Vanier honours student-athletes at annual awards banquet








On Wednesday, June 8 G.P. Vanier Secondary hosted the 25th Annual Athletic Banquet in the gym.

Close to 300 athletes, parents, coaches and guests attended the special event that had a variety of agenda items – a fine dinner catered by Plates, numerous general athletic awards, major athletic awards, light entertainment, and this year’s induction into our Sports Wall of Fame.

The evening was well attended and we had a great turnout of parents who accompanied the athletes to not only support them for their sport accomplishments this past school year, but to recognize the outstanding achievements by numerous student-athletes who represented the Towhees proudly this year.

The special guest speaker for the evening was Bill Village, current principal of Mark Isfeld Secondary, and the man responsible for starting the athletic banquet at Vanier 25 years ago when he was the athletic director.

The awards section of the evening started with giving all Grade 8 and 9, male and female, their Athletic Achievement Certificates for the 2010-11 school year. A total of 104 Grade 8s and 9s participated on school teams. Next the Block Awards were distributed to deserving Grades 10 to 12s.

Our 2011 inductee to our Athletic Wall of Fame was Andrea Lee (2004-2008). Andrea participated on numerous teams for our school and outside of our school, one of which is her sport of choice, cross country skiing.

She is a great example of someone who worked very hard at her favourite activity, and has put in a high percentage of those 10,000 hours necessary for someone to be an expert in something.

At Vanier, Andrea was a member of our Jr. and Sr. Girls soccer teams. From Grades 9 to 12 she was a member of the track and field team, and the cross country team. In Grade 11 she was a prominent member of the cross country team’s 2nd place finish at the B.C. High School Championships. In Grade 12 she had an individual placing of 12th in the Province.

These performances were an important base for her conditioning in the sport she competes in for our country now. Andrea is a member of our Provincial Cross Country skiing team, and has been since Grade 11. She has been a member of our National Development Team for cross country skiing from 2010 to the present.

She has numerous B.C. championship titles for cross country skiing. Andrea has achieved four National championship medals for the sport……one gold, two silver and one bronze. She won gold and bronze medals at the Canada Winter Games in February this year.

As a university athlete she was an aggregate winner of the Ontario University Championships, and named a first all-star in February of this year. As well, Andrea was an aggregate winner of the University National Championships in March.

She was named the Lakehead University’s Freshman Athlete of the Year in April (which includes all sports at that university).

It is well known that Andrea’s best performances are still to come at the International level, and as her home community, we all wish her the best of luck in representing not only the sport of Cross Country Skiing, but British Columbia and all of the rest of Canada.

Major award winners:

Most Improved Junior Athletes: Jade Heavener and Austin Bassett; Senior Athletes: Jessica Kerr and Ike Thurber

Outstanding Leadership in Athletics: Jessica Kerr and Nick Blackburn

Most Inspirational Junior Athletes: Kelly Hillis and Scott Theriault; Senior Athletes: Alex Orr and Ben Walters

Grade 8 Athletes of the Year: Georgia Bellamy and Jerram Gawley

Grade 9 Athletes of the Year: Jamie Neill and Foster DeWitt

Junior Athletes of the Year: Kendra Lee and Scott Stevens; Senior Athletes of the Year: Chelsea Tancon, Brad Gunter and Nick Blackburn

The Joan Longtin Award (Top Grade 11 on a senior team) Jasmine Doll

The Howie Ellis Award (TopGgrade 11): Dillon Robson and Niall Cobbe

The Norm Hill Award (Blood and Guts): Molly Florian and Kieran Mccauley

All Around Athlete of the Year

Grade 8: Madi Gold and Sean McGinnis

Grade 9: Carly Gunter and Alex Kussauer

Grade 10: Kassandra Sewell and Bryan Johnson

Senior: Natalie Delange and Brad Gunter

“The year of sport at Vanier was another successful one, with numerous great accomplishments,” noted athletic director Larry Street. “Ultimately, we had 30 teams, with 30 coaches who all gave our 330 students a great experience. Of note, some of the more notable accomplishments were:

“Fall Season: 6 sports made the Islands. The Sr. Boys Volleyball team finished 6th in B.C.

“Winter Season: 7 teams made the Islands. Alec Delcourt was 2nd in B.C. in wrestling. Alex Kussauer was an Island champ in aquatics.

“Spring Season: 4 teams made the Islands. The Sr. Boys Rugby team finished 10th in B.C. Our Sr. Girls rugby team finished 3rd!

“Emalee Vandermale was 11th in B.C. in the javelin as a Grade 10. Nick Blackburn was the Provincial champion in the 100 metre hurdles and the 400 metre hurdles. Bryan Johnson was an Island champion in hurdles and steeplechase.


“A big thank you to our school PAC for their support, as well as our district and school administration teams. Also, thank you to local businesses Boston Pizza, Wal-Mart, Atlas Cafe, Jo Klassen’s Grill, Quality Foods, Rexall Drugs, and Costco Wholesale for their support of our banquet,” Street said.