For Immediate Release
March 14, 2014

Provincial Annual Awards Finalists Named

ST. JOHN’S – Sport Newfoundland and Labrador has announced the finalists for this year’s Provincial Annual Awards. The awards will be presented during the 2014 Stars and Legends Awards Gala on Saturday, April 12th at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland in St. John’s

“The Provincial Annual Awards represent the highest level of sporting achievement in our province,” said Rod Nicholl, President, Sport Newfoundland and Labrador. “These athletes have dedicated their lives to training and competing locally, provincially and even internationally and have truly raised the profile –and the bar– for amateur sport in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

The Provincial Annual Awards recognize the best athletic achievements in the past year. The Awards comprise eight categories: Senior Male and Female Athlete of the Year, Junior Male and Female Athlete of the Year, Coach of the Year, Team of the Year, Executive of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year. Three finalists from each category have been selected by Sport Newfoundland and Labrador’s selection committee, from a list of nominees compiled by 18 Provincial Sport Organizations across the province. The list of finalists can be found below and their biographies are in the backgrounder attached.

Senior Male Athlete of the Year Award
Sean Cleary (Softball), Ciaran Hearn (Rugby), Brandon Leaman (Boxing)

Senior Female Athlete of the Year Award
Erica Devereaux (Gymnastics), Malorie Harris (Soccer), Katarina Roxon (Swimming)

Junior Male Athlete of the Year Award
Owen Daly (Swimming), Liam Hickey (Wheelchair Basketball & Sledge Hockey), Daniel Kelloway (Athletics)

Junior Female Athlete of the Year Award
Jillian Forsey (Athletics), Hannah Jardine (Basketball), Connie Lewis (Soccer)

Coach of the Year Award
Brad Hutton (Swimming), Jeff Kirk (Softball), Jake Stanford (Soccer)

Team of the Year Award
2013 Canada Games Men’s Basketball Team (Basketball), NL 3Cheers Pub Men’s Fastpitch Team (Softball), St. John’s Under 18A Girls Soccer Team (Soccer)

Executive of the Year Award
Jeff Babstock (Soccer), Eric Hiscock (Volleyball), Kevin McCarthy (Baseball)

Volunteer of the Year Award
David Coates (Baseball), Eugene Murphy (Swimming), Chris Young (Gymnastics)

This year, Sport Newfoundland and Labrador is again combining two major events – the Newfoundland and Labrador Annual Awards Ceremony and the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony – into one celebration, the Stars and Legends Awards Gala.

“The Stars and Legends Awards Gala honours and celebrates the dedication and accomplishments athletes have made in our province,” said Mr. Nicholl. “I am so proud of these individuals and I am thrilled to present them with this honour.”

Tickets for this year’s Stars and Legends Awards Gala are available for purchase by contacting Sport Newfoundland and Labrador by phone at (709) 576-4932 or by email at To learn more information about this year’s Gala, please visit

Sport Newfoundland and Labrador is a volunteer organization committed to the promotion and advancement of amateur sport throughout the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Backgrounder: 2013 Provincial Annual Awards Finalists Biographies

Senior Male Athlete of the Year Finalists

Mount Pearl softball player, Sean Cleary has proved to be a force in the pitching circle at provincial, national and international play in 2013. Pitching for Team Canada at the International Softball Federations (ISF) Men’s World Championships, Sean led his team to a 5th place finish with a 6-3 record. As a member of the New York Gremlins he helped his team to 2 gold medals at the North American Fastpitch Challenge and the Boy’s of Summer Tournament, receiving awards for All-Star and Top Pitcher. Locally, Cleary pitched a no hitter on August 22, 2013, set the record for fewest hits given up and set 3 strikeout records in the St. John’s Senior League. His overall season record was 33 wins, 8 losses with a .805 winning percentage.

