BC Wheelchair Sports is proud to announce that Wheelchair Tennis athlete Thomas Venos, Wheelchair Rugby player/coach Trevor Hirschfield and Wheelchair Rugby official Kevin Bowie are all finalists for Sport BC Athlete of The Year Awards.
Award winners will be announced at the Sport BC Athlete of The Year Awards Gala on March 9th.
Thomas Venos - Collegiate Athlete of The Year
Wheelchair Tennis star Thomas Venos is a finalist in the Collegiate Athlete of The Year after an incredible 2022 season in which he won his third Men's Singles title in four years with the University of Alabama in the USTA Collegiate Division and was a leader on a team that once again captured the team title.
addition to his impressive resume against other collegiate athletes, Thomas also won his third straight Canadian championship in Men's Singles and fourth straight title in Men's Doubles at the 2022 Birmingham Nationals, won the ITF Futures Alabama Open, reached the finals of the ITF3 Vancouver International Wheelchair Tennis Tournament and obtained a career high ITF ranking of 53rd.
Trevor Hirschfield - Male Coach of The Year
Paralympian Trevor Hirschfield is a finalist in the Male Coach of the Year category in recognition for his work in helping rebuild the BC Wheelchair Rugby program, leading BC Development to their first National title since 2015 and orchestrating a dramatic turnaround of the team's fortunes in a short amount of time.
Bringing a provincial team together post-pandemic is no easy task, but Trevor and his co-coaches were up to it, as the youngest team in the competition by average age went 4-1 to earn the victory.
Kevin Bowie - Official of The Year
A well-known face in the Wheelchair Rugby and officiating world, Kevin Bowie is a finalist in the Official of The Year category.
In 2022, Kevin accomplished one of his biggest officiating goals by refereeing the gold medal at the 2022 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships in Denmark between the United States and Australia. Throughout the World Championships, he was assigned many high-stakes matches and performed his duties with integrity and professionalism at a high level that saw him be rewarded with the opportunity to officiate the biggest game on the Wheelchair Rugby calendar on the sport's largest stage.
Domestically, Kevin also was a referee at the 2022 Canadian Wheelchair Rugby Championships, where he was also selected to officiate the gold medal match between Team Ontario and Team Alberta.
At the provincial level, Kevin continues to referee at the Vancouver Invitational Wheelchair Rugby Tournament in the BC Wheelchair Wheelchair Rugby's Association's League, where he both referees matches and provides training, education, and evaluation to new and emerging officials.