The province’s paddling community was well represented at Sport Nova Scotia’s Ricoh Sport Awards nomination announcement on Tuesday.
Six of seven awards featured nominees from sprint canoe-kayak, including Waverley’s Connor Taras for male team athlete of the year, Alexa Irvin of Kentville for female team athlete of the year, and Halifax’s Mark de Jonge for male individual athlete of the year. All three are kayakers.
“It’s nice to see my teammates and coaches be nominated,” said Taras at a press conference at the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame.
“We’re really strong in Nova Scotia in the paddling world, nationally and internationally, and it’s nice to be honoured here.”
Also up for awards from canoe-kayak were the female canoe duo of Mariah Godin and Emily Riddle (team of the year); Csom Latorovszki (coach of the year); and Mark Penfound (official of the year).
Taras, who won a silver medal with Canada’s K-4 1,000-metre team at the Pan American Games last year, is hoping to join Dartmouth’s Jason McCoombs and Windsor’s Ryan Cochrane on the Olympic paddling team.
He’ll race against De Jonge, Rhys Hill of Ottawa and Richard Dober of Trois-Rivieres, Que., at the Olympic trials in Montreal on June 23 and 24 for the right to race Canada’s K-1 200 boat in London.
“The 200 is such a short race and usually, by the end of it, the top nine guys are all within the same half a second,” Taras said. “It’s anybody’s race, really.”
Sport Nova Scotia’s Ricoh Sport Award nominees:
Team of the year — Maria Godin and Emily Riddle (canoe); Max Flinn and Andrew Burns (sailing); Murphy’s Junior Eagles (softball).
Female individual athlete of the year — Jenna Martin (athletics); Ellie Black (gymnastics); Danielle Dube (sailing).
Male individual athlete of the year — Mark de Jonge (kayak); David Sharpe (swimming); Ian Kent (table tennis).
Female team athlete of the year — Alexa Irvin (kayak); Alexis Crossley (hockey); Nkem Ezurike (soccer).
Male team athlete of the year — Connor Taras (kayak); Adam Melanson (football); Nathan MacKinnon (hockey).
Coach of the year — Paul Millman (athletics); Csom Latorovszki (canoe-kayak); Aaron Maszko (swimming).
Official of the year — Mark Penfound (canoe-kayak); Warren Nethercote (sailing); Graham Waters (squash).