Rugby Player, Ciaran Hearn of Conception Bay South has dominated 2013 on the international Rugby pitch playing with Team Canada as they placed respectively in 8 World Cup competitions. On February 2nd and 3rd at the World Sevens Series in Wellington, New Zealand his team placed 9th and one week later placed 5th at the World Sevens in Las Vegas. In March of 2013, his team placed 7th and 12th at two more World Seven’s Series in Hong Kong and Tokyo. In May, he helped his team to a 7th place finish at the World Seven’s in Glasgow, they finished 9th at the World Cup in Moscow, Russia and 10th and 12th at the World Sevens Series in Dubai and South Africa. At the Canadian Rugby Championships his team placed 4th in a hard fought tournament.

Kilbride Boxer, Brandon Leaman had an amazing 2013 in the provincial and National ring. With 11 wins and only 3 losses this season, Brandon has shown tremendous hard work and dedication to his competition throughout the year. Brandon is Canada’s first senior 64kg Golden Gloves Champion, defeating two strong Quebec athletes for the title and gold medal. At the Canadian Senior National Championships he defeated two experienced boxers to advance to the finals, where he came up short to the defending Canadian Champion earning a silver medal. 2013 was a very impressive season for Leamen, being his first year in the senior division of amateur boxing.

Senior Female Athlete of the Year Finalists

Logy Bay athlete Erica Devereaux was the first female gymnast in the province named to the Canadian Gymnastics Team where she competed on Vault and Floor and placed a respective 7th in the team event at the World University Games, in Kazan, Russia. In addition to this accomplishment, Erica was the only gymnast in Newfoundland and Labrador competing at the National Level in 2013, where she placed respectively at the Canadian National Championships in Ottawa and the Gymnix in Montreal, while also winning bronze on bars at the Eastern Canadian Championships. In 2013, Erica was the recipient of the Gymnastics Newfoundland and Labrador Athletic Excellence Award and the Leadership Award in addition to the Cygnus Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her exemplary leadership throughout her career.

Mount Pearl soccer player, Malorie Harris was named league MVP, All-Star Striker and Top Scorer for the 4th consecutive year in the 2013 Breen’s Jubilee Trophy Season. As a result of scoring 27 goals in 23 games, demonstrating great leadership on her team and brilliant play, it is said to be Malorie’s best season yet. At the 2013 Sportchek National Jubilee Championships in Nova Scotia, Malorie won the Golden Boot Top Scorer Award for the tournament proving that she is one of the top strikers for her age in the country. Locally, Malorie was named St. John’s Athlete of the Month for August 2013, St. John’s and Mount Pearl Female Athlete of the Year and Senior Female Player of Year for the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association. Harris is a speedy powerhouse on the soccer field who catches everyone’s eye with her exceptional play.

Kippens athlete, Katarina Roxon continues to excel on the international Paralympic swim scene and in 2013 has accumulated some impressive results. In the 2013 Speedo Summer Can-Am International Championships she won 2 gold, 3 silver and one bronze medal. At the Winter Can-Am International Championships she placed 1st in four events while holding a national record. At the 2013 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Swimming Championships she placed respectively in five events and currently holds the national record in the 100m Breaststroke. Katarina currently holds two national records in the 50 and 200-meter breaststroke, set at the 2013 Subway Atlantic University Sport (AUS) Swimming Championships and she holds two other national records in the same events at the 2013 East Coast Long Course Championships.

Junior Male Athlete of the Year Finalists

St. John’s swimmer Owen Daly had an exceptional 2013 in swim competition highlighted with a silver medal at the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrook, Quebec. At the East Coast Championships, Owen had four first place finishes and holds 4 provincial records. Nationally, Owen placed a respective 4th and 6th place at the Canadian Eastern Nationals, setting 3 provincial records and won bronze at the Canadian Senior Nationals setting 4 provincial records, where he was 0.25 seconds away from qualifying for the World Age Group Championships. At the Age Group Nationals in July of 2013 Owen won gold and bronze in the 50 and 100-meter fly. In addition to these achievements, Owen was named to Swimming Canada’s National Development Program Long Course Identification Team.

