Boucher, Cof­fin, Ka­pacila earn top sports hon­ours

Prince Al­bert trio hon­oured for con­tri­bu­tion to sport, com­mu­nity in an­nual fundraiser

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - SPORTS - EVAN RAD­FORD @EvanRad­ford•sports@pa­her­ald.sk.ca

A CrossFit guru, a mas­ter horse rider and a foot­ball vet­eran were cho­sen as this year’s hon­ourees at the Kins­men/Raiders Sportsper­son of the year fundrais­ing din­ner, held Satur­day evening at the Ches Leach lounge.

Bob Cof­fin, who has played, coached and ref­er­eed foot­ball through­out his ca­reer, was cho­sen as the sports­man of the year.

Jan­ice Boucher, who won the award once be­fore for archery in 1995, was cho­sen as 2017’s fe­male ath­lete of the year af­ter she over­came a Parkinson’s dis­ease di­ag­no­sis three years ago and earned in­ter­na­tional suc­cess in Para Rein­ing with horses.

This year’s male ath­lete of the year is Josh Ka­pacila, who spe­cial­izes in CrossFit train­ing and has won sev­eral re­gional and west­ern com­pe­ti­tions in the sport.

When asked about the award, Cof­fin was quick to rec­og­nize those around him in the P.A. foot­ball com­mu­nity.

“It’s be­cause of a lot of peo­ple. There were peo­ple that started up mi­nor foot­ball be­fore I got in­volved. And with my back­ground and the ex­pe­ri­ence I had, and the con­tacts that I had – when you have such great peo­ple to work with, I ac­cept this award be­cause and with them.”

Cof­fin is cur­rently the pres­i­dent of the Prince Al­bert Mi­nor Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion.

He re­called many of the play­ers he coached and saw go on to play the sport at the ju­nior, col­le­giate and pro­fes­sional lev­els.

“A lot of them that went into the Saska­toon Hill­tops and the (Univer­sity of Saskatchewan) Huskies. I’m proud of all of them, be­cause they were will­ing to go that ex­tra bit to be­come the best that they could be, and they made it there, they be­longed there.”

He em­pha­sized that the vol­un­teers and par­ents in­volved in keep­ing mi­nor foot­ball run­ning goes a long way.

“They’re do­ing that so the youth of this prov­ince has that op­por­tu­nity, and there­fore they learn all the pos­i­tives of a team sport.”

Ka­pacila said that the award means a lot to him.

“It’s cool to see CrossFit rec­og­nized, be­cause a lot of peo­ple don’t see it as a sport.”

In his ac­cep­tance speech, he rec­og­nized his dad and his grand­fa­ther as be­ing in­flu­en­tial role mod­els that guided him to find suc­cess in the sport.

Boucher was un­able to at­tend Satur­day’s event. Her daugh­ter, Do­minique, ac­cepted the award on Jan­ice’s be­half.

Do­minique said that her mom strug­gled with her reg­u­lar horse rid­ing af­ter the Parkinson’s di­ag­no­sis.

“I heard about an or­ga­ni­za­tion, world Para rein­ing. And I pushed her towards it to hope­fully get in­volved, and she did. She joined it and that’s kind of where she got in­volved with team Canada and started com­pet­ing.

“For her, this is a re­ally huge ac­com­plish­ment. Not only did she have re­ally a suc­cess­ful year, but this also re­ally tops it off for her,” Do­minique said.

Jan­ice won two gold medals – one in in­di­vid­ual rid­ing and one with team Canada – at the World Para Rein­ing In­ter­na­tional Cham­pi­onships this year in July, held in the Nether­lands.

Along with the awards por­tion of the evening, spe­cial guest and for­mer NHLer Doug Gil­mour was at the event, min­gling with at­ten­dees and par­tic­i­pat­ing in a hot-stove, Q-and-A ses­sion to cap off the evening.

More than 50 Gil­mour- and NHLre­lated mem­o­ra­bilia were auc­tioned off through­out the night the help raise more money.

The cost to at­tend the event was $125 per plate.

Money raised from the night will go to the Prince Al­bert Raiders ed­u­ca­tion fund and projects that the P.A. Kins­men deems to be the com­mu­nity’s great­est need.

EVAN RAD­FORD/DAILY HER­ALD

Male ath­lete of the year, Josh Ka­pacila, ac­cepts the tro­phy honour­ing his achieve­ment.

EVAN RAD­FORD/DAILY HER­ALD

Bob Cof­fin speaks at the Ches Leach lounge Satur­day night af­ter be­ing cho­sen as the 2017 sports­man of the year.

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