The achievements of BC swimmers and their coaches over the past year were celebrated, with notable performances recognized and honoured, at the 2014 SwimBC / BCSCA Awards Banquet and Hall of Fame Induction, held in Whistler on Saturday, September 27.
The BC Swim Coaches Association recognized its highest-performing members across the full range of swimmer development, while SwimBC singled out swimmers and volunteer members who had big-impact years this past season.
The highlight of the evening, though, was the induction of former World Record holder, Annamay Pierse, into the BC Swimming Hall of Fame. Her emotional and heartfelt acceptance speech acknowledged the support and belief in her that carried her to success, first at the varsity level after she made the move to BC to swim with the UBC Thunderbirds. She described herself as “nothing special” as a swimmer, but did acknowledge that her steadfast dedication and belief in what she could accomplish, paired with an uncompromising coach in the person of Jozsef Nagy, allowed her to make the jump from a world-ranking of 97th all the way to 11th in the world in her first year with Nagy.
The following years saw her claw her way up to the top, culminating in her setting both short course and long course world records in 200 Breastroke, with a bevy of major international medals gathered along the way.
Ron Mattison, the physio at UBC who worked at “keeping Annamay together physically”, then took the podium to share a few anecdotes about just how “special” Pierse indeed was - her drive, commitment, tenacity, and toughness (echoed by non other than Ryan Cochrane later in the evening) were impressive to behold.
In addition to the awards presented by SwimBC and BCSCA, the audience also acknowledged the passing of SwimBC Board member, Bob Gold; coach Eli Dimitrov; and Hall of Fame member, George Gate.
Jozsef Nagy’s induction earlier this year into the International Swimming Hall of Fame was also recognized by the crowd.
The list of Award recipients for both the BCSCA and SwimBC presented over the course of the evening, then, are as follows:
- TAS Male Swimmer of the Year: Ryan Cochrane (ISC / HPC-Victoria)
- TAS Female Swimmer of the Year: Hilary Caldwell (PSW / HPC-Victoria)
- Male Para-Swimmer of the Year (tie): Nathan Stein (SKSC) and Adam Rahier (SKSC)
- Female Para-Swimmer of the Year: Brianna Nelson (ISC)
- SwimBC Official of the Year: Larry Chrobot
- Mies Schootman Volunteer of the Year: Karen Bradley
- BCSCA Development Staff of the Year: West Vancouver Otters
- BCSCA 11&U Coaches of the Year: UVic-Pacific Coast Swimming
- BCSCA 13&U Coaches of the Year: Hyack Swim Club
- BCSCA 15&U Coaches of the Year: North Island Predators Association
- BCSCA Youth Coach of the Year: Ben Keast (WDSC)
- BCSCA Junior Coach of the Year: Janusz Kaczmarek (WVOSC)
- Para-Swimming Coach of the Year: Reg Shaw (SKSC)
- BCSCA National and International Coach of the Year: Randy Bennett (HPC - Victoria)
- BCSCA Rubber Boot Winner (peer recognition): Patrick Paradis (CHENA)
- SwimBC Club of the Year: Richmond Rapids