Niagara, Ontario — The Canada Games Council is pleased to present the first ever Pat Lechelt True Sport Award and Paul Flaherty Volunteer Award to two exceptionnel individuals who have made tremendous contributions during the first week of the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games.
Earlier this month, the newly designed Canada Games awards were unveiled, including the addition of two new awards in commemoration of Pat Lechelt and Paul Flaherty, champions within the Canada Games Movement.
Today on stage at Niagara Place, the new awards were presented to the inaugural recipients. Team N.L. tennis player Declan Walsh became the first-ever to receive the Pat Lechelt True Sport Award, while Tim Breadman became the first recipient of the Paul Flaherty Volunteer Award.
Lechelt was a mainstay with Alberta’s Mission Team at every Canada Games from 1989 to 2019. She served primarily as Chef de Mission or Assistant Chef de Mission. 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.
Walsh is the very definition of a True Sport athlete. His character shines through on and off the tennis court. He has incredible compassion for others, from his coach and teammates to the tennis officials and volunteers. When he’s not excelling on the court, he can be found rooting for his Team N.L. teammates in tennis and at other sports here at the Canada Games. He is a role model and dedicated to giving back to his community.
“It’s a very special award to be given,” said 14-year-old Walsh, from St. John’s. “I wasn’t really expecting this coming into the Games, but it’s been a great experience and this is a great way to finish off the week. I love supporting the team. I’ve loved this week and it was such a cool experience to have everyone around you supporting you and I’ve loved supporting them too.”
Contributions made on behalf of the Red Deer 2019 Canada Games Host Society were instrumental in bringing the award to fruition.
A tireless volunteer, Paul Flaherty was a board member for the 2007 Canada Winter Games and with the CGC board from 2009 to 2018. 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.
As the sport lead for mountain bike and the chair of the Niagara Trail Maintenance Association (NTMA), Breadman has dedicated countless hours over the past two years to working alongside his fellow volunteers with the NTMA to deliver an exceptional mountain bike course for participants at the 2022 Canada Games and a trail system that will be a legacy for the community beyond the Games.
“It’s outstanding and I feel very fortunate that people thought that we deserved this award,” said Breadman. “This award goes not just to me but to our entire group (at the NTMA). It’s so many hours invested into doing something like this and so much adversity we had to overcome to build our course and put on an event that was world-class. We have created that here as a legacy for Niagara, and to be recognized with this award for our group is phenomenal and really appreciated.”
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