The icing on the cake came on Friday, as Hilary Caldwell, who trains at the Victoria Academy of Swimming but continues to represent her home Pacific Sea Wolves club, was named the OMEGA Female Swimmer of the Year, announced in conjunction with the RBC Sports Day in Canada. Caldwell's honour came on the heels of the rest of the Big Splash award winners, the majority of whom came from SwimBC programs.
Over the previous days, Big Splash Award Winners were announced which included the following:
- Ryan Cochrane (IS/VAS): OMEGA Male Swimmer of the Year
- Richard Weinberger (UVPCS): Open Water Swimmer of the Year
- Eric Hedlin (IS/VAS): People's Choice Race of the Year
- Randy Bennett (VAS): OMEGA Coach of the Year, both Male and Female
The only non-BC recipients were for achievements by para-athletes, with Male and Female Para-Swimmer going to Benoit Huot and Valerie Grand-Maison, respectively, with their coaches, Pierre Lamay and Peter Carpenter, winning the respective Coach of the Year recognition.
While the Swimmer and Coach of they Year recipients are pretty much pre-ordained going in, with objective criteria, it's always interesting to see what the fans will choose in selecting Race of the Year. And among the six nominees, it was Hedlin's surprise silver medal on the opening day of the Barcelona2013 World Championships which the fans voted was most deserving of recognition.
Congratulations to all of the recipients and their clubs for providing the support to help their members achieve success.