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2010 Wheelchair Basketball Canada Major Award Winners

(Saskatoon, SK) – Wheelchair Basketball Canada announced the names of its major award winners Sunday evening at the 2010 annual awards banquet as part of the 2010 National Championship in Saskatoon, SK.

 National Team program athletes Robert (Bo) Hedges, Tara Feserwere named Wheelchair Basketball Canada’s Athletes of the Year, Avril Harris was awarded the Junior Athlete of the year, while Pat Harris was honoured with Leadership Excellence Award and the first ever True Sport Award was given to Danielle Peers.
 
The nominees for all of the award categories align with the values of Wheelchair Basketball Canada. The individuals exemplify fair play and sportsmanship while committing to values of inclusion. They are leaders in their communities, positive role models and they display superior performance in their respective disciplines. These awards are the membership’s opportunity to nominate and recognize individuals for their contributions within their respective communities.

 

FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:

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Tara Feser offers an extraordinary example of how dedication to one’s community is not antithetical to dedication to one’s sport: the very attributes that make her a great athlete, make her a great leader, partner, sister, daughter, teammate and friend.

Tara is one of the most approachable, well-liked, fair, friendly, helpful, sportsmanlike and committed athletes that this country has to offer. She encourages, instructs and celebrates with athletes of all abilities. Tara has a passion for the sport that reaches far beyond her desire for medals or All-stars. She is the first person to congratulate a team or player who has beaten her, to shake the hand of a referee that has fouled her out, and to humbly pass on the credit for a success. Tara displays these things as a player, but also as a committed coach, volunteer, board member and programmer with her home clubs. Tara exemplifies sportsmanship and fair play in everything she does.

Although Tara is a strong and consistent scorer, her focus is often more on the team game: on passing, defence, rebounding, picking and leadership. When her team most needs her, however, Tara is known to step up to the scoring challenge. She is able to score points in versatile fashion: from in the paint, behind the stack, at the foul line, and even behind the three-point line.
Leading Team Canada, the outlook is bright, and certainly deserving of Wheelchair Basketball Canada’s Female Athlete of the Year.

  • MVP - University of Alabama
  • National Championship - University of Alabama
  • Co-Captain – University of Alabama
  • Co-Captain - Team Canada
  • CWBL Women’s Championship – Edmonton Inferno
  • Received HBC Bursary

MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:

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Robert (Bo) Hedges has proven himself to be a force on the court both nationally and internationally.  This past season saw success for Bo at various level's of competition.

A member of the Douglas College Royals, they claimed the CWBL Open Championships. It was there that Bo was chosen as a tournament All-Star, taking 4th place in tournament points. A month later, history would repeat itself as Bo and Team BC claimed gold at the National Championships, for the 3rd straight year.

As a member of Team Canada, Bo was an essential piece in claiming silver at the America’s Cup. The silver medal also gave Canada a spot at the 2010 World Championships.

According to Team Canada Head Coach, Jerry Tonello, “Bo has been at the forefront of our "culture of fitness". His many hours on the treadmill and working with a personal trainer has made him a positive fitness role model for our program. Along with the fitness comes an excellent shooting touch which makes Bo one of the best class 2.5's in the world.”

Off the court, he volunteers in such capacities as; junior coach, board member, and Division I and II athlete representative. A vital piece to BCWBS, Bo can always be relied upon and is very eager to give back to his community.

Work ethic, tireless commitment to the sport, and all-around athletic abilities make Bo Hedges an excellent Wheelchair Basketball Canada Male Athlete of the Year.

  • National Championship – Team BC
  • CWBL Open Championship – Douglas College Royals
  • Silver Medallist America’s Cup – Team Canada
  • All-Star – CWBL Open Finals

JUNIOR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

 

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Avril Harris, has evolved into a exceptional wheelchair basketball player.  A vital component to Team BC – Juniors, Avril was a leader bringing home silver at the Junior West Regionals.  He is committed to progressing as a player and is always in attendance at provincial High Performance and Junior Camps.  Avril has also found success at the senior level, competing in both Division I and Division II of the BC-CWBL.  A Division II All-Star, he for the first time was named to Team BC’s Senior team. 

