Sport North handed out its annual awards to 12 recipients at a banquet in Yellowknife on Saturday.
Top athletes were celebrated alongside coaches, teams, officials, and contributors from across the Northwest Territories.
On this page, take a look through photos of the award winners and find out more about why they were recognized. Credit for all images: Darren Horn Photography.
Young female athlete of the year
Madison, from Hay River, set new territorial records over 100m and 200m at last year’s NWT track and field championships, alongside top-five finishes at events in Alberta.
Young male athlete of the year
Darius, from Tsiigehtchic, won four gold medals in canoeing at the 2014 North American Indigenous Games. He’s also an accomplished hockey player.
Coach of the year
Mario helped N’Dilo’s Brent Betsina to silver at the Canada Winter Games in February, then watched another of his athletes, Mason Bruneau, pick up bronze at Canadian juniors earlier this month. Mario was unable to attend Saturday’s ceremony.
Official of the year
Glen is a certified level-two fastpitch and slopitch official, working many a summer night at Yellowknife’s Tommy Forrest ballpark. At Saturday’s ceremony, Glen was commended for “finishing every game with a smile” despite his “thankless job”.
Junior female athlete of the year
Rayna, from Fort McPherson, took mixed curling gold at last year’s Canadian juniors. We asked her how she got into curling: “When I was younger, I watched TV with my dad and this sport had a hammer, and ice, so what the heck, you know? It was the curiosity – and a team sport, and I wanted that kind of membership of something.”
Junior male athlete of the year
Brent, from N’Dilo, won the NWT’s first Canada Winter Games medal since 2007 when he picked up silver in judo three months ago. He had planned on retiring from the sport after that event, but has since returned with an ambition to make his mark on national senior level. Brent was unable to attend Saturday’s ceremony.
Roslyn has spent the past eight years building sports programs in the hamlet of Fort Liard, which now boasts strong soccer and snowboarding teams. “I want the children to start paying that forward, so when they are in their 20s, 30s or 40s, they will think about the young people in Fort Liard and help them to have the same experiences,” she told us.
Yellowknife’s Canadian Tire, store number 453, received praise for “understanding the importance of sport in a child’s life”. The store’s contributions include funding soccer team uniforms, sponsoring a “fan zone” at the Yellowknife Multiplex, and directing all funds from skate sharpening directly back to the Yellowknife Minor Hockey League.
Contributor to sport
Paul, from Yellowknife, has spent four decades in northern softball as a player, coach, and administrator. As a result of his tireless work, he was recently inducted into Softball Canada’s hall of fame.
Senior female athlete of the year
Alea gained her love of distance running in the Northwest Territories, where she is a reigning territorial champion, and now competes on the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Heat cross-country team. “This award means so much. The NWT has done a lot for me and I’m proud of my northern background,” she told us.
Senior male athlete of the year
Johnnie, who recently retired from the Yellowknife Rec Hockey League after decades of service, was described as the “heart and soul” of hockey in the city and the “go-to guy in the dressing room with his inspirational speches”.
Team of the yar
The territory’s women’s broomball team took gold at last year’s world championships, in Japan, defeating the Australia Dingos in the final. Player-coach Tina Locke-Setter and captain Jenny Crawford were named to the tournament’s all-star team.