2014 Year End Awards

December 29 2014

Year End Awards

2014 Year End Awards as Selected by BCRN National Team Correspondent

by BCRN National Team correspondent
posted Dec 29 2014

In review - it’s been a long year full of ups and downs across the Canadian rugby landscape but once again it’s time to announce our Annual Awards. But regardless of a year that often resembled a NASCAR race at Talladega Super Speedway - nothing has been more profound than the accomplishment of our National Women’s Teams –both Sevens and then again in August with our magnificent XVs team at the RWC in France. Thus we should declare this the Year of the Canadian Woman Rugby Player!

SURVIVOR OF THE YEAR AWARD: Mike Chu wins this year’s award after another season of bumps, bruises and some very notable successes. The man maintains a solid disposition, a firm handshake and keeps the good-ship lollypop from running aground.

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." Martin Luther King, Jr.

BOARD MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARD: We’re not really sure who should win the award this year – maybe Burky should win - he came in the side door or was it the backdoor – certainly it wasn’t the front door – who knows - and then after a few tours on the banquet circuit he promptly disappeared to some Alberta city where Rob Ford has been banned for life!

“I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous - everyone hasn't met me yet.” Rodney Dangerfield

QUOTE OF THE YEAR AWARD: Our Editor and Chief is the winner this year by several kilometers – and we quote… “It's as if the tournament was organized by the CIA and scores were on a "need to know" basis. I've seen better promoted lemonade stands run by 5 year olds. If you're on Twitter you can let @irbjuniors know what you think about their coverage, or lack of it.”

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they say something relevant.” RBF

VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD: It maybe a bit of a stretch in the ‘volunteer’ category - but this year UBC Pavilion donor Gerald McGavin wins for his unselfish support of the Thunderbirds Rugby Program. The men and women’s rugby programs had been operating within an athletic department which got more bad press on a daily basis than the RCMP devour donuts at Tim’s - but when McGavin finally took the financial reins it was clear that things were going to improve immediately – and they did! Now the ‘Birds have a permanent nest at last and promptly showed their worth to the donor by dismissing Cal Berkeley, UVIC - and finally that Eagles All-Star Team from somewhere in the Seattle area - and that win gained the ‘Birds promotion to the BC Premier League this fall. Thanks Gerald…

“Give, but give until it hurts.” Mother Teresa

RUGBY MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD: Mike Holmes wins this year for his constant work behind the scenes to ensure sensible and logical commonsense solutions remain the focus of our game away from the field. The man is a consummate fundraiser who ensures trust and dignity with donors where ever he goes looking.

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

RUGBY WOMEN OF THE YEAR AWARD: The entire National Team wins this year – they set records in France which will challenge others coming up through the ranks in years to come. The staff and players are now Canadian heroes!

“Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels.”

REFEREE OF THE YEAR AWARD: Sherry Trumbull wins again - but this time stands alone.

“Keep calling ‘em like that and you'll be bagging groceries by September.” CS

PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR AWARD: Judy wins with ease and has the air miles and the photographs to prove she follows the game like no one else.

“There are two people in every photograph: the photographer and the viewer” Ansel Adams

REPORTER OF THE YEAR AWARD: Times Colonist sports guy Cleve Dheensaw wins for keeping our game alive and very well in a local newspaper on the ‘left-coast’ – always around for post-game interviews despite the west coast weather the guy is truly ‘A Man for All Seasons!’

"Statistics are like a bikini, they show a lot but not the whole thing." SJ

FACEBOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD: This award has been discontinued for 2014 as things are just getting silly on the social network page…and that’s all we have to say about that…

“There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe and it has a longer shelf life.” Frank Zappa

BLUNDER OF THE YEAR AWARD: The BCRU Board wins by a wide margin! Certainly running out of food and beer at the BCRU FINALS over at Klahanie Park in early May takes the cake! By the time the Premier Teams hit the showers the beer was gone, the food truck headed off the park to take a driving test in Richmond and the two teams were left wondering what the hell had transpired while they battled to the closest final in years. The Caps have a top-drawer cook at their clubhouse and the Board should have considered using the master chef as a first option…and then running out of beer? What’s up with that??

