The Annual Awards Banquet was a huge success this year thanks to Jason Biggar, who took on the role of organizing the event. Swimmers and their families came together for a meal and stayed to recognize the accomplishments of their peers.
Foremost, SSAT would like to acknowledge and thank the many volunteers who have made this season a success. In particular, Allan Kary, Dave Simard, Scott Morrison, and Danielle Oak-Brown went above and beyond at the start of the season by stepping in to help coach when the club was in need. Their dedication kept the team alive as SSAT worked to secure a Head Coach for the remainder of the season. Gail Lane was also recognized for her ongoing involvement as outgoing Treasurer, helping the board stay on top of things through a period of transition. Swimmers received the following awards:
Outstanding Performance: In an effort to award ongoing success and a proven pattern of excellence, each swimmer’s FINA points from their top five events were tabulated.
Senior: Raili Kary and Alec Seccareccia
Junior: Morgan Smith and Ethan Haas
Spirit Award: In memory of Dr. Hui Lee, a devoted coach, swimmer, and prominent citizen of Sault Ste. Marie who started swimming at age 6 and immediately found endless joy in the sport. To him, it was like brushing his teeth, a fundamental part of his day. As a Masters swimmer in Sault Ste. Marie, Dr. Lee stepped up to coach out of necessity, but also discovered joy in helping other people swim their best. When other swimmers would park at noon hour and see his car in the lot, they’d brighten and know they were in for an excellent workout because Dr. Lee was there. He had a magical way of smoothing things out, making everything okay, and that translated into his involvement with swimming. Dr. Lee would often compare team spirit to a flock of geese; they fly together, but one always leads the way, making it easier for others to follow in their path. That leader, no matter how quiet or loud, motivates teammates to be their best. Every team has a spirit, and that spirit is what keeps the team going.
Senior: Kevin Li
Junior: Sophia Li
Most Improved: A sum of each swimmer’s total improvements over the past season was tabulated to determine the winners of this award.
Senior: Emma Broadbent and Will Banton
Junior: Brie Reid and Alex Orazietti
Nancy Mancuso Award: Named in memory of a former local coach, this award goes to a Junior swimmer who embodies all the qualities that make a great ambassador for the club. They are hardworking, respectful, positive, and leave a good impression.
Coach’s Award: The criteria matches that of the Nancy Mancuso Award, but is given to a Senior swimmer who possesses those same qualities.
PULSE Award: New this year, this award stands for Perseverance, Upgrowth, Leadership, Sportsmanship, and Enthusiasm. Two swimmers from each training group who act as the heartbeat of the club earn this award.
Waverunner: Eva Robinson and Owen Clement
Future Olympians: Haylen Leonard and Enzo Gonzalez
Age Group: Georgia Burns and Andrew Li
Senior: Paige Banton and Riley Reid