January 26, 2023
For the first time since 2019, supporters from Saskatchewan and across Canada gathered in person to celebrate the finalists and recipients of the 2022 Saskatchewan Sport Awards on Jan. 26 in Saskatoon.
Female Athlete of the Year:
Emily scored two goals and added an assist, while playing a crucial checking and penalty kill role for Canada at the Olympics, helping the women’s hockey team bring home gold. She also played a key role for the team at the world championships scoring two goals and adding two assists, helping Canada win back-to-back for the first time in more than 20 years.
Male Athlete of the Year:
Mark won his third straight Olympic bronze medal in slopestyle after similar results in 2014 and 2018. In his final run in the event, he saved his best for last, scoring 88.53, which was good enough to get him on the podium. Mark also collected his sixth career slopestyle medal at the X Games, passing American Shaun White for most in the discipline. In his X Games career, Mark has won 21 total medals, including 10 gold.
Youth Female Athlete of the Year:
For the second straight year, Teah wins the Youth Female Athlete of the Year award. In 2022, Teah defeated two different seeded players on her way to the ITF J3 Quebec City title, winning the semi-final and final match in three sets. She also competed at the 2022 Canada Games in Niagara Falls and the Women’s ITF Challenger in Calgary, the highest-level tournament she has ever played in.
Male Female Athlete of the Year:
As an Under-16 athlete, Keegan won the Under-18 Nationals in Toronto, which took place immediately after the Canada Summer Games. He also picked up his first International Tennis Federation win in Germany, even though he was unseeded heading into the event. His remarkable year also included a gold medal from the ITF Pan American Games.
Coach of the of the Year:
Mary has won this award for the second straight year. 2022 marked the most successful season for the Saskatoon Diving Club and Dive Sask, thanks to the work Mary put in with her athletes, three of which are finalists in Excellence categories. Top performances for her athletes include Presley Deck, who collected national gold before going on to compete at worlds. She also helped Rylan Wiens and Margo Erlam to silver and bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games and top 10 finishes at worlds.
Inspire Through Sport Award:
A member of the national para swim team and national record holder, Nikita Ens has always been involved in sport. Along with being an active cyclist, Nikita completed triathlons, played volleyball and won a high school provincial shotput medal. In 2010, Nikita made it her mission to cycle across Canada from Whiterock, BC to Halifax in 32 days to raise money for Haitian earthquake victims. In 2014, a car accident changed her life and after an intensive healing journey, Nikita found swimming. In the five years since, Nikita has competed for Canada at the Paralympics in Tokyo and at the World Para Swimming Championships in 2019 and most recently in 2022, where she . While striving for continuous personal improvement, Nikita always aims to be a strong community advocate and give back to fellow athletes. Nikita helps out at summer camps with Athletes-In-Action, teaches English to newcomers and gives presentations about her story to elementary schools, high schools and several western Canadian universities.
Inspire Through Sport Award:
After a single vehicle collision in 2010 left him a paraplegic, Nolan Barnes made it his mission to inspire others. He’s not only overcome his injury, but he’s become a world-class athlete, motivational speaker and advocate against impaired driving. Starting from the grassroots level of adaptive waterskiing, Nolan worked his way up to become a member of the national team and went on to become a world champion and world record holder. He’s also developed into a coach, official and mentor, helping with various grassroots clinics and programs. Nolan started public speaking just five months after his injury and has since spoken to thousands across Western Canada. He has made it his mission to share the message of staying safe, the importance of decision making and helping people find fulfillment in their lives.
The annual program celebrates the success and dedication of those in the province’s amateur sport community through two categories – Excellence Awards and Recognition Awards. The Excellence Awards celebrate outstanding event performances or a series of performances by a Saskatchewan athlete, coach or team within a given calendar year, while the Recognition Awards include the Volunteer and Coach Dedication Awards, as well as the Inspire Through Sport Award, all which honour individuals who have devoted their time and effort to the growth of sport in Saskatchewan.
“On behalf of Sask Sport and its membership, I would like to congratulate all of the Saskatchewan Sport Award finalists and recipients,” said Michael Rogers, Sask Sport Board of Directors Chair. “We are honoured to celebrate outstanding amateur athletes, teams, coaches and volunteers from across Saskatchewan. These individuals lead by example daily to show everyone that sport, truly, is more than a game and that sport brings so much to helping make Saskatchewan communities vibrant.
“The dedication and perseverance each award finalist and recipient shares make them great ambassadors for both sport and this province.”