2017 Provincial Annual Award Winners Announced

The 2017 Provincial Annual Award Winners were announced Saturday, April 21 at the 2018 Stars and Legends Awards Gala at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland in St. John’s, NL.

Sport Newfoundland and Labrador’s Provincial Annual Awards recognized the best athletic achievements of 2017. Awards were presented in nine categories, including: Senior Female and Male Athlete of the Year; Junior Female and Male Athlete of the Year; Executive of the Year; Volunteer of the Year; Coach of the Year; Team of the Year; and, Official of the Year.

Three finalists from each category were selected by Sport Newfoundland and Labrador’s selection committee, from a list of nominees compiled by 16 Provincial Sport Organizations across the province.

2017 Provincial Annual Award Winners
Senior Female Athlete of the Year: Heather Healey (Baseball)
Senior Male Athlete of the Year: Liam Hickey (Sledge Hockey, Basketball, ParaSport)
Junior Female Athlete of the Year: Maggie Connors (Hockey)
Junior Male Athlete of the Year: Campbell Clarke (Rugby)
Executive of the Year: Kevin Higgins (Baseball)
Volunteer of the Year: David Coates (Baseball)
Coach of the Year: Peter Densmore (Rugby)
Team of the Year: Team Gushue (Curling)
Official of the Year: Scott Critch (Basketball)

Senior Female Athlete of the Year
(Elizabeth Swan Memorial Award)

Winner: Heather Healey (Baseball)

Heather Healey once again enjoyed a successful 2017 season, both in Newfoundland and Labrador and abroad. A member of the Senior & Intermediate Feildians in the St. John’s Amateur Baseball Association, Heather was selected as a member of the St. John’s Junior Capitals that won the 2017 Junior Provincial Championship. Heather also participated in the Senior Women’s Nationals as a member of the 20U Prospects Team, pitching a win against Quebec. Heather was also selected as a member of the Baseball Canada Senior Women’s National Team that competed in a development series against USA Baseball. As a member of the New England Sox, an all-female baseball team in the United States, Heather played in and won three invitational tournaments in the United States as a member of the Sox.

Senior Male Athlete of the Year
(Ferd Hayward Memorial Award)

Winner: Liam Hickey (Sledge Hockey, Basketball, ParaSport)

Liam Hickey had a very successful year in 2017, competing for Canada in Sledge Hockey at an International Invitational in Italy where he helped Canada win Gold. This was followed by an outstanding performance at his first Sledge Hockey Championship with Team Canada in South Korea where he was in the Top 5 in Scoring and scored the Game-Winning goal vs. arch-rival USA in the Gold Medal Game. He then represented Canada at the Junior (Under23) World Championships in Basketball where he led the team on and off the court, helping Canada to a 6th Place finish. Later in the year, Liam once again represented Canada at the 2017 World Sledge Hockey Challenge where Canada lost a close Championship Game to the USA, with Liam scoring one of Canada’s goals.

Junior Female Athlete of the Year
(Margaret Davis Memorial Award)

Winner: Maggie Connors (Hockey)

Maggie Connors had a ground breaking 2017 calendar year in hockey. She was one of three players from the province selected to Team Atlantic that competed in the National Under 18 Championship in November. The 17 year old who plays for Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Minnesota during the hockey season, was the hero in the first game of the tournament when she scored the winning goal to upset the eventual championship winner, Team Ontario. Her Game-Winning Goal, gave the underdog Team Atlantic, a 2-1 victory. The team would eventually fall out of medal contention, but Maggie led her team in scoring and was later selected to the National Under 18 team that competing in the World Championships just this month where she was once again an impact player. Maggie is second on her club team in scoring where she plays in the Pre-School circuit. At the end of December 2017 she put up an astonishing 20 Goals and 24 Assist for 44 Points in just 40 Games this season.

Junior Male Athlete of the Year
(Joseph P. Mullins Memorial Award)

Winner: Campbell Clarke (Rugby)

Campbell Clarke of St. John’s has had an extraordinary year representing the Rock at U16, U18, and U19 Levels. A Gold Medal at Eastern and subsequent Bronze Medals at both U18 and U19 National tournaments is truly incredible. Campbell was named MVP in numerous games at Eastern and National Championships. His performances have been so impressive that he made the Canadian U19 team as a 16-year old.

