The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is proud to recognize four individuals for their off-ice accomplishments and contributions in the Off-Ice Awards. It’s the second year the league has shined a spotlight in the categories of Community Player of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Broadcaster of the Year and Scholastic Player of the Year.
Community Player of the Year
|Benson is a caring, gracious, and generous individual and he showed that in the initiative he took to give back to his hometown. Benson got involved with the Raise A Reader, Christmas Amalgamated Gift Drive, Food Bank, and participated with Special Olympics floor hockey. He gave his time to collect items for a Christmas basket for an underprivileged family and recruited Storm teammates, family and friends to donate and build an impressive basket for his chosen family. Benson is the first player to jump in with both feet for community activities.
Scholastic Player of the Year
|Ward has been a straight-A student since Grade 10 and earning the best grades possible in school is important to the Kamloops product. He worked extremely hard to maintain his high grade point average this season and not only sought out extra help at school, he created study groups with students. He will be one of the top graduating students in his class. In Physics 11 he earned 94 per cent, Law Studies 12 (94 per cent), English 12 (99 per cent). Overall, he has been a 92.5% student over 13 Grade 11 and 12 classes.
Jim Harrington Memorial Award
(Volunteer of the Year)
|Ruth is the first recipient of the newly renamed award and has been a vital part of the Ghostriders organization since becoming a billet parent in 2011. Since then, Ruth joined the organization as a director and runs the booster club, merchandise table, cooks post-game meals for the team, and helps organize all team dinners, parties and events (Christmas/parents weekend/ Thanksgiving, etc.). She also has been instrumental with billet recruitment.
|Broadcaster of the Year
Grand Forks Border Bruins
|It’s the second straight selection for McKinnon, who just completed his seventh season in the broadcast booth. With a broadcasting background, McKinnon said on an episode of Top Shelf – The KIJHL podcast that he came in with the attitude that “we needed to be Sportsnet on a budget.”
McKinnon sets the bar for other KIJHL programs and is always coming up with ways to keep improving his broadcast, which are professional and neutral. McKinnon is also responsible for creating the online Game Day Lineup generator for the teams to use, and he sends out Border Bruins lineups with correct name pronunciations to help other KIJHL broadcasters with their prep. Kevin is a huge asset to the Border Bruins and the KIJHL.