2022 alberta sport recognition award Winners
The 2022 Alberta Sport Recognition Awards were presented at the McDougall Center in Calgary on March 31,2023
Since 2002, the Alberta Sport Awards have been presented to honor the extraordinary athletic accomplishments of our high performance Alberta athletes, teams, coaches and officials.
These individuals represent the best in sports across the province, from remarkable athletes to devoted coaches and officials. They help make the province a better place to live, work and play through their dedication to sport.
The 2022 Alberta Sport Recognition Awards honour eight outstanding Albertans who have demonstrated great achievement and contributions to sport
U21 Male Athlete of the Year
Luc Goertzen, Calgary
Luc is 15 years old and was born in Calgary. Luc started in the sports of gymnastics and Taekwondo before he fell in love with diving after attending a summer camp at MNP Sports Center in Calgary. As his passion for diving grew so did his results.
In 2021 was a breakout year for Luc. After a year of not competing due to the pandemic, Luc was invited to the Canadian Junior Diving Trials where he won gold on the 1 - meter springboard, silver on 3 - meter springboard, and bronze on 10 - meter platform earning him a place on the Canadian Junior National Diving Team.
In October 2021, Luc attended his first international competition at the Pan American Junior Diving Championships. Luc won the gold medal on the 3 - meter Springboard and had a bronze medal for his performance on the 1 - meter springboard. Luc has gone on to compete at the Junior World Championships finishing 7th on 1 metre springboard event and recently finished 4th at the 2023 Senior National Championships on 3 metre springboard event.
Luc is currently training at the Canadian Diving Institute in Saskatoon under National Team Coach Mary Carroll. Luc’s goal is to be a member of the Olympic Team for 2028 in Los Angeles.
U21 Female Athlete of the Year
Kaiya Ruiter, Calgary
Sport: Figure Skating
Kaiya began her figure skating career in Ottawa, Ontario and moved to Edmonton, Alberta when her family relocated for her father’s career.
Kaiya burst onto the National Figure Skating scene in 2018, at the age of eleven. In 2019 Kaiya set and continues to hold the Canadian record for overall points for Novice Women at the age of 12. In the same year Kaiya was a member of Team Alberta at the 2019 Canada Winter Games where she won gold.
After a year away from competition due to the pandemic, in 2021 she attended her first International competitions representing Canada. She competed at two international Junior Grand Prix events in France and won silver and bronze.
Kaiya is one of Skate Canada’s high-performance athletes and has been a member of Skate Canada’s NextGen program for the past four seasons.
She is the 2022 CS Ice Challenge silver medalist and 2023 Canadian national silver medalist. She recently competed at the 2023 World Championships held in Calgary.
U21 Team of the Year
Harry Ainlay Titans, Edmonton
This High School Team was ranked first going into their season after the pandemic break. The Titans went undefeated in the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association’s Tier I - Brian Fryer Division. They went on to win the Provincial Championships with a dominant 28-2 win over the powerhouse St. Francis Browns from Calgary.
The Titans are led by two passionate leaders and educators in Tyler Greenslade and Brock Ralph. Both team coaches played the game at a high level and now have created a learning experience for young athletes enhancing their high school experience and creating excellence in the field of competition.
The Harry Ainlay Titans not only recovered from the COVID-19 break but they excelled in provincial greatness.
Over 21 Male Athlete of the Year
Stefan Daniel, Calgary
Stefan was born with bilateral radial club hands with his right arm more significantly affected. This 24 year old began competing in para-triathlon in 2013 at age 16, after winning national titles in high school cross-country and gained international experience in para-swimming.
Local para-cycling coach Stephen (Steven) Burke helped Stefan modify a racing bike to accommodate his disability and from there, his triathlon career took off.
Stefan is an Alberta Games Alumni competing in the 2012 Alberta Games in Medicine Hat in Track and Field.
Stefan was the 2015 Alberta Sport Junior Athlete of the year. A true inspiration to our up-and-coming Alberta Athletes.
Stefan made history in 2016 becoming the first Canadian triathlete to ever to win Silver at the Paralympic Games in Rio. He maintained fine form and training during the pandemic. Stefan returned to the World Cup circuit in June 2021 and won gold at an international event in Spain. It was his first competition in 21 months.
