Although the results of Saturday afternoon’s basketball game between the athletes and coaches of Quesnel Special Olympics were contentious, the awards that night were anything but.
The coaches managed to squeak out a one-point victory over the athletes in the game of hoops at Correlieu Secondary School, but according to program co-ordinator Rick Prosk, they were accused of some skulduggery by their opponents.
Prosk says that it is debatable.
Everyone was able to agree that the awards show in the evening went well.
A capacity crowd filled out Elks Lodge to congratulate Quesnel Special Olympics on 25 successful years.
Mayor Bob Simpson spoke for a few minutes and awards were handed out to the top athletes in the 10 winter sports programs that have wrapped up.
The coveted coach-of-the-year award ended up going to two coaches this year.
Brian Cullinane, the first-year coach of the basketball team and the vice principal of CSS shared the honour with Laurie Kent, who coaches five of the sports programs.
Also up for grabs was the Paul Turgeon Award, named for the former local curling coach, which is given to the athlete that best exemplifies dedication and commitment.
Voted on by the athlete committee, this year’s choice was Brock Terlesky.
Terlesky was one of two male Special Olympic track athletes in B.C. chosen to compete at the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg, and has just completed his Level 2 National Speaker Bureau public speaker course offered by Special Olympics B.C.
In addition, his curling team finished first at the regional qualifier held in Quesnel this March.
“It’s not just his accomplishment that the athletes recognized,” says Prosk.
“He’s very dedicated, takes his sports commitments very seriously and he shows a lot of leadership even though he’s only 23.”