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Feb. 01, 2024
It’s February first and with seven days remaining before the sold-out Ottawa Sports Awards dinner to celebrate the 2023 award recipients, three final awards are now being made public.
The final awards to be announced are the Spirit of Sport Award, the Ottawa Sports Endowment, and the Special Recognition Award. Congratulations to this year’s recipients.
The Spirit of Sport Award celebrates those who have set a meaningful example for others through their personal journey in sport. It is presented by longtime Ottawa Citizen sports reporter, Martin Cleary.
Achol Akot overcame numerous barriers to succeed and inspire in basketball. Growing up in low-income Community Housing, Akot’s family experienced the tragedy of gun violence that took her cousin’s life and nearly her brother’s too. The Cairine Wilson Secondary School student and member of Capital Courts Academy bussed four hours a day to school and basketball.
Her determined efforts earned her a scholarship to University of Central Florida where she is currently studying psychology and is a member of the Knights starting lineup. Akot is this year’s basketball award winner as well as she helped Canada to a FIBA U19 World Cup bronze medal.
Since 2010, the Ottawa Sports Endowment has awarded $500 annually to help local sports organizations increase access to sport.
This year’s recipient is Prezdential Basketball. Prezdential is a non-profit guided by a commitment to reach the most vulnerable youth facing intersectional barriers in our community. Prezdential delivers tailored, place-based initiatives in priority communities. The initiatives respond directly to the needs voiced by youth and the challenges experienced by communities. It is this direct connection to youth and families that makes Prezdential Basketball uniquely positioned to deliver programs.
Through sports, arts, and mentorship, Prezdential is contributing to addressing the inequities youth in Ottawa struggle to overcome by providing community-based initiatives that build community and center youth voices.
The Special Recognition Awards are for individuals or groups who have contributed notably to their sport community in unique ways, such that other Ottawa Sport Awards may not clearly capture their contributions.
This year’s recipients, The Octokids, are a very special senior men’s hockey team that play twice a week at the Nepean Sportsplex. The oldest player is 91 years young with the next oldest being 88. The average age of the team is around 82.63 years old. These players have come together from many local teams in the Ottawa area to become an Octokid, sharing fun and companionship with others of a certain age.
Team members are: Tom Barber, Wayne Barry, Herb Brennen, Jim Casserly, Ray Chauvet, Randy Cuthbertson, Graham Forrest, Gordie Gravelle, Richard Green, Don Latreille, Richard Lowry, Roger Martel, Gerry Mcintyre, Bob Mckee, Ken Mitchell, Paul Morin, Jim Murawsky, Terry Parr, Ed Ratushney, Norm Rosolen, Joe Savoie, Roger Thomas, Bob Tripp, Ray Wardle, Glenn Lambert, Brian Harrington, Doug Macaulay, Dave Morin, Dom Perron, Paul Tennyson, Mike Moore, Ken Ford, Dave Paget, Barclay Frost.