Niagara, Ontario — After an incredible two weeks of sport excellence, comradery, and memories that will last a lifetime, the final buzzer for the 2022 Canada Summer Games has finally sounded. Since August 6, a shining generation of athletes have left their mark on the nation – transforming, inspiring, and unifying us all through the power of sport.
With the closing of each edition of the Games, the Canada Games Council recognizes the outstanding achievements and contributions of athletes, participants, mission staff, and volunteers through its awards program.
Today at Canada Games Park, a state-of-the-art legacy venue, the final awards for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games were presented to five deserving recipients and provincial/territorial teams.
Olympic gold medallist and Canada Games alum Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Sport, awarded the highly-coveted Centennial Cup to Team Alberta as the most improved team at Niagara 2022 compared to their last showing at the Canada Summer Games in 2017.
“It’s truly thrilling for team Alberta to win the Centennial Cup.” said Cam Berwald, Team Alberta’s Chef de Mission. “Our athletes, our coaches, our managers and our support staff have worked tremendously hard for the past few years getting ready for this huge momentous experience here in the Niagara region. All of their hard work and dedication paid off and now we get to celebrate our improvement from our last Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg..”
The Claude Hardy Award, which recognizes the talents and dedication of a provincial or territorial Mission Team, was presented to Team Ontario by the Honourable Neil Lumsden, Ontario’s Minister to Tourism, Sport and Culture.
“We are ecstatic to have been awarded this great honour,” said Steve Sevor, Team Ontario’s Chef de Mission. “The Canada Games is a unique experience for all participants and it really underscores the way that a team can come together to accomplish great feats, both on and off the field of play. The volunteer Mission Staff that has been assembled embodies the esprit of Claude Hardy’s many teams. We are so thankful to have been a part of this movement and, particularly, these Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games.”
The Jack Pelech Award was awarded by Niagara Region Chair Jim Bradley to Team Nunavut. The award goes to the provincial or territorial team whose athletes, coaches, managers, and mission staff best combine competitive performance, good sportsmanship and a spirit of fair play, cooperation, and friendship.
“The 2022 Canada Summer Games have been one of the most memorable games for Team Nunavut and for our team to be recognized today is an honour,” said Team Nunavut Chef de Mission Jeff Seeteenak. “The Canada Games provide an opportunity for our athletes, who all come from remote communities, to compete amongst the best, connect with their peers from across Canada, and recognize their own potential. The 2022 Games marked Nunavut’s largest summer contingent to date and we are going home with our first Canada Games gold medal. We could not be more proud of our athletes, youth ambassadors, and coaches who showed up ready to compete and represent our territory both on and off the playing field.”
Two new awards making their debut at the 2022 Canada Summer Games were also presented for the second time – the Pat Lechelt True Sport Award and the Paul Flaherty Volunteer Award.
Team Yukon volleyball player Arcel Siosan received the Pat Lechelt True Sport Award from Canada Games Council Chair Evan Johnston and Team Alberta Chef de Mission Cam Berwald. The award is given to an athlete in each week of the Games who exemplifies the True Sport principles on and off the field of play. Contributions made on behalf of the Red Deer 2019 Canada Games Host Society were instrumental in bringing the award to fruition.
“Arcel is a gifted athlete, a natural leader and a true ambassador for Yukon,” said Trevor Twardochleb, Team Yukon’s Chef de Mission. “He has been a participant in five sets of major games and appreciates all of the amazing opportunities they present physically, culturally and socially. He is so very kind, thoughtful and is always giving of his time on and off the court. He is a true-life coach to many of our youth in Yukon.”
The award also went to Team N.L. tennis player Declan Walsh at the conclusion of week one.
The Paul Flaherty Volunteer Award recognizes the volunteers who are at the very heart of the Canada Games. The award is given to an outstanding Host Society volunteer at the end of each week of the Games.
In week two, the award went to Candice Turner-Smith, the Chair of Artistic Festivals for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games. A selfless volunteer, Turner-Smith has lended her expertise in arts and culture in the Niagara Region to help build a rich and inclusive event and entertainment program at Niagara Place and the 13 for 13 Festival throughout the 2022 Canada Games, including performances by Indigenous and Francophone artists and Pride Day organizers.
“It has been a momentous honor to be the Chair, Artistic Festivals of the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games,” said Turner-Smith. “Now, to be awarded the Paul Flaherty Volunteer Appreciation Award, is truly overwhelming. It takes a village. I worked with an outstanding team of dedicated staff and volunteers who brought energy and passion to their roles every day. Their support, generosity and dedication to the Games was priceless – thank you, thank you, thank you!”
The week one recipient was Tim Breadman, the sport lead for mountain bike and the chair of the Niagara Trail Maintenance Association (NTMA).
The Canada Games awards program recognizes and celebrates Canada Games participants who have sparked greatness at each edition of the Games, from athletes and teams to mission staff and volunteers.
To learn more about the Canada Games Movement visit canadagames.ca