The 2018 Swim BC and BCSCA Awards banquet and BC Swimming Hall of Fame inductions took place on Saturday, September 22, in Whistler, with one of the largest ever turnouts for the event.
The awards banquet took place in conjunction with the Swim BC AGM, the BCSCA AGM, and BCSCA annual conference. The highlight of the evening, however, was the induction of two new members into the BC Swimming Hall of Fame, a pair that formed arguably the greatest tandem in Canadian swimming history: Ryan Cochrane and his coach, the deceased Randy Bennett.
After being introduced by his longtime teammate at the Victoria High Performance Centre, Hilary Caldwell, Cochrane spoke passionately about his time as an athlete, and how, with being removed from the sport for a couple of years, he can start to recognize the impact that his accomplishments had on jump-starting the renaissance of Canadian swimming. And of course, he spoke about how it truly was the partnership he had with his late coach, Randy Bennett, which established the groundwork and then ultimately, the success which has inspired the dreams of countless young swimmers.
To accept the honour of Randy Bennett’s induction were his two sons, Kyle and Brett. In a similar vein, they spoke about how they, too, with some time, have come to recognize what an impact their father had on the sport, not just in terms of the medals, but what a legacy he left behind in Victoria and across the country in terms of the expectation of success at the highest levels.
A moving video memorializing Randy Bennett, with input from some of his most prominent and successful athletes, closed out the induction.
The AGM of the respective hosts of the banquet - Swim BC and BCSCA - resulted in new board members for each organization being named.
2018-2019 Swim BC Board Members:
Linda Metcalfe (President)
Liz Collins (returning)
Mike Ball (returning)
Eric Gottardi (returning)
Mark Versfeld (new)
Michael Hoche ____ (new)
(One position vacant)
2018-2019 BCSCA Board Members:
Brian Johns - President (returning)
Darryl Rudolf (returning)
Dave Geary (returning)
Dexter Bligh (returning)
Tyler Lewall (new)
The awards portion of the evening included some returning faces, while a number of first-time winners were also recognized.
Swim BC Award winners:
Male Swimmer of the Year: Markus Thormeyer (UBCSC / HPC-Vancouver)
Female Swimmer of the Year: Sarah Darcel (ISC / HPC-Victoria)
Open Water Swimmer of the Year: Eric Hedlin (UVPCS)
Volunteer of the Year: Jacki Kliever (KISU)
Official of the Year: Terry Ryan (Nanaimo)
Club of the Year: Hyack Swim Club
BCSCA Award Winners:
Tier I Development Coaches of the Year:
Junior: Pacific Sea Wolves (Sarah Rudolf, Jy Stewart)
Youth: KWIC Swimming (Delano Ducheck, John Douglas, Linda LaLone, Tina Pomponio, Stefan Pripoae)
Tier II Coaches of the Year:
Youth: Tina Hoeben (KISU)
Senior: Island Swimming Club (Dave Tontini, Annie Wolfe, Riley Janes, Cole Bergen, Tannaz Hosseini, Wouter Terpstra)
International Para-Swimming Coach of the Year: Rob Pettifer (RAPID)
International Open Water Coach of the Year: Ron Jacks (UVPCS)
National & International Coach of the Year: Tom Johnson (HPC-Vancouver)
Youth and Junior Coach of the Year: Ryan Mallette (HPC-Victoria)
Rubber Boot Award: Andrew Lennstrom (HYACK)