Government of Yukon

May 29, 2017

Yukon athletes recognized at Government of Yukon first annual Celebration of Sport Excellence

Government of Yukon celebrated athletic achievement in 2016 at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre last week.

Yukon athletes who competed at major games as well as other regional, national and international competitions were awarded medals of recognition and excellence for their dedication to sport.

Rennes Lindsay and Matt Jacobson won the inaugural Aboriginal female and male athlete of the year award while Trena Irving and Les Johns were recognized with Aboriginal coach of the year awards.

Olympic and Paralympic recognition awards were also given out for the first time. These awards celebrate Olympians, Paralympians and Olympic support staff from Yukon who have competed or participated as support staff at the Olympic Games. There were 17 awards in this category this year as the government looked all the way back to 1948 at our Olympic participation.


"Congratulations to all of Yukon's athletes. They have shown amazing dedication to their sports. Yukon sport and recreation organizations are stronger and more resilient with leadership and inspiration from these individuals. I look forward to seeing what Yukoners will achieve this year in sports including at the North American Indigenous and the Canada Summer Games.”

–Minister of Community Services John Streicker

“The Yukon Aboriginal Sport Circle was pleased to be able to partner with the Government of Yukon in a Celebration of Sport Excellence. Success in sport, like anything in life, requires courage and commitment. We are proud of the many athletes, coaches and parents who put in many long hours in pursuit of these dreams. These awards recognised this hard work and achievements. We were excited to be able to present beautiful pieces designed and carved by local artist Calvin Morberg to this year’s recipients.”

–Yukon Aboriginal Sport Circle president Gordon Reed

Quick facts

  • Winners of the Premier’s Awards of Excellence and the Minister’s Awards of Recognition have achieved medal standings at provincial, western Canadian, national or international competitions. The athletes are nominated each year for these awards by their sport governing body.
  • The awards for Aboriginal Athletes are presented to individuals who have achieved excellence in high performance sport, are regarded for their leadership qualities, and are recognized as community role models both on and off the field of play.
  • Awards of Olympic and Paralympic recognition were given out to athletes since 1948 who lived in Yukon at the time and attended an Olympic or Paralympic Games.
  • In addition to athletes, this awards night also recognized Yukon officials who travelled to Vancouver in 2010 and other Yukoners who have worked at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in a support role.

Learn more: Community Services Sport and Recreation Branch, Yukon Aboriginal Sport Circle

See backgrounder.


Sunny Patch
Cabinet Communications

Sarah Murray
Communications, Community Services


Backgrounder: Government of Yukon Awards of Excellence Winners

Premier’s Awards of Excellence

Athletics – Para wheelchair
Jessica Frotten

Canoe and Kayak
Mael Provonost
Pelly Vincent-Braun

Cross Country Skiing
Dahria Beatty
Ernest Chua
Natalie Hynes
Knute Johnsgaard
Darby Mclntyre
Owen Munroe
Kendra Murray
Emily Nishikawa
Amanda Thompson

Thomas Scoffin

Figure Skating
Bryn Hoffman
Tijana McCarthy
Michael Sumner

Freestyle Skiing
Etienne Geoffroy

Kaine Comin
Johnny Elias
Jonas Leas
Benjamin McClelland
Josh Tetlichi

Leif Blake
Blake Pia
Ross Burnett
Afan Jones
Caelan McLean
Forest Pearson
Sabine Schweiger

Minister’s Awards of Recognition

Jack Amos
Brenda Dion
Bonnie Love
John Storms
Don White

Ryan Hindson

Ava Irving-Staley

Hockey - Bantam
Bryce Anderson
Joshua Austin
Aimery Barrault
Marcel Barrault
Oscar Burgess
Kyron Crosby
Kirk Gale
Saul Gale
Marco Harwood
Liam Hudson
Wyatt Peterson
Eric Potvin
Oscar Sawicki
Kyle Schwantz
Dawson Smith
Brett Walchuk
Isaac Williamson
Joshua Zaccarelli

Hockey – Pee-Wee
Sawyer Adams
Ty Beacon
Hugo Burgess
Connor Cooper
Cole Cowan
Connor Cozens
Mike Cozens
Mason Driscoll
Errol Ekholm
Jake Jirousek
Sasa Jirousek
Austin Larkin
Landon Marsh
Nolan Matthews
Joshua Schenk
Joey Schultz
Ryder Twardochleb
Ashton Underhill
Michelle Underhill
Joshua Wanless

Cassi Jensen
Shayne Melanson

Leif Blake
Nesta Leduc

Rennes Lindsay

Daniel Toner

Awards of Recognition – 55 + Games

Gary Hewitt

Scrabble (Category A)
Tyrner Colleen

Scrabble (Category C)
Shirley Clark

Track & Field
Rose Leenders
John Hall
Naomi Hall
Donna Jones
Hank Leenders
David Kalles

Track & Field and Micro-Marathon
Allan Benjamin
Bryan Craven
Brenda Dion
Don White

Awards of Recognition – Arctic Winter Games

Alpine Skiing
Charlie Hawes
Shane Orban
Katie Vowk

Arctic Sports
Matt Jacobson
Robyn Poulter

Biathlon Ski
Liam Adel

Biathlon Snowshoe
Aidan Adel
Marika Kitchen
Hannah Korn
Francis Reid
Bruce Wilson

Cross Country Skiing
Simon Cash
Hannah Deuling
Derek Deuling
Alexis Gee
Natalie Hynes

Dene Games
Alyssa Clooten
Jedrek Dendys
Thaeron Green
Kadin Hare
Jessa Klugie
Ryan Long
Maureen McGinty
Terrence O'Brien
Tyler O'Brien
Tony Tessaro

Jack Amos
Breda McIntyre

Olympic Recognition – Athletes

Emily Nishikawa   Cross Country Skiing  
Lucy Steele-Masson   Cross Country Skiing  
Jane Vincent  Cross Country Skiing 
Zach Bell  Cycling  
Andy Gilpin  Hockey  
Ross King  Hockey  
Jeane Lassen  Weightlifting 

Olympic Recognition – Support Team
Alain Masson   Cross Country Skiing - Head Technician / Technician  
Stephen Wattereus   Cross Country Skiing - Massage Therapist 

Olympic Recognition – Officials

Ted Dean  Biathlon  
Claude Chabot   Cross Country Skiing 
Marg White   Curling  
Cynthia Onions   Short Track Speed Skating 
Agnes Reidiger   Short Track Speed Skating  
Barry Sugden   Short Track Speed Skating 

Paralympic – Support Team

Graham Nishikawa   Cross Country Skiing Team – Guide 

Paralympic – Commentator

Stephanie Dixon   Canadian Paralympic Committee Broadcast Team 

News Release #17-115