The accomplishments by Prince Albert athletes and those working behind the scenes on a national stage were saluted at the Ches Leach Lounge Saturday during the 12th edition of the Prince Albert Kinsmen/Raiders Sportsman Dinner.
Volleyball player Daulton Sinoski and curler Kara Thevenot were named as the Athletes of the Year for 2019, while Bryan Rindal received the Sportsperson of the Year award as the event chair for the 2019 New Holland Canadian Junior Curling Championships that were held at the Art Hauser Centre.
Proceeds from the evening, which also included Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Grant Fuhr as the guest of honour, are still being tabulated and will go towards the Prince Albert Raiders Education Fund and “Our Community’s Greatest Need” through the Kinsmen Club of Prince Albert.
Kara Thevenot – Female Athlete of the Year
A bronze medal showing at the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts brought a lot of attention to Robyn Silvernagle’s rink from North Battleford, but the support from Prince Albert is what meant the most to team lead Thevenot.
“Everywhere that I’ve played, I’ve been proud to represent Prince Albert,” Thevenot said.
“I had known that a few friends had nominated me for this award, but it was still pretty exciting when I found out that I was being honoured tonight.”
After back-to-back losses in the provincial final, the Silvernagle squad captured their first provincial title in January by defeating Sherry Anderson in Humboldt.
The foursome, which also featured third Stefanie Lawton and second Jessie Hunkin, posted an 8-3 round-robin record at the Scotties in Sydney, N.S. before losing back-to-back playoff games to eventual champion Chelsea Carey of Alberta and runner-up Rachel Homan of Ontario.
The rink also reached the semifinal at the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling’s Players’ Championship in Toronto and had quarter-final results at the Meridian Canadian Open in North Battleford and the Humpty’s Champions Cup in Saskatoon.
“There’s quite a lot that our team took from last season as we go forward, especially as we look towards gaining a spot at Olympic Trials in Saskatoon in 2021,” Thevenot said.
“We had a really good bonspiel to start this season in Edmonton (where they made the quarter-finals) but we didn’t have the results we wanted in Saskatoon and Calgary. It’s still a long season though and our number one goal is to make it back to the Scotties, especially with it being in Moose Jaw and having to chance to play for Saskatchewan at home.”
Thevenot and the rest of her teammates are in North Bay, Ont. this week for the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling’s Masters event.
Bryan Rindal – Sportsperson of the Year
As the event chair for the 2019 New Holland Canadian Junior Curling Championships, Rindal was the public face for a talented group that welcomed 28 teams to Prince Albert in January.
“At some points, it’s nice to be recognized, but at some other points it’s almost embarrassing,” Rindal joked. “There were over 200 people out there working during the course of the event, but I just happened to be nominated as I was kind of the skip of the whole operation.
“With that said, the honours are very nice for all of us with the (newly rebranded) Prince Albert Golf and Curling Centre and the work that we put in really gave us a nice boost.”
One of the things that stood out for Rindal from the event was how respectful all of the curlers were throughout the week.
“Danny (Lamoureux) from Curling Canada told me before the tournament that we’d have no trouble with these kids,” Rindal said.
“I just couldn’t believe how well behaved and how professional those athletes were. That’s something that really blew me away.”
While everyone at the PAGCC is taking their time before applying to host another major event, it is something that is in their future plans.
“We’ve done so many things over the last few years that we want to breathe for a little bit, but I think we’ve shown that Prince Albert can host these big curling events,” Rindal said.
“There’s obviously talk about new arenas coming here, but I think a Scotties is something that we can host in Prince Albert. The Art Hauser Centre might not fall into the arena size that Curling Canada looks at for events like that, but if we can get 3,000 people here standing on milk crates, I think they’d take a look.”
Daulton Sinoski – Male Athlete of the Year
Although he was unable to attend Saturday’s ceremony, Sinoski had a good reason for missing out.
He was helping the Saskatchewan Huskies improve to 1-1 in Canada West volleyball play this season as they picked up a four-set win over the host Calgary Dinos.
“We might have been watching the game on our phones during dinner,” Sinoski’s mother Paige joked while she accepted the award on Daulton’s behalf along with his father Chris.
A provincial champion with the Carlton Crusaders in 2014, Sinoski has lined up in the middle and the right side of the court for the Huskies program during the last five years.
He was a back-to-back U Sports All-Academic first team player in 2018 and 2019 and also represented Saskatchewan in beach volleyball at the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.
“I’d like to thank my coaches that helped me along, especially Jeff Court and Curtis Bender at Carlton,” Sinoski said during a pre-recorded acceptance speech that was played at the dinner. “It was a great experience playing volleyball at Carlton and it helped me to progress as a student-athlete here with the Huskies during the last five years.
“I’m looking forward to playing in Europe next year with the goal of playing for Canada at the 2020 Olympics, along with starting my teaching career.”
Sinoski will be graduating with his Bachelor’s of Education from the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program in December.