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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.
The first award was given in 2012 to the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club as a retirement to the Sport Club of the Year award.
In 2015, Andrew Todd was presented with the award. He would go on to compete at the 2016 Paralympic Games.
In 2018, there were two Special Recognition Award recipients. Harriet Cherry was recognized for being the face of equestrian in Ottawa, while the founders of the 80-Plus Hockey Hall of Fame were lauded for their efforts to keep seniors in the game.
2019 marked the first time that the award was presented in consecutive years, with Andy Binda of the Ottawa Rowing Club receiving the award.
In 2022, trailblazing motor-sport driver Erika Hoffmann and Dave Smith, founder of the Gloucester Griffins Junior B Lacrosse Club and active supporter for over 50 years, received special recognition awards.