The impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on local sports was evident recently when the Town of Amherst handed out its Athletic Achiever awards.
Only five of the awards, presented to local amateur athletes and teams that achieve gold medals at the provincial, Maritime, Atlantic or Eastern Canadian level, or a bronze, silver or gold medal at the national or international level, were handed out to four athletes during a short ceremony that took COVID-19 protocols into account.
A year ago, the members of 11 teams and 38 individuals – a total of 175 athletes – were honoured.
“The pandemic has definitely had an impact on the number of people we are honouring because, as we all know, it forced many sporting activities to the sidelines during the past year,” Mayor David Kogon said.
“On behalf of council, I want to congratulate the athletes we are recognizing this evening for the excellent performances they attained in 2020 despite the pandemic. All council members acknowledge that it takes practice, hard work, determination and sacrifice to reach the level of success that each of you have accomplished.
“I hope you take pride in your performances because I can tell you the citizens of Amherst are proud of your achievements. Your successes encourage others to become more active and that helps Amherst reach its goal of becoming the most active, healthiest community in Nova Scotia.”
The mayor also had words of encouragement for those athletes who were unable to compete this past year due to the pandemic.
“I encourage you to keep training, to continue making those sacrifices all athletes make because this pandemic will end and you will once again be able to pursue provincial, national and international championships and gold, silver and bronze medals,” Kogon said. “And we will be ready to honour you when you do, just as we’re honouring these five recipients this evening.”
The mayor, assisted by Deputy-Mayor Hal Davidson and councillors Sheila Christie, George Baker and Lisa Emery, then presented the awards to:
Amherst Kodokan Judo
Allison Jones - 2020 Kanokai Challenge U-10 bronze winner
Cumberland Spartans Swim Club
- 2020 Winter AA Swim Championship gold medalist 100-metre butterfly
- 2020 Winter AA Swim Championship silver medalist 50-metre freestyle
- 2020 Winter AA Swim Championship bronze medalist 100-metre backstroke
Allison Jones - 2020 Nova Scotia ITF Open TaeKwon-Do Championship girls 6-8-years-old yellow-belt patterns gold medalist
Alex Rossong - 2020 Nova Scotia ITF Open TaeKwon-Do Championship boys 11-13-years-old, light-weight, red-belt sparring gold medalist
Beau Janes - 2020 Nova Scotia ITF Open TaeKwon-Do Championship boys 11-13-years-old, blue-belt, sparring gold medalist.