Jim Mitchell won the official of the year award at the 46th annual Sport BC Awards gala at Richmond’s River Rock Show Theatre last week.
Mitchell, a teacher at W.J. Mouat Secondary and an Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame inductee in 2004, has been a wrestling referee for 36 years, officiating Olympics, World Cups, Commonwealth Games, Pan Am Games and more.
He edged Terry Mosdell (lacrosse, Surrey) and Wayne Van Osterhout (rowing, Victoria) for the Sport BC award.
Three other Abbotsford natives were nominated, but basketball player Jacob Doerksen (university athlete), wrestler Sunny Dhinsa (high school athlete) and volleyballer Will Quiring (college athlete) were runners-up in their respective categories.
HOCKEY TEAMS OFF TO PROVINCIALS
Two Abbotsford midget rep teams have earned berths to the BC Hockey provincial championships to be held March 18-24.
Both teams qualified by virtue of finishing among the top teams at their respective Pacific Coast Final Four playoffs earlier this month.
The midget A1 team, coached by Les Coughlan, will battle five other teams in the Tier 1 tournament in Kelowna.
The midget A3 team, coached by Ron Mayert, finished the regular season at the top of PCAHA midget flight 5, winning the coveted league banner which will be hoisted to the rafters at MSA Arena at the end of the season. They travel to Osoyoos, completing with 10 other teams from B.C. and the Yukon in the Tier 3 championships.
KARATE ATHLETES TO NATIONALS
A trio of Abbotsford athletes have been named to Team B.C. for the Karate Canada National Championships, which run March 16-18 at the Richmond Oval.
Shaun Dhillon, a bronze medallist at the 2011 Pan American Games and the reigning Karate B.C. male athlete of the year, leads the local contingent. He’ll compete in the 84-plus kg men’s division.
Also in the field are Balreet Bajwa (lightweight, age 14-15), Jason Kingra (78 kg, age 18-20) and Calvin Youttiham (70 kg, age 14-15).