Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame)
Few individuals have done more for sport, recreation and culture in our community than Carol Thibert. Carol’s contributions have been extensive, and include: 22 Southern Alberta Summer Games, 6 Provincial Games, countless triathlons, road races, marathons, swim meets and cycling events. Locally Carol was a founding member of the Lethbridge Sports Bid committee and the Lethbridge Sport Council, serving as the City liaison since 2008, she served on the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame board, the Alberta Sport Development Centre Southwest board and the Southern Alberta Recreation Association board. Provincially Carol was involved in the Alberta Sport Plan, ARPA Benefits of Recreation Committee and the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association board. At the National level, Carol was involved in the Canada Sport Plan. Carol has always encouraged healthy living as a lifestyle, and role models that lifestyle herself. Through Carol’s professional and volunteer commitments, and exceptional leadership, thousands of individuals and groups have benefited in sport and recreation. No one exemplifies “Spirit in Sport” like Carol Thibert.
2015 Servus Credit Union Outstanding Sport Citizen
Dylan Tait is a 5th year student athlete with the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns Men’s Hockey team. Dylan is very community minded, and is a participant and organizer for the Jr. Horns program, and mentors younger goaltenders on minor hockey teams. On the U of L team, Dylan has become an extension of the coaching staff and is well respected and leaned on by his teammates and peers. Last year, Dylan’s season was cut short when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, and underwent 6 rounds of chemotherapy. Despite those circumstances, Dylan continued to be a source of strength and support for his team, and still achieved Academic All-Canadian honours. Through this experience, Dylan has put other’s health before his own, and has become an advocate for awareness for young men, particularly hockey players. This awareness and advocacy is believed to have contributed to the early detection of the team’s Athletic Therapist’s cancer, requiring only surgery and avoiding chemotherapy. Back on the ice, Dylan has made an incredible comeback and has performed exceptionally this season, leading his team to new heights and success. This makes Dylan a deserving recipient for the Servus Credit Union Outstanding Sport Citizen award.
2015 Amateur Team
The 2015 Lethbridge Bulls were a determined team, right from the beginning of the season. Teamwork brought the players together and this relationship throughout the season is credited with the team’s success. In the 2015 season, the team played 24 home games, and 24 away games. The team won the President’s Trophy for the most wins in the regular season with a record of 34 wins/ 14 losses. In the post-season, the Lethbridge Bulls went on to win the Western Major Baseball League Championship by going 9-0 in 3 - best of 5 playoff rounds, trailing only 3 innings in the entire playoffs. This was the First WMBL Championship in the team’s history. Another accomplishment for the team in 2015 happened off the field. The players and coaches experienced an increased connection to the community, though camps they conducted, personal appearances and interacting with fans after each home game. Congratulations to the 2015 Bulls!