Local volunteers honoured with 2011 sports hero awards

It was a gathering of the movers and shakers behind the local sports scene, as well as recognition for local athletes when Sport Kelowna held its 2011 Community Sport Hero awards banquet on Wednesday.

It was a gathering of the movers and shakers behind the local sports scene, as well as recognition for local athletes when Sport Kelowna held its 2011 Community Sport Hero awards banquet on Wednesday.

Twenty-three individuals were recognized for their dedication to sports as a volunteer or for their excellence as an athlete.

The Capital News sports department will present a two part summation of the awards. Below is a list of the volunteer sport heros as well as a short description of who they are.

Next Sunday we will present the athletes.

The event kicked off with a recap of the 2011 International Children’s Winter Games as many members of the local organizing committee were in attendance. It also included a tribute to the Okanagan athletes who are about to leave for Halifax, NS to participate in the 2011 Canada Winter Games.

The list of Volunteer Sport Hero Award winners includes:

Rob Smith

A 10 year volleyball coach at Kelowna Christian School and in club volleyball Smith is known to create an atmosphere of respect that stems from a unique ability to create a love of sport within any demographic.

Jordan Shaw

Shaw runs sledge hockey and adaptive skating programs several times a week out of the Rutland Arena and works very hard to ensure they are the best that they can be for the wide variety of people they attract.

Christina Acton

A Kelowna Speed Skating Club coach, Acton has played an important role in the growth and the development of the club’s Learn to Train and Train to Train programs. 

Evert Thor

A 25-year member of the Kelowna Badminton Club, Thor has contributed many hours to a variety of events, culminating with the Canadian National Tournament that the club hosted in April 2010. 

Leonie Popoff

The first woman president in the 50 year history of Kelowna Minor Hockey, Popoff has led the board to new heights, building the association back up to one of the best in the province. It received two awards in 2010: District Association of the Year from the Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association and B.C. Hockey Association of the Year from BC Hockey.

Terry Britton

A dedicated medical staff volunteer for the Okanagan Sun Football Club since its inception in 1981, Britton has been called one of the most important people to ever donate their time to the Sun. In his role as athletic trainer to the team, Terry has helped hundreds of athletes overcome both minor and severe injuries and has always done so with an attitude that exemplifies empathy and compassion.

Pamela Medland

The president of the Kelowna Track and Field Club, Medland is also a coach, administrator and sits on the board for B.C. Athletics and has been the meet director for the annual Jack Brow track meet in Kelowna on several occasions.

Randy Sparrow

It’s estimated Sparrow has given 8,000 to 10,000 hours of time to triathlon as the Apple Triathlon’s race director. Sparrow typically handles responsibilities such as swim, bike and run course designs, the coordination of team leaders, volunteers and officials, and the set-up and take-down of all equipment.

James Williams

Williams has been involved with the Telemark Cross-Country Ski Club for many years, contributing to its growth and development by giving his time as an event volunteer, a coach, and a program planner. Williams helped develop a ski league program for children that fostered the promotion of cross-country skiing as a life time sport.

Heather Schneider

Leading a team of 19 members as well as close to 800 volunteers, Schneider led Kelowna to host 14 countries, 39 cities, and over 650 athletes, coaches and delegates, at a memorable, well-planned and extremely successful event.

David & Kathy


David and Kathy both grew up as stellar athletes right here in Kelowna, with David playing basketball at Kelowna Senior Secondary and Kathy playing at Immaculata Secondary. Through the years, they have coached numerous teams together between Kelowna Secondary School, Rutland Secondary School, Spring Valley Middle School, Glenrosa Middle School and now Dr. Knox Middle School as well as in the Nash and the Legends leagues. 

Next week: The athletes.

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