Executive of the Year
(Graham Snow Memorial Award)

Winner: Kevin Higgins (Baseball)

As president of Gander Minor Baseball, Kevin Higgins once again led a very successful program that saw significant registration growth (8% increase in 2017). He is also responsible for everything from hiring staff to the final execution of summer programming. Kevin was responsible for many initiatives for Gander Minor Baseball, including hosting a provincial championship and working with Town officials to ensure facility upgrades and improvements for his program, all on his own personal time, usually after work and on weekends. Gander Minor Baseball has enjoyed great success in recent years under Kevin’s guidance and commitment. Kevin also served as the Head Coach of the Baseball NL 21U Provincial Team that competed at the 21U Nationals for the first time since 2013; resurrecting a program that Baseball NL is committed to continuing attending.

Volunteer of the Year Award
(Frank W. Graham Memorial Award)

Winner: David Coates (Baseball)

David Coates volunteer activities for sports in 2017, specifically baseball, are almost immeasurable. As an administrator for CBS Kiwanis Minor Baseball, David was responsible for the supervision of summer staff, administering the summer program, and serving as a liaison between the local association and town officials on facility upgrades, improvements and issues. As a coach, David served a number of teams, including the CBS Storm in the St. John’s Amateur Baseball Association, the CBS Raiders in the Junior A Provincials, and the Baseball NL Provincial 15U Team that competed at the 15U National Championships. David was also the Host Committee Chair for Baseball NL Atlantic 13U AA Championships that were hosted by the province in CBS. David and his Host Committee put off a very successful event that players, coaches and parents were very complimentary of his hard work, passion and dedication to ensuring a successful event for everyone involved.

Coach of the Year
(John Drinkwater Memorial Award)

Winner: Peter Densmore (Rugby)

Peter Densmore has had an excellent year coaching a number of Rugby teams in 2017. He was the Head Coach for Holy Heart Men’s Rugby, Head Coach for Vandals RFC who won the Sully Cup-Senior Men’s B Division, and Head Coach for the Rock U18 team. As a past Canadian National Team player and Rock Rugby Championship winning Captain, Peter’s drive and enthusiasm has rubbed off on the teams that he coaches. The Vandals B team winning the Senior Men’s Division as well as two medals, Gold at Easterns and Bronze at Nationals with the Rock U18’s is a testament to his commitment to excellence.

Team of the Year
(Edward P. Browne Memorial Award)

Winner: Team Gushue (Curling)

Team Gushue have had a phenomenal year becoming the 2017 World Men’s Curling Champions. They have won 3 Grand Slam Titles including Tour Challenge-Tier 1, Masters of Curling, and the Meridian Canadian Open. They went on to win 2 other World Curling Tour Events; Swiss Cup Basel, and Stusellls Toronto Tankard and no one can forget their 2017 win of the Tim Hortons Brier held in St. John’s. The team spent the better part of the year ranked as the number one team in the world. Their dedication and hard work has certainly paid off in 2017.

Official of the Year (Award)

Winner: Scott Critch (Basketball)

Scott Critch is the only member of Newfoundland Association of Baksetball Officials (NABO) in the modern Internation Basketball Federation (FIBA) era to earn a FIBA card and worked 3 FIBA tournaments. He is a member of the MUN University Panel where he is the Crew Chief, a member of the National Basketball League of Canada, where he works games in St. John’s, also as Crew Chief, and has worked numerous University Sport Men’s and Women’s Championships, as well as Canada Games and U15 and U17 National tournaments. Scott promotes fair play rules within the NLBA Minor framework. He ensures new officials are mentored by senior officials to make their first experiences meaningful. Follow up is done by mentors under Scott’s leadership to try to retain new officials, usually done after games/tournaments. Scott ensures that both new and old officials are treated fairly within the organization. Within his local and provincial executive, Scott follows protocol and sticks by the book.

Bio’s From Sport NL Facebook Page

Softball NL Would Like To Take This Opportunity To Congratulate All Of The 2017 Provincial Annual Award Winners!


Softball NL Would Like To Take This Opportunity To Congratulate Sean Cleary On Being Named A Finalist For Senior Male Athlete of the Year – Ferd Hayward Memorial Award.

Congratulations Sean!

Softball NL Would Like To Take This Opportunity To Congratulate Gary Corbett On Being Named A Finalist For Executive Of the Year – Graham Snow Memorial Award.

Congratulations Gary!

Softball NL Would Like To Take This Opportunity To Congratulate Jennifer Powell On Being Named A Finalist For Volunteer Of The Year – Frank W. Graham Memorial Award.

Congratulations Jennifer!