The awards just keep rolling in for Comox Valley wheelchair athlete Frances McLean.
At the Wheelchair Basketball Canada annual awards night May 20 in Richmond, McLean (who was not in attendance) received the True Sport Award, one of several major awards handed out at the event.
In March, McLean received a Special Recognition Award from the BC Wheelchair Basketball Society at their year-end get-together in Surrey.
Wheelchair Basketball Canada’s True Sport Award is granted to an individual who exemplifies all that is positive about sport and competition, the group notes in a press release.
“McLean goes above and beyond in this category. An athlete who earns the immediate respect of both her teammates and her competitors, McLean plays fair, respects others and keeps it fun.
“Described as possessing an exceptional spirit, and a passion for her new sport of wheelchair basketball, she has made the transition from stand-up basketball and brought her talents with her.
She rarely misses her weekly practices, but when she does, McLean has been found to work even harder the next time out, thus ensuring that she is constantly contributing to her team.
“McLean sits as a director on the Board of Directors for the Comox Valley Wheelchair Sports Society, and has proven that she is always willing to help.
“At 79 years young, McLean has been, and continues to be, an inspiration to everyone within the sport and organization. Her spirit, dedication and contributions make Frances McLean a deserving Canadian True Sport Award winner for 2012.”
McLean lived for basketball in her high school and college days, taking advantage of her slim, six-foot frame. She played varsity basketball at Acadia University in Nova Scotia.
“I played when I was young and then it got so I couldn’t,” said the Fanny Bay resident who hails from Moncton, N.B. “I have arthritis and I walk with a cane,” she said in a profile on her in the Record‘s “The Good Life” publication.
After undergoing leg surgery she thought her playing days were over. But wheelchair basketball, a sport she had never heard of until her neighbours mentioned it, presented an opportunity to revisit the court.
Three years ago she took the plunge and came out to a practice at the Comox Recreation Centre. Since then, McLean has not looked back. There are few functions that keep her from Friday evening practices.
– with a file from Scott Stanfield