2021 Softball Canada Announces Award Recipients
Ottawa, Ont. – Softball Canada is pleased to announce that Terry Henderson (Brookfield, N.S.) will be inducted to the Softball Canada Hall of Fame in the Builders category, joining fellow 2022 inductees George Gillett (Builder – New Brunswick) and John MacEwen (Official – Nova Scotia) who were previously announced this summer. The induction ceremony was scheduled to take place on November 13, 2021 but has been postponed to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Terry Henderson (Brookfield, N.S.) significantly contributed to softball’s growth in Nova Scotia as a player, coach, umpire and administrator. He played a significant role in establishing the Brookfield Elks Fastball Club that has long been recognized at the national level, with Henderson playing for 20 years along with 37 years in coaching, participating in many Canadian Championships and winning four medals as a coach (gold in 1980, silver in 1977, bronze in 1978 and 1986). In addition to his lengthy career as a player and coach, Henderson also helped in the foundation of the Fundy Region Umpires Association and was a registered Softball Canada umpire for 40 years, while also being an administrator and fundraiser for the Brookfield Elks and serving over 25 years as the Fundy Zone Director on Softball Nova Scotia’s Board of Directors.
In addition, Softball Canada is pleased to recognize its individual award and bursary recipients for the 2021 season.
Jenn Salling from Port Coquitlam, B.C. has been named the Home Run Sports Female Fast Pitch Athlete of the Year after helping to lead Canada to a historic bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, setting an Olympic record with a .571 batting average. Salling is also competed at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and has been a key member of the Women’s National Team program since 2006, winning three WBSC World Cup bronze medals along with one gold and three silver at the Pan American Games. She recently announced her retirement as a player and was named an assistant coach of the Women’s National Team program.
The Home Run Sports Male Fast Pitch Athlete of the Year award goes to Bradley Ezekiel from Harbour Main, N.L., who won gold with the Hill United Chiefs at the ISC World Tournament followed by another gold medal at the Rawlings Grand Slam event with the Saskatoon Angels. Ezekiel has been part of the Men’s National Team since 2011, winning gold at the 2015 WBSC World Cup and Pan American Games and adding a pair of bronze medals at the 2017 and 2019 World Cups. He is widely recognized as one of the world’s top hitters, and has won numerous championships and awards at the Canadian Championship level.
The Home Run Sports Coach of the Year award has been awarded to Cory Brooks from Napanee, Ont. has been coaching softball for 18 years, ranging from U8 all the way up to U23, with great success in the Napanee Express Men’s Program. A Competition-Introduction Certified Coach, and part of the OASA’s High Performance Coach Development Program, Brooks is known for his ability to create culture with players, while encouraging a fun, yet competitive environment. He attributes much of his success as a coach to his athletes and the support of their parents. In 2018, his U16 Boy’s team finished with a bronze medal at Canadian Championships, before sweeping 2019 with gold at Provincials, Eliminations, and the U16 Canadian Championship. While no competitions were held in 2020 due to the pandemic, Brooks and the Napanee Express U19 Team came out strong once again in 2021, taking gold at Provincials, Eliminations, and the U19 Eastern Canadian Championship, going 7-1 in Fredericton, NB.
Audrey Desmarteaux-Houle from Ottawa, Ont. was named the 2021 Home Run Sports Fast Pitch Umpire of the Year. Desmarteaux-Houle is a Level IV certified official who has represented Softball Quebec with professionalism, both on and off the diamond. Besides her on-field accomplishments, Audrey is highly active in leadership at all levels of the program. From her lead role as Chair of Blue Convention 2019 and being Deputy Umpire-in-Chief for Softball Quebec, continuing to lead and develop web-based education initiatives in her province – including an on-line Level I clinic in French using the Moodle platform – to being a lead mentor for many young umpires and a leading voice in the national Women in Umpiring group, Audrey has made significant contributions at all levels of the program.
The 2021 Home Run Sports Slo-Pitch Umpire of the Year award has been awarded to Dave Jones from Grimsby, Ont. Jones is a Level V and WBSC certified official who has represented Softball Ontario and Softball Canada at the highest levels of the sport. Besides his on-field accomplishments, Dave is highly active in leadership at all levels of the program. From leading introductory level NOCP clinics in his local area and mentoring new umpires to leading the Super Series Umpire Committee and being active in national initiatives, Dave is always willing to give of his time and expertise to support umpires.
This year’s recipients of the Claude Deschamps Memorial Fund are Angelina Bomberry from Ohsweken, Ont. and Connor Brooks from Napanee, Ont.
Angelina Bomberry is in her third year at McMaster University pursuing a combined honours degree in Indigenous Studies and Anthropology. A member of the McMaster Marauders Fast Pitch Team, she was named to the Ontario Interuniversity Women’s Fast Pitch Association’s (OIWFA) All-Star team in 2019. She also enjoys playing badminton and biking in her spare time.
Connor Brooks recently began an electrical apprenticeship program through St. Lawrence College. He was a member of the 2020 U19 Canadian Men’s National Team and has been selected to represent Canada’s U23 Men’s National Team at the WBSC Americas Championship this Spring. Brooks has won a total of three gold and one bronze medals with the Napanee Express at the Canadian Championships in the U14 and U16 levels and was named Softball Canada’s Male Fast Pitch Minor Athlete of the Year in 2019.
The Ethel Boyce Memorial Award will be awarded to Kate Talaga from Sherwood Park, Alta. and Robbie Barker from Centreville, Ont.
Kate Talaga is just about to complete her Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing from MacEwen University this term. A member of the Sherwood Park Intermediate team and coach for the Sherwood Park U10 Storm in the Greater Edmonton Minor Softball Association, Talaga was a Provincial silver medalist at the U16A level and participated at the U16 and U19 Canadian Championships. She has volunteered her time as a coach and instructor at over 20 clinics and is also an active ringette player.
Robbie Barker is currently studying Criminology at Trent University. A member of the Napanee Express, he won several Provincial and Canadian Championships over the last several years and was recently named to Team Ontario for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games.
Congratulations to all of this year’s award winners!
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