December 1, 2001 - BC athletes were honoured recently at the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association (CWSA) Annual General Assembly in Winnipeg, MB. Vancouver's Yuka Chokyu (Wheelchair Tennis) was named CWSA Female Athlete of the Year while North Vancouver's James Treuer (Wheelchair Basketball) was named CWSA Male Athlete of the Year. Hilary Brown (Hockey) was named Volunteer of the Year while Marni Abbott of Vancouver (Wheelchair Basketball) was awarded the Stan Stronge Memorial Award. The Rick Hansen Award was given to BC Wheelchair Sports Association. The CWSA Athlete of the Year is awarded to an athlete (Male and Female) who has demonstrated excellence in wheelchair sport by exemplifying fair play, good sportsmanship, superior performance in major competition and a commitment to training at the provincial, national or international level.
Treuer's ability as an athlete is outstanding, as evidenced by his national and international accomplishments, including his 2001 National Title and MVP Honour. When you combine his athletic accomplishments with the passion and energy he brings to helping new participants discover the joy of wheelchair sports, there is no better recipient for CWSA's Male Athlete of the Year Award.
"I was really surprised," says Treuer. "I am honoured to receive this award. It puts me in good company with past nominees and winners. I can honestly say I feel honoured to be in the same company as an athlete of Jeff Adams's calibre."
Chokyu had an outstanding season. She won the 2001 Tennis Canada Excellence Award for Female Athlete of the Year and was the 2001 National Women's Singles Champion.
The Volunteer of the Year Award is given an individual who is actively involved in wheelchair sports and who has made a significant contribution to wheelchair sports during the past year. Brown works tirelessly for his sport of hockey and he sits on the board for BCWSA.
The Rick Hansen Award is given to an individual or organization that has been inspirational and instrumental to the growth and development of wheelchair sport, illustrating the impact and inspiration of the Man in Motion, Rick Hansen. "It's a direct reflection of the quality programs we have here in BC," says Kathy Newman, Executive Director of BCWSA. "The awards won this year reflect the athlete development system we have here in BC."
Abbott won the Stan Stronge memorial Award that is awarded to the athlete whose qualities of fair play and dedication to excellence exemplify the spirit of Stan Stronge, who dedicated a lifetime encouraging and mentoring young athletes to succeed in wheelchair sport. Abbott was recently named BCWSA Female of the Millennium. She has won countless awards and works countless volunteer hours putting back into the sport she loves so much. She won a gold medal in wheelchair basketball at the Paralympics in Sydney, Australia, is the current Canada Games coach for the 2003 Canada Winter Games and sits on the working group for the Vancouver/Whistler 2010 Paralympic Bid Committee.
BC Wheelchair Sports is a not-for-profit organization devoted to providing opportunities for athletes with physical disabilities. Since being founded in 1971, the association has worked to provide access to quality programs for athletes with disabilities. This has always been the focus and continues to be what drives the association. In partnership with other Provincial Wheelchair Sports Societies across Canada, BCWSA is dedicated to promoting Wheelchair Sport and community awareness.
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