“A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice.” Bill Cosby

RED CARD OF THE YEAR AWARD: The Competition Committee at the BCRU wins without a runner-up in our entire solar system – their ongoing interference in rugby matters (particularly the Premier League) and lack of commonsense decisions has astounded players, coaches and fans alike – it could be time for a single commissioner and ditch these meddling boondoogles who are deficient on every front - and who continue to put the ball in crooked!

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid”. Benjamin Franklin

BEST IDEA OF THE YEAR AWARD: The decision by the COE lads to send the best Sevens Team available to Glasgow and London – well done to the staff for finally listening to the guys on the field! The result – a Cup Final in Glasgow and Canada ended up in 6th place when the pork-pies were finally digested at Twickenham.

BEST COMEBACK OF THE YEAR AWARD: The UBC Thunderbirds Rugby Team wins – they took out Cal Berkeley and their cranky coach Jack Clark, won the sevens in Vegas against arch rivals UVIC and then beat Seattle to settle an issue which was bound to cause the BCRU brass huge problems if the USA team had won. Long time Director of Rugby Spence McTavish has retired and left his team firmly promoted in the BC Premier League. Well done Spike!

Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.

BEST UNIVERSITY SEVENS TEAM AWARD (Men): The University of Victoria won the National Championships out at the COE motel in March – despite losing to rivals UBC in the college final at the Las Vegas Sevens it seemed clear that the Vikes were unwilling for that loss to happen again in this calendar year – Vikes win this year’s award.

BEST CLUB TEAM OF THE YEAR AWARD (Men): James Bay Athletic Association wins again after a close encounter of the second kind at Klahanie Park in the BCRU Final – the outcome may prove that no one in their right mind should bet against the Bays in any BCRU Final – Burnaby were still short in their execution despite some referee interference in the second half.

“Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: A desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” Muhammad Ali

BEST CLUB TEAM OF THE YEAR AWARD (Women): Burnaby Women won again after breaking down a Velox Team very short of starters on the day – regardless Burnaby triumphs a second time and were worthy winners.

“If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.” Nora Roberts

BEST UNIVERSITY TEAM OF THE YEAR (Women): St. FX wins again and seem to be making it habit forming!

Athletes get emotional over sports all the time because it’s not just a game, it's life.

CIS PLAYER OF THE YEAR (WOMEN): Lori Josephson a fifth-year scrum-half from Western University is CIS player of the year. Josephson, a native of Beaverton, Ont. became the second Western standout to merit the national MVP award since the sport made its CIS debut back in 1998. Former Mustangs great Barbara Mervin was honoured in 2005.

"Champions keep playing until they get it right." BJK

CIS COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD: Jennifer Boyd of Ottawa wins this year. The first Ottawa recipient of the Jim Atkinson Award, Boyd led her team to a perfect 7-0 league record in her second season at the helm.

“The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.” VL

CIS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD (WOMEN): Anne-Charlotte Beaulieu of Laval University wins! Beaulieu had a spectacular first season. She is the first Laval player to win CIS rookie-of-the-year.

"Age is no barrier. It's a limitation you put on your mind." JJK

BEST HIGH SCHOOL TEAM OF THE YEAR AWARD (Boys): A double header this year for the boys from Vancouver’s west-side school – after years of watching their island rivals take home the hardware - Saints finally won and dodged the wooden spoon – good job!

Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all time thing. You don't win once in a while, you don't do things right once in a while... you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. Vince Lombardi

BEST HIGH SCHOOL SEVENS TEAM OF THE YEAR AWARD (Boys): St. George’s School, Vancouver wins with ease.

BEST HIGH SCHOOL TEAM OF THE YEAR AWARD (Girls): G.P. Vanier High School wins at the Port Alberni Tournament – the BCRN MVP player in the AAA final was Madi Gold of Vanier.

“Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” VL


“The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.” VL

PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD (Sevens): John Moonlight wins going away! He was a Sevens ‘dream team’ selection and finally got the recognition from the iRB TV announcers that he is indeed the top forward on the modern circuit – we knew it all along! Well done John…

“If you win, you need not have to explain...If you lose, you should not be there to explain…”

RUNNER-UP PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD (Sevens): Phil Mack hit the 50 Cap mark for Canada and moved into elite company where he certainly belongs! Well done Philly…

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us…” RWE

SEVENS COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD (Men): Geraint John wins again after a sensational year on the iRB Sevens circuit – Canada ended up 6th in the final iRB Sevens Standings, got to the Cup Final in Glasgow and the Team made us all very proud!

