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Dec. 30, 2019
The Ottawa Sports Awards committee has selected the winners of its annual major awards for 2019. Ivanie Blondin’s recent successes at the Speed Skating World Cup put her over the top in a strong field of candidates for Female Athlete of the Year, which she previously won in 2014, while shotputter Tim Nedow is honoured as Male Athlete of the Year for the first time in his distinguished career. The University of Ottawa women’s soccer team claimed Female Team of the Year honours while on the men’s side it was the Fred Page Cup-winning Junior Senators hockey team selected as Team of the Year. Their coach, Martin Dagenais, earned Male Coach of the Year, and Female Coach of the Year is Jen Boyd for a record-tying sixth time.
The winners, in addition to the Lifetime Award recipients which were announced earlier this month, will be celebrated at the 2019 Ottawa Sports Awards Dinner, January 29, 2020 at Algonquin College on Woodroffe Avenue.
Tickets for the Ottawa Sports Awards Dinner are on sale now at https://ottawasportsawards.ca/buy-2019-gala-tickets/
The Ottawa Sports Awards is the largest and most inclusive amateur sport recognition event in Canada and will mark its 67th anniversary this year. Winners of the 65 individual sport awards and team recognition awards will be announced in January.
Female Athlete of the Year (Krisina Groves Trophy): Ivanie Blondin
Ivanie Blondin is unstoppable right now. The veteran long-track speed skater has had an outstanding start to her 2019 World Cup season, winning five straight gold medals and setting three individual track records. She has collected six gold, three silver and three bronze medals at World Cup events, including her first career golds in the 1500 and 5000 metre distances. She continues to skate well at the 3000m distance as well, winning the 2019 Canadian Championships with a personal best time. Overall at nationals, Blondin captured five medals including three golds. The two-time Olympian is skating at a career-best level and is ranked first in the world cup in mass start.
Male Athlete of the Year: Tim Nedow
A mainstay on the national team and 2016 Olympian, Tim Nedow won his seventh consecutive National Championship in shot put this year. He set a new outdoor personal best this season and qualified for the final at the 2019 World Championships among a field that many consider the best ever in the sport. Nedow finished ninth in the world with a throw which would have landed him on the podium at previous championships. It was the highest finish for Nedow at his fourth World Championship. He also placed fourth at this year’s Pan Am Games.
Female Coach of the Year: Jen Boyd
Jen Boyd continues to get results on the rugby pitch. Boyd’s University of Ottawa Gee-Gees won the RSEQ conference championship trophy this year for the sixth consecutive season. The team then took the bronze medal at the U SPORTS National Championship. An assistant coach with the 15s senior women’s national team, Boyd remains a contributor to Canada’s success on the international levels and saw three former or current Gee-Gees players suit up for Canada this year. With this year’s award, Jen Boyd joins a group of just three individuals who have won a Major Award at the Ottawa Sports Award six times (Kristina Groves, Dave Smart).
Male Coach of the Year: Martin Dagenais
Under Dagenais’ leadership the Ottawa Junior Senators have reached heights unseen in their history. In 2019 the team successfully defended its title as CCHL champions. From there, the team won its second straight Fred Page Cup as Eastern Canadian Champions. The Jr. Sens then moved on to the Canadian National Junior A Championships where they reached the semi-finals. Hockey Canada named him Head Coach of Team Canada East for the 2019 World Junior A Challenge tournament and with Dagenais at the helm, Team Canada East upset the heavily favoured Team USA in the semi-finals before falling in double overtime 2-1 to Team Russia in the gold medal game. The silver medal was only the second time in eight years that Team Canada East has medalled at the tournament.
Male Team of the Year: Ottawa Junior Senators
With a roster laden with local talent, the Ottawa Junior Senators won the CCHL championship for the second straight season after finishing second in the regular season. The team then ran the gauntlet of a long league playoff schedule, emerging as Bogart Cup Champions. Travelling to Amherst, N.S., as the league champions Ottawa successfully defended their claim to the Fred Page Cup as champions of Eastern Canada. The title-winning game was a 9-2 victory in which eight different players scored, and the team had to play an extra game as they did not go in with a bye. At nationals, the team made it to the semifinals before bowing out to the eventual national champions.
Female Team of the Year: Ottawa Gee-Gees Women’s Soccer
It was a unique year for the Gee-Gees women’s soccer team. Ranked first in the nation for the regular season as they played to an undefeated 14-0-2 record, the team then took a bronze medal at the OUA conference championships. Normally, the season would have ended there. However, as 2018 U SPORTS National Champions, the team had been invited to compete at the inaugural FISU World Cup of Soccer at the end of November. The team extended its season by nearly a month, and student-athletes travelled to China to take on squads from Siberia, Taiwan, China, and Brazil, defeating all comers to be crowned FISU World Cup Champions. The team also won the tournament’s Fair Play award.