The Comox Valley had two winners at the Sport BC’s 49th annual Athlete of the Year Awards Banquet, March 12 in Vancouver.
Brenda Dean, owner of In Your Court Tennis Academy, received one of 45 Presidents’ Awards while Brad Gunter was named University Athlete of the Year.
Presidents’ Awards go to volunteers from Sport BC member and partner organizations who represent the spirit of volunteerism, and whose dedication, energy and commitment contribute to develop of their sport or organization.
Tennis BC nominated Dean for the award. “I am very happy and honoured to receive this award,” Dean said. “The Comox Valley has supported me in every way and I am so grateful for that support.
“Each year tennis programming is continuing to grow with more and more children and adults wanting to be more physically active and tennis is a perfect sport to do just that.
“Together we can do anything. So really this award belongs to all of us out there working to make a healthier and more fit community,” Dean said.
While Dean knew she would be receiving her award, Gunter was one of three nominees for University Athlete of the Year, which was announced at the banquet.
The G.P. Vanier grad is a stalwart with the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s volleyball team in Kamloops.
For the first time in their history, he was named Player of the Year in CIS sports. In only his third university season, Gunter not only established himself as one of the best offensive weapons in the country, he also etched his name in the Canada West record books in a number of statistical categories.
Deservingly, the outside hitter was also named Canada West Player of the Year, Sport BC noted.
In 18 league matches, Gunter, a 6-foot-6 science student, led the CIS in kills (5.31) and points (6.04) per set as well as total points (404.5), while placing second in total kills (356). His kill-per-set average is a new single-season Canada West mark, while his point-per-game average ranks second all-time in the conference.
He was rated the top player in the country at his position and was one of the two university athletes on the Canadian Senior “B” National team.
Thanks in large part to his stellar play, Thompson Rivers finished fourth in the league standings with a 13-9 record and reached the best national ranking in program history in January 2014.