Sport North has named its list of award winners for the past 12 months with the roll of honour released earlier this month.
A total of 12 awards were handed out, including the various athletes of the year, team of the year and community contributor among those awarded.
The Team of the Year was given to Team Galusha (Kerry Galusha, Margot Flemming, Sarah Koltun, Jo-Ann Rizzo, Megan Koehler and Shona Barbour). When you look at what they did last season, it wasn’t too hard to see why they were deserving: several deep runs on the World Curling Tour circuit, becoming the first team from the North to enter Winter Olympic qualification and making the playoffs at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts for the first time after so many close calls.
Galusha said she felt the ladies earned the award based on what they were able to accomplish.
“It was definitely a dream season last season and a special one,” she said. “We put the NWT on the map last season with what we did and it’s nice to be honoured for all of it.”
Flemming was a double-winner of sorts as she claimed the Mary Beth Miller Senior Female Athlete of the Year honours. She plays second on Team Galusha, but she also played third on Jamie Koe’s mixed rink that claimed bronze at the 2021 and 2022 Canadian Mixed Curling Championships.
Flemming said she was surprised when she heard the news.
“It’s really cool to win it and honestly, any one of us could have won it,” she said. “When I moved up (to Yellowknife), the goal was to make strides and be on a team that wanted success and it’s been amazing. It makes me want more and I think we’re all hungrier this season after all we accomplished last season.”
Flemming was named the most valuable female player at the mixed national championship in November and she said being a part of that squad with Koe, Koehler and Cole Parsons was a lot of fun.
“It was such a great opportunity and we’ve been really successful,” she said. “It was a new experience and one I was grateful to be a part of.”
Some of the other winners included Nikhilesh Gohil being named Youth Male Athlete of the Year for his tennis exploits, while Teresa Martin won Youth Female Athlete of the Year, also for tennis.
Gymnast Tai Leathem scored himself Junior Male Athlete of the Year and Jeannie Scott won the Ruth Inch Memorial Contributor to Sport Award for tennis.
Two late sporting legends were honoured as Elaine Keenan Bengts was posthumously awarded the Delma Kisoun Memorial Community Contributor Award and Craig Hockridge won the Dennis Crane Memorial Official of the Year.
Here’s the full list of winners and their communities:
Youth Male Athlete of the Year — Nikhilesh Gohil, Yellowknife
Youth Female Athlete of the Year — Teresa Martin, Yellowknife
Junior Male Athlete of the Year — Tai Leathem, Yellowknife
Robin Mercer-Sproule Memorial Junior Female Athlete of the Year — Jenna Demarcke, Hay River
Mary Beth Miller Memorial Senior Female Athlete of the Year – Margot Flemming, Yellowknife
Coach of the Year — Stephanie Parkes, Inuvik
Delma Kisoun Memorial Community Contributor — Elaine Keenan Bengts, Yellowknife
Ruth Inch Memorial Contributor to Sport — Jeannie Scott, Yellowknife
Corporate Contributor — Aurora Ford, Hay River
Team of the Year — Team Galusha (Kerry Galusha, Margot Flemming, Sarah Koltun, Jo-Ann Rizzo, Megan Koehler and Shona Barbour), Yellowknife
Dennis Crane Memorial Official of the Year — Craig Hockridge, Yellowknife
Active For Life — Joan and Dennis Bevington, Fort Smith
Source: Sport North
Correction: A previous version of this story contained an error. Jeannie Scott’s award is for her contributions to tennis.