St. John’s athlete, Liam Hickey had a tremendous 2013, playing for Canada twice in two different Paralympic sports. In February of 2013, Liam was selected to play for Team Canada’s Men’s Sledge Hockey Development Team in a 3 game series against Team USA. After this series, he was invited and made the 1st round of selections to the Senior Men’s National Sledge Hockey Team resulting in a try out for the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games, where he narrowly missed making the team at age 15 when all other members ranged from 19-35 years. During the summer, Liam was then named to the Under 23 Junior Men’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team, where he played in the World Championships in Adana, Turkey, helping the team to a hard fought 6th place finish. Nationally, Liam won a silver medal at the 2013 Junior East Regional Wheelchair Basketball Championships, while provincially was named Rookie of the Year in the Maritime Wheelchair Basketball Association (MWBA) Travel League.

Mount Pearl athlete, Daniel Kelloway had an outstanding 2013 on the Track and Field scene. Currently, Daniel has set the most provincial records ever in one season and is the only athlete in Newfoundland and Labrador history to hold all sprint records for both junior and senior categories at one time. In local and provincial competition Daniel won 8 gold medals placing 1st in every event from the Pearlgate Twilight Series to the Newfoundland and Labrador Athletics Association (NLAA) Age Class Championships and Canada Games Selection Meets. On the national level, Daniel placed respectively at the Canadian Senior Track and Field Championships and at the Canada Summer Games, while winning gold and silver at the Atlantic Championships in Moncton. Based on his outstanding athleticism, Daniel has been recruited by Simon Fraser University on a full academic and athletic scholarship.

Junior Female Athlete of the Year Finalists

Kippens runner, Jillian Forsey had an amazing year in 2013. Provincially she won 5 gold medals in the School Sports Newfoundland and Labrador program. In National competition Jillian won a silver medal at the Canadian National Cross Country Championships, she won 2 silver medals at the National Standards Athletic Championships and set 2 provincial records, one at the London 1500 Elite Performance and the other at the Canada Summer Games. At the international level, Jillian won gold with Team Canada at the North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) 2013 Cross Country Championships in Jamaica, finished 9th with a top Canadian junior finish at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Cross Country Championships in Poland. In addition she won bronze and gold at the Penn State University Nationals and a silver medal at the Big 8 Cross Country Championships in Texas. Attending the University of West Virginia on a full scholarship, Jillian had a rewarding season racing in the NCAA circuit.

St. Johns basketball player, Hannah Jardine signed as a member of the University of Delaware Blue Hens on a full scholarship, ranked as the 7th team in United States College Basketball. In 2013 Hannah was the recipient of the Newfoundland and Labrador Basketball Associations All Star Award, won a gold medal at the 2013 Hall of Fame Cup, was selected as tournament MVP and at the Provincial High School Tournament she averaged 29 points and 14 rebounds per game as a senior with the O’Donel Patriots.

Soccer player Connie Lewis from Outer Cove has been a model of consistency in her young career. She was her teams leading scorer in the Breen’s Jubilee Trophy League, she was the recipient of the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Associations Junior Female Athlete of the Year and she won a gold medal at the 2013 Under 18 Provincial Tournament. At the 2013 Canada Games, Connie was Team NL’s MVP. Connie is currently on a full scholarship with Fairly Dickenson University in New Jersey, where she’s started 13 games, lead the team in shots on goal and was in the top 5 players for points, goals, assists and game winning goals, where she was player of the week for the Northeast Conference (NEC) and was named to the All-Rookie Team at the NEC Awards.

