BC Enjoys Successful Night At Top University Awards Gala

UVIC Vikes and UBC Thunderbirds celebrate top awards at 2021 USPORTS Awards Banquet

British Columbia Rugby enjoyed a successful night at the 2021 USPORTS Awards banquet in Kingston, Ontario.

University of Victoria Vikings and UBC Thunderbirds celebrated top awards at the annual All-Canadian gala that was held on Thursday evening.

Sophie de Goede kicks a conversion

De Goede wins Player of the Year, Vikes’ Wright Rookie of the Year

Victoria native Sophie de Goede was named 2021 USPORTS Player of the Year for the second time in her career, further adding to a decorated university career. Queen’s University attendant De Goede was also awarded First Team All-Canadian status for 2021.

University of Victoria Vikings fullback Larah Wright picked up the 2021 USPORTS Rookie of the Year award. In addition, Wright was also named as a Second Team All-Canadian. The Calgary native becomes just the second Vike to be named the USPORTS Rookie of the Year, following teammate Gabrielle Senft’s selection in 2015.

Wright, a newcomer to the Vikes program in 2021, was also awarded Canada West Rookie of the Year honours and a selection to the Canada West All-Star team following the conference playoffs.

Vikes Head Coach Brittany Waters said: “Larah has performed beyond her years and experience this year, demonstrating enormous potential. She has been one of our most consistent top performers and has a variety of skills in her toolbox. She is one of our leading point scorers and her defence is equally impressive. She is a hard worker and great teammate as well, and so deserving of this award.”

Fellow Vikes star and Calgary native Chanelle Edwards-Challenger was named a First Team All-Canadian. Edwards-Challenger earns the second All-Canadian designation of her career, but the first selection to the first team.

UVIC Vikes Larah Wright celebrates

UBC Head Coach Murten Takes Home Jim Atkinson Award

UBC Head Coach Dean Murten was named the Fox 40 Coach of the Year in women’s Rugby, bringing home the Jim Atkinson Award.

Murten, who was also named Canada West Coach of the Year for a second successive season, led the UBC Thunderbirds to an undefeated season and second consecutive Canada West title. He was at the helm for UBC’s 2019 Canada West title, the first in program history.

UBC Director of Athletics Robin D’Abreo said: “Dean has been absolutely fantastic in his leadership of our women’s rugby program. Building on the solid foundations laid down by our previous coach, Maria Gallo, Dean’s impact on the program has been hugely significant in the areas of performance and academic excellence, recruiting, team culture and fundraising.”

There was further joy for UBC, as prop Mikiela Nelson (North Vancouver), fly-half Savannah Bauder (North Vancouver) and centre Shoshanah Seumanutafa (Surrey) all won First Team All-Canadian designations. Bauder was also nominated for Player of the Year.

UBC winger Logan Piper (Calgary) was named Second Team All-Canadian after an impressive season, alongside Acadia flanker Laura Pfleiderer (Williams Lake).

Information and photos courtesy of USPORTS and UVIC Vikes.

UBC Head Coach Dean Murten gives a training session