Stefan went on to the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics and won Bronze, his second Paralympic medal.
He has continued his winning streak and at the 2022 World Triathlon Championships he brought home with Gold.
Over 21 Female Athlete of the Year
Kelsey Mitchell, Sherwood Park
Kelsey entered on to the cycling scene after playing high level soccer at the University of Alberta. In 2017, after graduation, Kelsey attended the RBC Training Ground event and exceeded the national standard for track cycling, and this was just the beginning of her next chapter.
Kelsey started her track cycling career with the Juventus Cycling Club at the Glenmore Velodrome in Calgary under coach Alex Ongaro (On-gar-o), before joining the National Team.
In 2021, Kelsey was selected to represent Canada at the Tokyo Olympics where she won Gold in track cycling. She became the second only Canadian female cyclist to win an Olympic medal. The 2021 the competition season was sparse due to the pandemic; however, Kelsey won Bronze at the 2021 World Championships in the Women’s Sprint event.
Kelsey went on to win Bronze at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and she won 3 Gold and a Silver, at the 2022 Pan American Track Cycling Championships.
Alberta has a history of developing track cycling talent and Kelsey is now part of that tradition. She serves as an inspiration for all the young athletes at both the Edmonton and Calgary velodrome.
Coach of the Year
Larry Steinke, Lethbridge
Sport: Track and Field
Larry is a coach’s coach. Over the past 30 years he has accumulated a vast repertoire of information and a deep understanding of the methodology of coaching throwing events in Track and Field.
Larry is currently the head Track and Field coach at the University of Lethbridge, he has also served as Team Canada coach at six World Championships and two Olympic Games.
At the 2021 Tokyo Olympics he was a member of the Team Canada Coaching staff and personal coach of Javelin thrower Liz Geadle and Hammer thrower Jillian Weir.
In 2022 he was back at another World Championship with his athletes, where Liz Geadle finished in 9th place javelin throwing.
Larry is not only a High-Performance coach he is always working to improve those around him. Larry always welcomes the opportunity to share his expertise with athletes, officials, and coaches; from beginner to master class levels.
When Larry isn’t coaching, he is out and about in Alberta taking amazing landscape photographs.
Official of the Year
Kimberly Daniels, Calgary
Kimberly is a world class official and has been volunteering to work as an international and domestic Technical official at numerous canoe slalom events for the last decade. Kimberly was selected by the International Canoe Federation to represent Canoe Kayak Canada as a gate judge at the Tokyo Olympic Games. This was her second Olympic Games. Kimberly was also a judge at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. During the pandemic Kimberly stepped into a leadership role and facilitated both online and in-person official’s education workshops. These workshops contributed to the development of new slalom officials in Alberta and across Canada.
In 2021 Kimberly’s officiating career paralleled her daughter’s Olympic aspirations. Kimberly and Haley made it to the Tokyo Olympic Games. Haley was the first female to compete in Canoe for Canada.
Kimberly was the first transgender official at the 2021 Olympics and an Ambassador and speaker as a transgender role model and advocate for the 2SLGBTQ+ community supporting gender equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Kimberly is passionate about passing on her officiating knowledge and skills to help parents of young Alberta athletes learn the rules of Canoe Slalom and how to take on the role of race officials.
Don Watts - Coach Developer Award
Ozzie Sawicki, Cochrane
Sport: Multi Sport
Ozzie has been an outstanding Coach Developer since 2009, Ozzie is always reaching far beyond this role. He has been a significant contributor for many years to sport development at the local, provincial, national, and international levels.
Ozzie has been instrumental in facilitating both Para and able body courses. He has facilitated many courses for the National Coaching Certification Program and has provided thousands of coaches with the training necessary to coach their athletes.
Ozzie has been a sport and physical activity entrepreneur for many years. Through his businesses, Ozzie has helped countless individuals and organizations upgrade their skills and programs.
Ozzie embodies the qualities of this award; he is diligent in his approach to facilitating top quality learning experiences and goes the “extra mile” to ensure everyone feels supported.
Congratulations to all our award winners! We look forward to watching you continue to excel on the international stage.