Abbotsford athletes Ben Ball and Mike Mason were winners at the Sport BC awards gala last week at the River Rock Show Theatre in Richmond.
Ball, a Mennonite Educational Institute grad, was named the province’s university athlete of the year for his exploits with the Trinity Western men’s volleyball team. The fifth-year setter was the CIS men’s volleyball player of the year and the Canada West athlete of the year in 2012 after guiding the Spartans to their second consecutive national title.
“Winning this award is a huge honour,” acknowledged Ball. “Individual awards are kind of funny to me because there were so many people involved with me at TWU; I am nowhere as an individual.”
Mason, a Nanoose Bay native and a member of Abbotsford’s Valley Royals track and field club, won the Harry Jerome comeback award.
The world junior high jump champ in 2004, Mason battled nagging ankle injuries for several years and underwent surgery to remove a bone chip. He returned to form last year under the tutelage of Royals power/speed coach Ziggy Szelagowicz, qualifying for the Canadian Olympic team and finishing eighth at the London Games.
Kayla Bruce of the UFV women’s volleyball team was also a Sport BC nominee, but she was beaten out for the college athlete of the year award by Jenna Ralston of the Capilano Blues women’s basketball squad.