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Mar. 29, 2022
In a return to annual awards, the Ottawa Sports Awards committee has selected the winners of its annual major awards for 2021. The winners had outstanding success on the national and international stages, and include first-time winners as well as previous honourees.
For Female Athlete of the Year, it is a pair of household names and previous winners who will share the award for 2021: Ivanie Blondin and Isabelle Weidemann. Hockey player Mason McTavish claims Male Athlete of the Year honours and staying on the ice it is Darlene Joseph of the Gloucester Skating Club who earns Female Coach of the Year. Summer sports are represented by Ottawa Sports Award veteran Glenroy Gilbert as Male Coach of the Year, along with up-and-coming sailing duo Christian Voyer and Luke Strickland who claim Male Team of the Year honours. Finally, the Ottawa Lions U18 cross country team claims the Female Team of the Year award.
The winners, in addition to the Lifetime Award recipients which were announced earlier this month, will be celebrated at the 2021 Ottawa Sports Awards Dinner, June 16 at The Canadian Golf and Country Club. Tickets for the Ottawa Sports Awards Dinner will be on sale shortly.
The Ottawa Sports Awards is the largest and most inclusive amateur sport recognition event in Canada and will mark its 69th anniversary this year. Winners of the individual sport awards and team recognition awards will be announced in April.
Female Athlete of the Year: Co-Winners, Ivanie Blondin and Isabelle Weidemann
Ivanie Blondin was named World Cup Mass Start Champion. Isabelle Weidemann was the World Cup Long Distance Champion. Very little separated Ottawa’s two speed skating superstars in 2021, resulting in a tie for Female Athlete of the Year for the first time in Ottawa Sports Awards history. The duo each won five team pursuit gold medals and one team pursuit silver medal, combining forces for a dominant overall 2021 season.
Male Athlete of the Year: Mason McTavish
Mason McTavish had a 2021 to remember. The Carp product was named assistant captain for Team Canada at the 2021 U18 IIHF World Championship. At the tournament, he potted five goals and six assists, helping to lift Canada to the gold medal. In July, he was selected third overall in the NHL Entry Draft. He began the OHL 2021-2022 season with the Peterborough Petes, scoring six goals and one assist in five games.
Male Coach of the Year: Glenroy Gilbert
Winning the Ottawa Sports Award as Coach of the Year for the fourth time, Glenroy Gilbert continues to represent Ottawa on the national and international stage. In 2021, he was the head coach for Athletics Canada at the Tokyo Olympic Games, overseeing Canada’s historic medal haul. Six medals were won and Canada placed fifth in the overall Athletics standings at the Tokyo Games. It was Gilbert’s first Olympic Games as head coach of Canada’s squad.
Female Coach of the Year: Darlene Joseph
Darlene Joseph has had an accomplished and decorated career as a figure skating coach at the Gloucester Skating Club. 2021 was another standout year for the veteran coach. She guided skaters to provincial gold medals in the men’s novice and pairs novice events and also added a women’s novice silver. All of those athletes qualified for the national championships in March 2022. Another highlight of 2021 for Joseph came when she was named the Andy Higgins Lifetime Achievement Award winner by the Coaches Association of Ontario.
Female Team of the Year: Ottawa Lions U18 Cross Country
The Ottawa Lions U18 Cross Country team won the national club championship on home soil in November. It was a true team effort as the team scored a one-point victory to claim the gold, relying on each individual score to collectively make the narrow victory possible. The team also won the provincial championship two weeks prior.
Male Team of the Year: Christian Voyer and Luke Strickland
Voyer and Luke Strickland were selected to represent Canada at the 2021 World Youth Championships thanks to their outstanding national results in 2021. In fact, the team was unbeatable this season, winning every regatta they entered. Most notably, the Nepean Sailing Club pair won the 2021 Sail Canada C420 youth national championship in July and then won at the i420 youth national championship.