(James Smith photo)

Delta Sports Hall of Fame to honour this year’s Sports Champions

Sports Champions, Hall of Fame inductees to be recognized at a gala at Coast Tsawwassen Inn Oct. 26

The Delta Sports Hall of Fame is proud to present its class of 2018 for recognition at its gala banquet on Friday, Oct. 26 at the Coast Tsawwassen Inn.

Family, friends, past inductees, past Sport Champions, and the public are invited to join the DSHOF committee and the award winners at the banquet. The speaker this year is two-time Olympic swimmer Richard Hortness, who competed in Beijing in the 50-metre freestyle and in London in the 4×100 relay. Tickets are $75 and can be purchaseduntil Oct. 19 by calling Rick or Carlene at 604-943-0469.

RELATED: Best in Delta sport honoured at hall of fame gala

Started in 2005, the Delta Sports Hall of Fame set as its goal “to celebrate Delta sport achievement, recognize excellence and honour past, present and future role models.” For more information, visit deltasportshalloffame.ca.

Being honoured alongside the inductees are this year’s Sport Champions, seven individuals and one team who the nominating committee considered as having had an outstanding 2018. They are:

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Youth Athlete: Jarvis Dashkewytch– Rugby

After years of being a high-achieving multi-sport athlete, Jarvis Dashkewytch’s Grade 12 year was all about rugby. Juggling lacrosse and rugby locally through Grade 11, he was a regular commuter to the Rugby Canada Centre of Excellence in Langford to train with the U17 national development team. Making a significant commitment to his sport, Dashkewytch chose to focus on rugby and relocate to the Canadian Sports School in Victoria for Grade 12.

As a member of the U18 Team Canada Rugby 7s, his teams finished fourth in the Youth Commonwealth Games in Bahamas, competed at the World Student Games in Auckland, New Zealand, and the Youth Olympic Games Qualification in Las Vegas, Nev., where he served as team captain. In addition to his time with the 7s, Dashkewytch was also a member of the U18 Team Canada Rugby 15s for their Hong Kong 2018 tour. To go alongside his time with the national teams, Dashkewytch continued to play with Team BC, serving as captain of the U18 Team BC 7s that earned a silver medal in Vancouver this year. Ever since winning the national championships with the U16 Team BC Rugby 15s in 2016, Dashkewytch has been consistently recognized in the group of top young talent throughout Canada.

Dashkewytch credits, and is very thankful for, the friends and athletes that he grew up with and the fabulous community of South Delta as crucial to his development as an athlete. Presently, Dashkewytch is attending the University of Victoria and training with their rugby program. He is looking forward to various international tours with Team Canada. His future goals are to compete with the Rugby 7s at the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, the Pan-Am Games and the HSBC World Circuit — all before settling down to find a career in business.

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Youth Athlete: Brendan Guraliuk – Field Hockey

Brendan Guraliuk began playing field hockey in Tsawwassen for the Delta Falcons Field Hockey Club at five years old. The past year has been one of rapid progress, with Guraliuk being named to Canada’s Junior Development Squad, then being nominated to Canada Men’s Senior Team.

Guraliuk toured with the U18 Junior Development Squad to California. This past spring he travelled to Guadalajara, Mexico where he captained Canada’s Hockey 5’s Pan Am Squad to a good showing. He is most excited about leading the Youth Pan Am Squad to a bronze medal, qualifying for the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina this coming October. His achievements haven’t gone unnoticed as he was invited this past spring to train with the Canadian Men’s Senior Development Squad.

This rapid rise continued as Guraliuk was named to Canada’s Men’s Senior Team and was accepted as a carded athlete. In June, he played his first senior international cap against China. Shortly after this, Guraliuk was chosen as captain of the U18 BC team that finished with a bronze medal at nationals. Guraliuk will continue school and field hockey with the UBC Thunderbirds. He continues to give back by coaching and umpiring with the Tsawwassen Falcons.

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Youth Athlete: Rowan Childs – Field Hockey

Rowan Childs grew up in Tsawwassen and played field hockey for the Delta Falcons Field Hockey Club as a six-year-old. Like many elite athletes, Childs also excelled at soccer, but his passion for field hockey grew as he had the opportunity to compete at higher levels. Childs didn’t make the provincial teams on his first attempts, but his perseverance and hard work paid off in 2016. He was selected to the U21 Canadian Junior Field Hockey World Cup Team at only 16 years old. Also, in 2016, Childs received the inaugural Graeme Carswell Fair Play Award and was named Field Hockey BC’s U23 Male Athlete of the Year.

In 2017, Childs’ U18 BC team placed second at the national championships and he played for Canada at two international tournaments. In March, 2018 he represented Canada at the Pan Am Youth championships, where he scored five goals. This result helped Canada qualify for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Argentina. This summer, Childs and the U18 BC team won a bronze medal at the nationals and he played in exhibition games with the Junior National team.

Rowan says his success is in part due to his work ethic. “Just making sure I never give up. I’m always putting in 100 per cent every single time.” His future goals include winning a medal at the Youth Olympics this fall and playing for Canada at the Olympics.

