Award Winners  /  2021

Coach of the Year

ALEX DAWSON, SWIMMING

Despite challenges with restrictions and limitations due to COVID19, Alex has worked tirelessly to maintain a consistent, high level of activity for all Club members. An example is the development and launch of the Virtual Swim League that provided 100s of swimmers the opportunity to compete with other swimmers provincially, nationally, and internationally. His excellence is recognized by both Swim Alberta and Swim Canada through his appointment to various provincial and national advisory committees. Competitively, the Club is ranked in the top 10 in the Province and is consistently represented on the podium at provincial-level championships. Additionally, the Club Boasts swimmers attending National competitions, including the Olympic trials. The Club is also proud to support a future NCAA Division 1

Developmental Coach of the Year

EVA VON HERTZBERG, TRAMPOLINE & TUMBLING

Eva is the program coordinator and NCCP level 3 certified coach for the Trampoline and Tumbling Program. Throughout the pandemic, Eva has ensured that every available moment in the gym was planned for and when that was not possible, she offered classes by zoom, created personal training plans, and consistently made herself available to the athletes and their families. Eva spends countless hours familiarizing herself with new content, networking with other programs & participating in professional development opportunities to enhance the program & experience for all athletes. She has advanced many athletes onto new levels – including mobilizing Ryan O’handley from provincial to national level in tumbling and mobilizing Draven Novosol from provincial to national level in Double mini trampoline.

Female Athlete of the Year

CATHERINE MINIC, Swimming

Catherine trains and competes for the Grande Prairie Piranhas Swim Club and dedicates over 20hrs per week in and out the water to improving her performances. Her swimming career to date includes breaking Provincial records, being a National Age Group Champion and an identified talented athlete for Swimming Canada. This is her last full time season with the club before she graduates high school and moves on with a swimming scholarship to the university of Indiana to continue swimming career. In 2020 not only did Catherine receive her university swimming scholarship but, received an invitation to the Canadian Olympic Trials for 2021 and received an award recognizing her as the Top 1 Canadian Youth by Swim Alberta.

Junior Female Athlete of the Year

sydney KINDERWATER, JUDO

Sydney trains out of the GP Martial Arts Club House and is a member of the Judo Alberta provincial team. 2020 brought some great accomplishments for Sydney including:
• Gold medal at the February 2020 Alberta Winter Games in Airdrie, AB
• Gold medal at the Edmonton International Competition at WEM in Edmonton for U18 -57kg
• Silver medal at the Elite National Championships in Montreal.
• Awarded the Stephanie Kerr Memorial Award, awarded to a Judoka who exemplifies the “SPIRIT” of Judo by Judo Alberta
• Awarded Most Improved Judoka for 19/20 by Judo Alberta.
• 5th place finish at the Edmonton International Competition at WEM in Edmonton for Senior Women Division -57kg
• Invited to relocate to Lethbridge, AB by Judo Alberta to train at their Western Canada High Performance Judo Training Centre

Male Athlete of the Year

GAVIN ASHWORTH, BASKETBALL

Gavin is an exceptional young man who embodies everything it means to be a student-athlete here at GP Composite. He maintained high honor roll academic grades and was a leader both on and off the court for his teammates, often found working out on his own for hours outside of practice time, on every aspect of his game, or on his homework.

Gavin was the best basketball player in our zone this past year:
• He averaged 20+ points per game
• He led the team in scoring
• He won 2 All Star awards and 1 MVP award at tournaments
• He was a leader on a team that went 27-2 for the season
• He was recruited by several colleges and universities and is now attending UBC-Okanagan and playing USport Basketball there

Junior Male Athlete of the Year

JACOB FARNSWORTH, TRIATHLON

2020 would have been an amazing year for Jacob in all of his triathlon competitions. He was training hard and was in peak condition for his many events. When covid happened, it knocked the wind out of his sail, but just for a moment…. As soon as government restrictions eased, he started training individually, as group sessions were still not allowed. He swam, ran, and cycled almost everyday throughout the spring, summer and fall and despite the pandemic was able to accomplish the following in 2020:

• Part of Team Alberta Development Team
• Endorphin Cycling and Triathlon Ambassador
• Featured Athlete for Triathlon Alberta
• Youngest cyclist and fundraiser for the Tour of Hope at Home Kids with Cancer. 435km cycled in one week and over $2000 raised individually

Team of the Year

gymniks ambush, cheerleading

Grande Prairie Gymnastics Cheerleading Team Ambush had a tough start to their season starting with 18 athletes and coming down to 11 within the first few months. Despite these setbacks the team picked up momentum and strength, supporting each other and becoming better athletes and a stronger team and excelled at provincials and nationals:
• Cold Snap Classic, All Star Division – Gold
• Pacific Allstar Championships (PAC) Battle of Champions – Gold
• At PAC received a Gold Bid invitation to attend US Finals Showcasing the best teams from Canada and US
• At PAC featured as Varsity Spirit All Star “Team To Watch” being awarded one of the top scores across all divisions
• True North Cheer Championship, All Star Division – Silver
• US Finals Championship, All Star Division – Gold

Outstanding Official

greg remple, football

Greg Remple is highly respected in the football community and has been refereeing for 38 years. He has officiated all levels of football – peewee, bantam, high School, senior men’s (Alberta Football League), and women’s (Western Canadian Women’s Football League). He has helped organize and instruct at local training clinics for new officials and has been the Head Official for the Grande Prairie Football Officials Assoc. for about 25 years. He was a recipient of the Harold Ferguson official’s award. Greg always takes the time to explain reasons for the calls and tries to help everyone understand the game better. His calm demeanor when faced by upset coaches, fans and players has been a soothing force and has defused many situations. He is a big part of the growth of football in our region and his love for the game and the many years of dedication has had a positive impact on our football community that will be felt for years to come.

Unsung Hero

Christopher Draves, Basketball

Christopher Draves has been a volunteer team manager for GPRC Basketball programs for the past ten years.  Better known as “Draves”, he has sacrificed his time, finances, and various jobs to ensure that he has a near perfect attendance record to all practices and games. He has done everything from drive the bus to set up fundraising initiatives to in game stat keeping to administrative work and literally everything in between. Drave’s biggest impact is the one he makes on athletes as he is the connective piece for all team members and alumni. He goes above and beyond to connect with athletes individually to ensure they always get what they need, as well as he keeps the mood light and fun with his sense of humour and positive attitude.

Sport Builder

melissa poirier, cross country skiing

Melissa Poirier has been dedicated to the Wapiti Nordic Ski Club for 15 years developing, organizing, and leading the Women’s Cross Country Ski Program, Chicks on Sticks. Under her leadership and with her enthusiasm the program has taught and trained hundreds of women athletes. Melissa positively impacts our community by introducing participants to a lifelong sport and benefitting them through health and fitness. She passionately shares the sport by challenging, encouraging, and uplifting others through her volunteer work. During the pandemic she has continued to demonstrate determination by adding safety protocols and reorganization of the program to maintain its operation while adhering to restrictions. Many Alumni of her program have gone on to obtain professional training to become instructors/coaches further developing the sport & athletes in our region.