Coach of the Year Finalists

Swimming coach Brad Hutton has seen his share of success in 2013 on the pool deck. Coaching for the St. John’s Legends, Brad has coached many teams and individual swimmers to medals and impressive results this year. At the Short Course and Long Course East Coast Championships, Brad coached the NL men’s and women’s teams to a 2nd overall finish for Atlantic Canada in both events. At the Canada Games, Brad coached Owen Daly to a silver medal in the 50meter butterfly, bronze at the Summer Senior Nationals and a gold and bronze at the Canadian Age Group Finals. At the Fort Lauderdale Speedo International Age Group Meet, Brad’s team placed 1st for international teams with 34 swimmers in the finals.

Softball coach, Jeff Kirk enjoyed tremendous success with his teams during the 2013 softball season. Jeff coached the Goulds Intermediate Men’s Fast pitch Team to an undefeated season with an overall record of 16-0 winning the league championships, Swing Into Summer Championships and the Provincial Championships. Jeff also coached three medal-winning teams at National and International events. The NL Selects won silver at the Under 16 Boys Eastern Canadian Softball Championships, and the Kelly’s Pub Junior Canadians captured bronze medals at the Under 21 Canadian Men’s Championships and the Under 21 Men’s International Challenge. His overall coaching record is 69 wins, 34 losses for a .670 winning percentage.

Soccer coach Jake Stanford has once again shown his success on the pitch and in 2013 was able to put together two teams to compete in this country’s highest soccer competitions; the Canada Games and the National Club Championships. His Under 18A Girls team took home a silver medal at the National Club Championships, gold at the Under 18A Provincial Tournament, while the Canada Games team placed a respective 7th in Sherbrook Quebec. Jake was also the recipient of NLSA’s 2013 Coach of the Year Award.

Team of the Year Finalists

The 2013 Canada Games Men’s Basketball Team had an outstanding 2013 on the court. In April 2013, the team travelled to Orlando Florida to compete in the American Athletic Union (AAU) Disney Classic where they had a stellar 4-0 performance winning gold in a tournament consisting of 28 teams international. In August, the team then travelled to the 2013 Canada Games in Sherbrook, Quebec where they finished 7th in competition which is the highest a basketball Newfoundland and Labrador team has ever placed at the Canada Games. This team is said to carry more character and enthusiasm for the game of basketball at this age group then ever before, which shows in their success, how they play together and their ability to get the job done.

NL 3Cheers Pub Men’s Fastpitch Team successfully defended their Canadian Senior Men’s Fast pitch Championship with a thrilling 5-4 win over the Ontario Scarborough Force in Stratford, Ontario. With an impressive overall record of 11-0 this team dominated the national softball field from the moment they stepped on it. As a result of this outstanding play NL 3 Cheers Pub tallied 101 runs for, 18 against for a plus minus of +83 and received 7 individual awards: 3 All Star Selections, Top Pitcher, Top Batter and 2 MVP’s. For this team to come out and win gold for a second straight year was no easy task, however hard work and flawless play gave them the results they were looking for in taking home gold to Newfoundland and Labrador.

The St. John’s Under 18A Girls Soccer Team had a phenomenal 2013 on the field. At the 2013 Under 18 Club Nationals the team went to the finals undefeated with victories over Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador 2 and after 120 minutes of play they came up short to Quebec in penalty shots, winning a silver medal. At the 2013 Under 18A provincial tournament they won gold, while also winning Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Associations Team of the Year. These young athletes had an exceptional season together and have shown what the female soccer program is made of in this province.

Executive of the Year Finalists

St. John’s soccer mentor, Jeff Babstock is the definition of what giving back to a sport really is. His commitment and dedication is to the sport of soccer over the years is second to none and his leadership touches every aspect of the sport. Locally, in 2013, Jeff was Technical Advisor for the St. John’s Soccer Club, Vice President of Guards Athletic Society, and Director of the St. John’s Soccer Heritage Society. Provincially, he was chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Associations (NLSA) Technical Committee, Hall of Fame Committee, Alumni Fund Committee and a member of the Manager’s Committee he and was awarded NLSA’s 2013 Executive of the Year Award. On the national level, Jeff was chair of the Under 18 Club Nationals Tournament. Babstock’s efforts toward promoting soccer at every level in all regions has been his trademark and his desire to advance the game through better programming and opportunity for all describes him best.