SEE ALSO: Delta Sports Hall of Fame welcomes its class of 2017

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Athlete: Devy Dyson – Gymnastics

A Ladner resident, Devy Dyson graduated in 2011 and has been involved in gymnastics since he was eight years old. After finding success competing with Delta Gymnastics, Dyson left behind rep soccer and baseball to focus solely on gymnastics. Dyson took advantage of his dual citizenship and started to compete on New Zealand’s national team, where he competed in the World University Games in Korea and the World Championships in Glasgow. While competing, he was able to graduate with honours from UBC with an engineering degree, and later a Masters of Applied Science in materials engineering.

Dyson continued to compete, earning an important 13th place overall finish at the 2016 Pacific Rim Championship, which made him an alternate on the 2016 Olympic team. He placed third overall in the Elite Canada Competition and, in a personal highlight, placed sixth on rings, sixth on parallel bars, and fourth on horizontal bar at the 2017 Melbourne World Cup. Despite a serious hand injury, Dyson continued on to compete in the University Games in Taiwan and the Montreal World Championships.

Most recently, Dyson competed for New Zealand in the 2018 Elite Canada Competition in Laval, Que., placing eighth overall, and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia, where his team placed sixth overall and he personally placed sixth on rings. Dyson is a unique athlete that has been able to balance his work as an engineer in mining extraction and will soon compete at the upcoming World Cup in Qatar and the World Championships in Germany this fall. His ultimate goal is to compete in the 2020 Olympics.

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Athlete: Hayley McKelvey – Water Polo

Hayley McKelvey started playing water polo as a nine-year-old and by the age of sixteen was on the Canadian Senior Women’s team. She is the youngest girl from B.C. to ever play with the national team. She said she was drawn to water polo because of the teamwork and speed of the game. “I loved that everyone on the team needs to be on the same page and working seamlessly together in order to play the sport well.”

A graduate of Seaquam Secondary, McKelvey continued her schooling at the University of Southern California, where she won the NCAA National Championships in 2016 and 2018 and finished third in 2015 and 2017. During her collegiate career, McKelvey averaged 28 goals a year, including fourteen at the NCAA tournaments. She has been competing on Canadian National Junior and Senior teams since 2012, winning numerous medals at international tournaments. She competed at the 2016, 2017 and 2018 FINA World League Super Finals and was named to the 2017 all-star team. As well, McKelvey played for Canada at the 2017 FISU University Games and the 2017 and 2018 FINA World Championships.

McKelvey’s family, friends, coaches and teammates have all had a part in mentoring and supporting her athletic endeavours. A special thank you goes to Nav and Gurpreet Sohi, two of her first summer water polo coaches. Hayley will play professionally in Italy this winter and her next goal is to play for Canada at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

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Athlete: Gurpreet Sohi – Water Polo

Gurpreet Sohi began playing water polo, following in the footsteps of her brother, because she wanted to be just like him. She has been involved with water polo since the age of nine and playing on the national team since 2010. A graduate of Seaquam Secondary, Sohi continued on to Stanford University where she was an ACWPC All Academic winner three times and helped lead Stanford to NCAA national titles in 2014 and 2015 and second place finishes in 2013 and 2016. Sohi considers Stanford winning the 2015 NCAA championships in their home pool to be her greatest accomplishment.

Since 2010, Sohi has been a member of the Canadian Water Polo team. She helped Canada win silver at the 2010 Olympic Hopefuls Tournament, gold at the 2011 Youth Pan Am Games and silver at the 2012 Junior Pan Am Games. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, Sohi and the Canadian team placed seventh, second and fourth at the FINA World League Super Finals. The team also placed fifth at the 2017 FISU University Games, fourth at the 2017 FINA World Championships and sixth at the 2018 FINA World Championships.

Sohi played water polo professionally in 2017-18 with CS Plebiscito Padova in Italy. Her team won the 2018 Italian Championships and Sohi was awarded the Revelation Player of the Year. In 2018-19, she will be playing professionally in Lille, France. She is forever grateful to her family and especially her mother for support. She hopes to play for Canada at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and pursue medicine.

SEE ALSO: Delta Sports Hall of Fame introduces its class of 2016

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Master Athlete: Landon Kitagawa – Field Hockey

Many aspiring athletes can only dream of one day representing their country in international competition. For Tsawwassen resident and this year’s Master Athlete of the Year Landon Kitagawa, this dream became a reality as he proudly donned the Maple Leaf and he took to the pitch as a member of Canada’s National Masters field hockey team, competing in the 2018 Exin Master’s World Cup.

Landon’s exposure to field hockey is relatively recent. A life-long athlete, Landon’s introduction to field hockey started 15 years ago as a parent watching his boys. It wasn’t for another eight years, motivated to play with his sons in men’s league, that Landon began actually playing himself for the Delta Falcons Field Hockey Club. In the summer of 2017, he responded to a call out for men interested in participating in the Masters 50+ World Cup. After a series of tryouts, he received the phone call inviting him to be part of the national Masters team and one of 16 players from across the nation (including three others from Delta) selected to compete for Canada.

