A golden summer on the world stage has earned Magnus Batara the inaugural Richmond News Sportsperson of the Year Award.
The standout swimmer was honoured at last week’s 17th annual Richmond Sports Awards which recognized athletic achievements and contributions by city athletes, coaches, officials, builders and administrators in 2015.
The 23-year-old starred for Canada at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, winning four gold medals. He touched the wall first in the 100 and 200 metre breaststroke, as well as to 100 butterfly. He added a fourth gold as a member of Canada’s 4x100 medley relay team.
The World Games featured over 7000 athletes from 177 countries, competing 26 different sports.
The Sports Person of the Year Award adds to Batara’s decorated athletic career that also includes winning the Special Olympics B.C. Athletic Achievement Award in 2014. He has been competing in Special Olympic events for nine years and also excels in floor hockey, basketball and athletics.
Batara was one of many recognized at the Richmond Sports Award banquet, held at the McMath Secondary School rotunda . The program is overseen by the Richmond Sports Council and led by the efforts of Terry Kehoe and longtime Richmond Review Sports Editor Don Fennell who was the evening’s master of ceremonies.
There is a nomination window for a wide variety of categories each year and a selection committee determines the winners.
Others honoured on the night included longtime member/volunteer Nora Ann Wright who received the Richmond Sports Council Award of Distinction.
Mike Gilles was presented the Don Fennell Award of Distinction for his outstanding contribution to athletics in the Richmond school system, as well as in the community, for over 30 years.
Rounding out the winners are:
Lee Hunter (athletics, Dixon Elementary School), Bob Frid (Seafair Minor Hockey Association).
Volunteer and Support
Administrator of the Year: John Braaten (Richmond City Baseball), Cheryl Ternes (Richmond Minor Football).
Coach of the Year: Scott Lunny (Richmond City Baseball).
Official of the Year: Michael Yamaguchi (Richmond City Baseball).
Male Athlete of the Year: Evan Dunfee (racewalk).
Female Athlete of the Year: Meghan Jamieson (judo).
Masters Athlete of the Year: Jody Cranston (athletics).
Junior Athlete of the Year: Nick Jensen (lacrosse).
High School Male Athlete of the Year: James Houston (rowing).
High School Female Athlete of the Year: Jessica Jones (basketball).
Youth Male Athlete of the Year: Noah Orr (baseball).
Youth Female Athlete of the Year: Camryn Rogers (athletics).
Special Olympics Athlete of the Year: Nicky Chow (speed skating).
Adult Team of the Year: Richmond Lawn Bowling.
Female Youth Team of the Year: McMath Wildcats (soccer).
Male Youth Team of the Year: U18 Richmond United (soccer).
Youth Team of the Year: Panther Cheer Level 2 (cheer).