2022 Community Sport Hero Awards

…7 Volunteers and 7 Athletes recognized for their contributions to sport in the community!

On Wednesday, February 16, community members gathered in the Mary Irwin Theatre (Rotary Centre of the Arts) to recognize the 20th Annual Community Sport Hero recipients. At this year’s reception, PacificSport Okanagan and the City of Kelowna were pleased to recognize several local sport leaders and athletes for their outstanding contributions to sport within our community demonstrating, innovation, leadership, and excellence within their sport. Congratulations to the following 2022 Community Sport Hero Awards Recipients:

Coach Excellence (7):

Jay Christensen – Football

Joni Frei – Softball

Chris Halldorsen – Biathlon

Wuilbert Jaramillo – Lacrosse

Lance MacDonald – International Children’s Games

Pat Sima-Ledding – Athletics

Jackie Toews – Volleyball


Athletic Excellence (7):

Miklos Bencsik II – Olympic Weightlifting

Jerome Blake – Athletics

John Gay – Athletics

Tyrel Griffith – Curling

Abigail McCluskey – Speed Skating

Rob Shaw – Wheelchair Tennis

Emily Young – Para Nordic


Along with the recognition of local heroes, the 2022 Community Sport Hero Awards Reception took some time to recognize the Okanagan athletes that represented the region at the 2020 Tokyo and 2022 Beijing Olympics and Paralympics. During the ceremony PacificSport Okanagan and the City of Kelowna reflected on the resilience and adaptability of the sport sector during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mayor Colin Basran was in attendance, along with Divisional Director of Active Living and Culture Jim Gabriel and PacificSport Okanagan Board Chair Devin Rubadeau to hand out the awards.