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Ottawa Sports Awards – Sindy Hooper, Harriet Cherry, and 80-plus Hockey Hall of Fame to be recognized at sold out Ottawa Sports Awards

There will be a record number of athletes, coaches, volunteers, and officials in attendance at the Ottawa Sports Awards at Algonquin College on Wednesday, January 30 to celebrate the 2018 accomplishments of the City’s amateur sports community. 700 tickets have been sold or distributed to winners, and the event sold out 12 days in advance.

Along with the winners of the Lifetime Achievement Awards and the Annual Major Awards, the Ottawa Sports Awards organizing committee is also pleased to announce the winner of the 2018 Spirit of Sport Award and the Special Recognition honourees for this year.

Sindy Hooper is the 2018 recipient of the Spirit of Sport Award which celebrates people who have set a meaningful example for others through their personal journey in sport. It is presented by longtime Ottawa Citizen sports reporter, Martin Cleary. Hooper competed at the 2018 Ironman World Championships, nearly six years after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. After undergoing surgery which removed half of her pancreas half of her stomach, her gallbladder and duodenum, chemotherapy and radiation followed. None of that kept Hooper from returning to triathlons and her unbelievable strength and determination is now an inspiration to others.

Eight months after her surgery Hooper ran the Ironman Canada and raised over $50,000 for cancer research. Now, in addition to her training, Hooper is sharing her story with a desire to give back and inspire others to become more physically active. She has formed three running teams which have raised close to $200,000 for oncolytic virus research at The Ottawa Hospital, and acts as a coach and motivational speaker. Hooper’s motto is make every moment count, a message that resonates among all athletes and can motivate others to take up their own journey in sport.

The Special Recognition Awards are for individuals or groups who have contributed notably to their sport community in unique ways, such that other Ottawa Sport Awards may not clearly capture their contributions.

Harriet Cherry is receiving a Special Recognition Award for her long dedication to the sport of equestrian. At 87 years old, she is the face of competitions in the Ottawa area and a highly respected official who is also in demand at international competitions. One of Canada’s first Federation Equestre Internationale stewards, Harriet is known for her fairness, knowledge of the rules and fabulous sense of humour. In addition to her stewarding duties, Harriet has also held other officials’ statuses with Equestrian Canada; she was a Recorded Hunter, Jumper, Hunt Seat Equitation and Hack Judge. Harriet has a love for stewarding and horses, and plans to continue officiating for as long as she is able.

The second recipient of the Special Recognition Award for 2018 is the organizing committee of the 80-and-over Hockey Hall of Fame, which was inaugurated in Ottawa in 2011 by the Ottawa Elder Skatesmen. The members of the senior adult hockey league formed the Hall to recognize and celebrate local hockey players who had attained the age of 80 and were still actively engaged in their beloved sport of recreational hockey. The growth, and the interest in, the 80+ Hockey Hall of Fame continues to expand from coast to coast – accentuated by this year’s induction ceremonies in both Ottawa-Gatineau and in Saskatoon, Sask. In 2019 an induction ceremony in Vancouver is planned, while American inductees have also been honoured as part of an annual tournament. To date there have been over 250 senior hockey players inducted into the Hall of Fame. Induction is not based on a record of exceptional hockey proficiency or achievement; rather, it is based on the inspiring reality that a nominee is actively participating in the sport of hockey at age 80 or over. Every inductee is a messenger for the importance of staying actively involved in a sport in their vintage years, and subscribes to the Hall’s motto, “Passing the puck  – À vous la rondelle.“

The Ottawa Sports Awards is the largest and most inclusive amateur sport recognition event in Canada and will mark its 66th anniversary this year. Winners of the 65 individual sport awards and team recognition awards will be announced shortly.