St. John’s volleyball executive Eric Hiscock has been the president for the Newfoundland and Labrador Volleyball Association (NLVA) for 12 years and a member of the NLVA Executive Committee for over 20 years. Eric travels to all NLVA major events being head convener at Volleyfest, Volley Central, Volleywest and the Molson Senior Provincials each season. In 2013, the Molson Senior Provincials has seen its all time high registered teams at 120 from 60 in 2002 and Eric was instrumental in growing these numbers. This year NLVA hosted the Eastern Canadian Championships for the first time with over 40 teams and Eric was the lead reason for the success of this event. His countless hours and commitment to event hosting for NL Volleyball is key to the growth and development of the sport in this province.

Corner Brook Baseball Association president, Kevin McCarthy has been the embodiment of a hands-on executive member, helping in all aspects of baseball programs in Corner Brook and in the province. Because of Kevin’s dedication and skill, Corner Brook Baseball Association was able to operate a 4 team senior league, enter teams into provincials in every level of play from Mosquito to Senior Championships, host 6 provincial championships and operate a number of coaching courses and umpire clinics, while participating in the youth LTAD Rally Cap and Winterball programs. Kevin was elected and served as Vice-President of Baseball Newfoundland and Labrador, was chairman of the Provincial Teams Committee, was Chef de Mission of the Baseball NL Team competing at the 2013 National Midget Championships and assisted in the organization and hosting of the Mary Tavenor Memorial Invitation Tournament, hosting 15 teams from Mosquito to Bantam.

Volunteer of the Year Finalists

David Coates of Conception Bay South holds many roles in the baseball community. In the 2013 David coached the CBS Raiders in the Avalon Midget League, the CBS Raiders Intermediate Team, and the Queen Elizabeth Pioneers High School Team. As a member of the CBS Minor Baseball Executive David was instrumental in securing municipal funding to construct a batting cage at Stony Hill field, he also led the way in the purchase of a new pitching machine and his latest project is trying to secure funding for lights at Stony Hill. Provincially, Dave was named chef de mission for the Provincial Bantam Boys team that travelled to Vaughn, Ontario for the national championships. At the conclusion of the 2013 season, Dave was presented the Baseball Newfoundland and Labrador “Les Noseworthy Award” for outstanding contribution to the growth and development of baseball in the province.

Eugene Murphy of St. John’s has been instrumental in the growth and development of Swimming in the province. He has served as a member of Swimming Newfoundland and Labradors Executive Committee the past seven years, holding the title of Vice-President during the 2013 season. At the 2013 Newfoundland and Labrador Special Olympics Summer Games, Eugene served at the technical sports coordinator and meet manager for the swimming competition, which included duties such as designing the meet package and recruiting and training officials. Returning to a role he successfully filled in 2009, Eugene was the Chair Person of the 2013 Swimming Newfoundland and Labrador Canada Games Committee. As head of a five member committee, Eugene led the group in all matters relating to the successful 2013 Canada Games team.

Cygnus Gymnastics’ Chris Young is a well-known volunteer both inside of his club as well as throughout the entire gymnastics community. Chris has many roles with Cygnus including siting on the board of directors as treasurer, assisting in the clubs development of their new policies and procedures manual and new online registration system and working with the parent fundraising committee to help raise funds for athlete travel. During the 2013 Eastern Canadian Championships, Chris was instrumental in securing a major sponsor as well as assisting in the planning and delivery of the competition. For his continued efforts in the sport, both Cygnus Gymnastics and Gymnastics Newfoundland and Labrador named Chris 2013 Volunteer of the Year.

Source: Sport NL