This past July, the national team headed for the suburbs of Barcelona, Spain, to compete in the 2018 Exin Masters World Cup, the largest field hockey event ever held, with over 140 teams and almost 2,500 players participating. Team Canada, competed strongly and finished with a record of two wins and four losses, ultimately finishing 14th. As a result of his inspired play at left back, Kitagawa was voted by his team as their Most Improved Player.

In keeping with his passion for both playing and promoting life long health, Kitagawa continues to maintain an active lifestyle, competing in a variety of sports including floor hockey, soccer, slow-pitch and pickleball, in addition to field hockey. Kitagawa is supported and inspired by his wife, Karen, and his children, Jordan, Jacob and Joshua. He is thankful for the role his sons’ coach David Littlewood played in all of their development. Playing in the next World Cup is certainly a possibility for this active “young” Canadian. A model of all active seniors, Landon is a well deserving recipient of Delta Hall of Fame’s Master Athlete of the Year.

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Volunteer: Fred Wells – Fastpitch

Long-time South Delta resident Fred Wells has been coaching and volunteering with Delta’s fastpitch associations since 1973, as they evolved from the Ladner and South Delta Minor Fastpitch to the current Delta Fastpitch Association. After many years of dedicated volunteer time coaching hockey and football, Wells added his expertise to fastpitch by umpiring and coaching. In 2003, as division coordinator, he started a skill development program, and in 2008 became president of the Ladner Minor Fastpitch Association.

In 2010, Wells led the development of Ladner’s rep fastpitch team, the Ladner Lightning, and later oversaw the merger of the Ladner and Tsawwassen Minor Fastpitch Associations, forming the South Delta Fastpitch Association (DFA). Wells, along with friend and fellow coach Doug Harris, started a mentorship program focused on character development for players and the importance of giving back. The players volunteered with the underprivileged children, Delta Special Olympic athletes, youth development programs and the Learn to Play (LTP) program.

Outside of the association, Wells dedicates a great deal of time to other organizations, such as the Delta Special Olympic softball team and his latest endeavour, the newly-established 140 Sports Association, whose goal is maintaining mental health and wellness for young athletes. Most recently, Wells took a team of players to Port Hardy to deliver donated equipment and offer skills clinics to First Nations children.

His contributions to fastpitch in Delta have been invaluable. Players love his enthusiasm, his passion for sport, and his fun nature. Wells’ continued participation has been inspired by his friends in the various associations he’s worked with and even more so by his players. He truly believes the greatest gift is time and that we are just a reflection of the people around us. “I got lucky to be surrounded by amazing people.”

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Team: 2018 South Delta Secondary Senior Boys AAA Rugby Team

After a long history and many successful seasons, the South Delta Secondary rugby program achieved its greatest success in 2018, winning its first ever Tier 1 AAA Provincial Championship win. A key injury early in the season motivated the team to work even harder, and that experience set the tone for the entire season. As head coach Spencer Baines notes, “The way the boys carried themselves embodied what rugby is all about – the brotherhood, the pride, the camaraderie.”

The Sun Devils finished the regular season with a 5-1 record. A key victory in the Fraser Valley championships over the number 3-ranked Yale set the tone for a match-up with Earl Marriott in the final. After a hard-fought battle, South Delta lost 29-25 in heart-breaking fashion, finishing second in the Valley but still earning a spot in the provincial tournament.

After defeating the number 7-ranked Lord Byng Secondary, the Devils moved onto face West Vancouver Secondary in the semi-finals. Using their size and a hard-running game, they qualified for the finals with a 17-5 win. In an incredibly physical, hard-fought match, the Devils faced off against Robert Bateman Secondary. They became the school’s first rugby team to win a provincial championship with a 35-22 win. Michael Calvert was named one of the tournament’s top players, making the Commissioner’s XV List. Coach Baines is very proud of the boys’ accomplishment and even prouder at their unwavering efforts all season.

The roster includes: Michael Calvert, Max Cantlon, Ryan Choi, Jesse Conroy, Niall Cummins, Arda Elmasulu, Dimitrios Goulas, Dylan Hampton, Cole Carter-Howes, Douglas Jameson, George Johnston, Jacob Kirk, Kaedin Konowalchuk, Andrew Kraft, Ben Lingham, Chase Marshall, Colton McDougall, Keldon Olmstead, Evan Paterson, James Plante, Ethan Prasad, Deverin Saubert, Maverick Silveira, Riley Storey, Ethan Troniak, Caleb Van Til and Morgan Wolsey.

Recognized alongside the Sports Champions are this year’s inductees into the Delta Sports Hall of Fame. They are:

Laurel Crosby (builder — wheelchair sports), Jill Proctor (pioneer — soccer), Chuck Westgard (ahtlete — baseball/hockey), John Coflin (athlete — football), Ed Anderson (coach — softball), the North Delta Colt All-Stars 1979 (team — baseball) and Phil Breton/Ladner Motors (sponsor).

READ MORE: Delta Sports Hall of Fame welcomes its class of 2018

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