Athletes of the year

Michelle Stilwell, local athlete and MLA, is up for a Sport B.C. award

Michelle Stilwell is up for a Sport BC Award

Michelle Stilwell is up for a Sport BC Award

Tyson Taylor

The annual Sport B.C. Athlete of the Year Awards will be held March 5 at the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver, with one local athlete nominated.

B.C.’s best amateur athletes, coaches and officials will be recognized at the gala dinner for outstanding performances in 2013.

Nominations are received from the provincial and multi-sport organizations, high schools, colleges or universities. A committee of 20 B.C. sportswriters, broadcasters and amateur sport leaders selects the finalists and winners.

“A significant number of very strong nominations were received this year,” Sport B.C.  President and CEO Rob Newman said in a news release. “The Athlete of the Year Awards provides a great opportunity to recognize these talented and deserving athletes, coaches and officials.”

The nominated athletes represent 21 different sports and 20 communities from across the province.

Parksville-Qualicum Beach MLA and multiple Paralympic gold medalist Michelle Stilwell is up for an award and will be the only athlete from the Parksville Qualicum Beach area.

For 2013, in partnership with ProMOTION Plus, a Female Coach of the Year Award was added. “This year’s nominees in all of the award categories are certainly a testament to the strength and depth of sport in our province,” Newman said.

“It will be a great celebration of sport on March 5 including Best of B.C., Community Champion, Harry Jerome Comeback and the Daryl Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award.”

The awards are the longest standing sport recognition event in Canada. Awards in 17 different categories are given each year to athletes, coaches and officials. The awards are meant to help nurture athletic success and recognize some of B.C.’s growing talents.