Curt Minard (centre), who competed in snowboard events at the Paralympic Games in South Korea, is presented with the trophy for Athlete of the Year by selection committee members Pete McIntyre (left) and Jack Gilroy at the Tim Hortons North Okanagan Sports Awards at Lakers Clubhouse.
The best in North Okanagan sports from the past year have been honoured.
The 25th annual Tim Hortons awards were handed out Tuesday night.
Long time Vernon Vipers owner Duncan Wray — who passed away in January — was posthumously awarded the leadership award.
His daughter Erica accepted it for the family.
“To see the impact he’s had on the community as a whole and on the hockey team specifically — and for athletes in general — it’s really special to me to see the legacy live on,” Erica told Beach Radio News.
Wray says her family is carrying on ownership of the Vipers, with her mom, Libby, the new owner.
“There is definitely a learning curve, but it’s something that was so important to my dad, and it’s important to the whole family to see it succeed and see his legacy live on,” adds Erica.
Erica Wray accepts Leadership Award on behalf of her father, the late Duncan Wray, from committee members Kevin Mitchell (left) and John Topping
Ian Murphy, who started a soccer league in Vernon, was the leadership award runner-up.
Curt Minard was named athlete of the year.
Minard — who almost died, and lost his left hand, in an electrical contact accident at work in 2008 — was a member of Canada’s snowboard team at the Paralympic Games in South Korea.
“This is the ten year accident anniversary for me — my accident happened ten years ago — and I look back and think about where I came from, and to be honoured with such a prestigious award from my community, I’m just very thankful for that honour,” Minard told Beach Radio.
Cross country skier Hannah Mehain was the runner up.
VSS Jr Panthers football team members Brady Szeman, Zack Smith, Caden Danbrook, Matthew Reich and coach Sean Smith accept Team of Year Award from Dan Currie of Tim Hortons
The VSS Junior Panthers — the first Vernon high school team to win a BC football title — were named team of the year.
Coach Sean Smith says it was a perfect season.
“We went into probably every game this season being smaller in stature and size than everybody we played, but there was a lot of fight in these guys, and they were competitors, and we always seemed to come out on top,” says Smith.
The runner-up was the Vernon Midget Tier 3 Coca Cola Vipers hockey team.
The awards are chosen by a panel of community and media representatives, including Funtastic founder John Topping, Tim Hortons franchisee Dan Currie, former city councillor Jack Gilroy, Ken Richardson, Kevin Mitchell, Josh Winquist, Betty Selin, and Pete McIntyre.