“The fewer rules a coach has, the fewer rules there are for players to break.” John Madden

SEVENS PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD (Women): Karen Paquin wins in every category including most-improved player on the circuit this past season. She was simply amazing and we suspect there is much more to come.

"Believe me the reward is not so great without the struggle." WR

SEVENS COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD (Women): Coach Tait wins again but not without some disappointments on the circuit – regardless his team ended up the iRB Sevens season in third place which was not exactly what he had wanted - but there is little margin for error near the top of the world – a point he continues to make to his amazing team. Nevertheless - at this stage the only question is – will it be Bronze, Silver or Gold in Rio?

“Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” VL

COACH OF THE YEAR: Francois Ratier wins on all scorecards! Along with - Gary Dukelow, Colette McAuley and Meaghan Howat - the RWC staff engaged Canada’s young team to the highest accomplishment in our sport – the Rugby World Cup Final! His Team was already heroes to those who had followed their journey from childhood but after August 2014 everyone across the globe knew the Canadians were the real deal on and off the field. They played like champions – setting a platform of excellence for the future. Great job Francois!

PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD (Women): Another impossible year to decide who can take top-draw honors especially after reaching the final of the RWC in France – several ‘un-carded’ and former sevens players lit up our landscape with their skill and determination to show they still had the ‘mo-jo’ to strut their stuff on the international stage – Julianne Zussman, Andrea Burk, and Barbara Mervin come immediately to mind along with the amazing Megan Gibbs who was forced into retirement. In the end we decided on Megan Gibbs simply because she has done it all - three World Cups, destined for selection to the RWC this past August in France and has earned more caps for Canada than any power-forward in our history. As Tina Turner sang on many occasions… ”You’re Simply the Best…Better than Any One”

“Sports do not build character. They reveal it.” JW

RUNNER-UP PLAYER OF THE YEAR (Women): So many candidates again this past year and so little space – for instance - the entire RWC front-row who dominated every game in France are top contenders as well as scrum-half Stephannie Bernier. Magali Harvey got the iRB nod but after due consideration we’ve settled on Bernier who was sorely missed in the final vs England. Another “Simply the Best” moment!

“Be yourself…everyone else is already taken.” FR

MANAGER OF THE YEAR AWARD (Women): A repeat trip to the podium for the hard working Meaghan Howat who continues to have minimal amounts of spare time away from her office digs.

“The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided.” Casey Stengel

MANAGER OF THE YEAR AWARD (Men): Brian Hunter takes top honors yet again after an arduous and highly successful iRB Sevens season. Still no photo on the national website of our winner which leads us to believe a camera is not in this year’s budget….again!

“Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will be judged by only one thing - the result.” Vince L

PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD (Men): Phil Mack wins! Philly has reached the 50 Cap mark in Sevens and is now leading the charge in our XVs Team as well. He made the iRB Dream Team at two stops along the circuit and finished with a selection to the year-end Dream Team as well. Well done Phil Mack!

RUNNER-UP PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD (Men): Here’s a deviation for everyone – Nolan Miles from JBAA wins in the runner-up category for Player of the Year. The Bays outstanding forward was in fine form this season for his club - he saw them through to the BCRU Cup Final and held the prestigious Rounsefell Cup once again at the final whistle. Miles is an Oak Bay HS graduate – after he left school he went straight down to Huddy Huddy-Land at Macdonald Park and has been there ever since. Nolan has done it all without fanfare or accolades - but he has done it with class and a determined attitude which seems commonplace at Macdonald Park.

“Fame is a vapor, popularity is an accident, and money takes wings. Those who cheer you today may curse you tomorrow. The only thing that endures is character.”

INSPIRATIONAL AWARD OF THE YEAR: Spencer McTavish wins after years of guiding the UBC Thunderbirds Rugby Program - and developing rugby at every level here in Canada. Simply awesome Spike!

“If you’ll not settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives.” Vince Lombardi

Happy New Year everyone!

"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain" Dolly Parton

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