Avril also commits much of his time to coaching and volunteering for BCWBS.  He has assisted in running the Prince George junior and drop in programs, as well enact a school program within the public system in Prince George.  A dependable volunteer, Avril has played a considerable role in the awareness and growth of wheelchair basketball in BC.  BC Wheelchair Basketball Society and Wheelchair Basketball Canada are proud to name Avril Harris Junior Athlete of the Year.

 

LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE AWARD

Pat Harris has been involved in wheelchair sports in BC for over 35 years as an athlete, volunteer and coach. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the BC Wheelchair Sports Association for 18 years, serving as President for the past 12 years.  Pat’s involvement in  

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 wheelchair basketball has contributed to the development of his community in many ways. He has organized countless public awareness wheelchair basketball demos for schools and service groups in Prince George and he has travelled to a variety of northern communities promoting our sport. Pat is valued not only for his dedication and commitment to wheelchair basketball, but also for his ability to nurture new athletes and give them the skills and confidence to take them on to higher levels of competition. Through Pat’s hard work and leadership, he has increased the number of opportunities to individuals with disabilities and at the same time increased the level of disability awareness in the northern BC region.  The province of BC is extremely grateful to have Pat Harris’ involvement and so too is Wheelchair Basketball.

 

Through wheelchair basketball Pat has contributed to the development of his community in many ways. He has organized countless public awareness wheelchair basketball demos for schools and service groups in Prince George and he has travelled to a variety of northern communities promoting our sport. Pat is valued not only for his dedication and commitment to wheelchair basketball, but also for his ability to nurture new athletes and give them the skills and confidence to take them on to higher levels of competition. Through Pat’s hard work and leadership, he has increased the number of opportunities to individuals with disabilities and at the same time increased the level of disability awareness in the northern BC region.The province of BC is extremely grateful to have Pat Harris’ involvement and so too is Wheelchair Basketball. 

  • President, BC Wheelchair Sports Association for 8 years
  • BCWSA Board Member for 12 years
  • Former Athlete, Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Athletics
  • Coach, Wheelchair Basketball for more than 20 years (Level 3 certified)
  • 2003 Canada Games Coach – Wheelchair Basketball
  • Founder and driving force behind the Prince George Titans wheelchair basketball program developed in the mid 1980’s
  • BCWBS Coach of the Year 1999
  • Provincial Advisor for wheelchair basketball at the BC Winter Games in 2002 and coached the zone 8 team at numerous games
  • Past Board Member for the Pacific Sport Northern Regional Centre
  • BC Wheelchair Sports Association Coach of the Year, 2000
  • BC Wheelchair Sports Association Volunteer of the Year, 1988
  • CWSA Dr. Robert W. Jackson Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service
  • BC Paraplegic Association Manager of Regional Services
  • 2009 BCWBS Outstanding Community Support Award Recipient

TRUE SPORT AWARD

 

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As Wheelchair Basketball Canada’s first ever True Sport Recipient, Danielle Peers truly exemplifies the meaning of this prestigious award.  She has demonstrated the values of True Sport as an athlete, a coach and a volunteer.   Most know Danielle as an unstoppable force on the international stage with Team Canada.  She has been able to channel that energy and passion into the domestic game.  This past season saw Danielle compete with the Edmonton Inferno of the women’s CWBL and the Inferno / Northern Lights of the CWBL Open.  On both teams she has excelled on the court as a competitor and a leader.  A starter with both teams, she can be counted on both offensively and defensively while always maintaining fair play and a positive attitude.  Her respect for the game, her teammates, her competitors and officials is evident. 

 

  Off the court, Danielle has highlighted what it means to Have Fun and Give Back.  Her efforts have spurred grassroots development in the Northern Alberta and Edmonton area.  She has become an invaluable resource for Wheelchair Sports Alberta with a focus in wheelchair basketball.  She has developed weekly jamborees and events aimed at recruitment and retention of athletes.  As the lead organizer for such events, she has assured a fun and welcoming environment for all involved.   

True Sport believes that sport can make a positive difference in the lives of Canadians, Wheelchair Basketball Canada echoes this statement and it is individuals like Danielle who make it possible.

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