USA Canoe Kayak, at its annual Coaching and Leadership Conference held in Oklahoma City Feb 15 - 17, announced the recipients of the following awards for 2012:
Volunteer of the Year - Missy Hill, Gig Harbor
"Missy Hill has been and continues to volunteer her time and energy as Chair of the Sprint Events Committee; member of the ParaCanoe Committee; official for the National Championships; Olympic Trials and Lake Placid International Regatta. USA Canoe Kayak is proud to present the Volunteer Award to Missy to acknowledge our gratitude for her service and dedication to our membership." - Mac Hickox, National Sprint Development Director
Upon receiving the award, Missy stated she got involved in Sprint Canoe Kayak officiating as a way to channel the nerves as her daughter Katy competed in competitions around the country.
Her present goal "I want to be sure that Gig Harbor youth continue to enjoy a healthy lifestyle associated with the program offered by Coach Anderson. The new Clubhouse is our goal - Missy Hill"
Development Coach of the Year - Graham Ulmer, Gig Harbor
Presenting the award was the 2011 recipient Jon Sousley, Gig Harbor Canoe Coach. Jon stated:
Graham is the key reason why we continue to have a pipeline of talent - whether covered in mud or soaking wet Graham's always present calm manner; instant smile and easy laugh encourages the young Gig Harbor athletes to constantly improve day to day through an environment that is stress free!
Graham Ulmer in accepting the award stated "This award is recognizing the Team approach that Jon, Alan and I have implemented at Gig Harbor"
Mac Hickox, Chair of the Sprint Coaches Association stated:
"The Under 14 pipeline has been a steady stream of talent in this NW hotbed for the last five years - Graham does not like the spotlight but at some point his efforts had to be acknowledged on a National Level"
Coach of the Year - Alan Anderson, Head Coach, Gig Harbor.
In presenting the award, Mac stated:
"Alan is the first back to back recipient of the Sprint Coaches Association Coach of the Year.
This was an exceptional break through year for the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Club as this small group of talented athletes won the overall National Championship Trophy for most points accumulated by a Club.
Alan has a philosophy of gender equity and inclusion of athletes with disabilities in their program offerings.
Gig Harbor has become a model Club for the other Clubs within USA Canoe Kayak to follow"
In accepting the award Alan said:
"I am honored to receive this recognition of our efforts in Gig Harbor. These accomplishments will be shared by our paddlers, our parents, and the many friends we have throughout our community. I want to especially recognize our Canoe coach, and strength and conditioning coach, Jonathan Sousley who brings creativity and so much enjoyment to our paddlers.
We are excited to be part of our countries resurgence in the Olympic sport of canoe/kayak and look forward to seeing an American once again on the podium!
The support that we are getting from the community of Gig Harbor has been incredible lately, and we hope to find a home here so that we can continue to inspire young people to reach for their dreams"
- Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team