Boucher, Coffin, Kapacila earn top sports honours

Bob Coffin speaks at the Ches Leach lounge on Oct. 28, 2017 after being chosen as the year's sportsman of the year at the annual Sportsperson of Year celebrity fundraiser banquet in Prince Albert. Evan Radford/Daily Herald

A CrossFit guru, a master horse rider and a football veteran were chosen as this year’s honourees at the Kinsmen/Raiders Sportsperson of the year fundraising dinner, held Saturday evening at the Ches Leach lounge.

Bob Coffin, who has played, coached and refereed football throughout his career, was chosen as the sportsman of the year.

Janice Boucher, who won the award once before for archery in 1995, was chosen as 2017’s female athlete of the year after she overcame a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis three years ago and earned international success in Para Reining with horses.

This year’s male athlete of the year is Josh Kapacila, who specializes in CrossFit training and has won several regional and western competitions in the sport.

When asked about the award, Coffin was quick to recognize those around him in the P.A. football community.

“It’s because of a lot of people. There were people that started up minor football before I got involved. And with my background and the experience I had, and the contacts that I had – when you have such great people to work with, I accept this award because and with them.”

Coffin is currently the president of the Prince Albert Minor Football Association.

He recalled many of the players he coached and saw go on to play the sport at the junior, collegiate and professional levels.

“A lot of them that went into the Saskatoon Hilltops and the (University of Saskatchewan) Huskies. I’m proud of all of them, because they were willing to go that extra bit to become the best that they could be, and they made it there, they belonged there.”

He emphasized that the volunteers and parents involved in keeping minor football running goes a long way.

“They’re doing that so the youth of this province has that opportunity, and therefore they learn all the positives of a team sport.”

Kapacila said that the award means a lot to him.

“It’s cool to see CrossFit recognized, because a lot of people don’t see it as a sport.”

Male athlete of the year, Josh Kapacila, accepts the trophy honouring his achievement at the 2017 Sportsperson of Year celebrity fundraiser banquet at the Ches Leach lounge on Oct. 28, 2017. Evan Radford/Daily Herald

In his acceptance speech, he recognized his dad and his grandfather as being influential role models that guided him to find success in the sport.

Boucher was unable to attend Saturday’s event. Her daughter, Dominique, accepted the award on Janice’s behalf.

Dominique said that her mom struggled with her regular horse riding after the Parkinson’s diagnosis.

“I heard about an organization, world Para reining. And I pushed her towards it to hopefully get involved, and she did. She joined it and that’s kind of where she got involved with team Canada and started competing.

“For her, this is a really huge accomplishment. Not only did she have really a successful year, but this also really tops it off for her,” Dominique said.

Janice won two gold medals – one in individual riding and one with team Canada – at the World Para Reining International Championships this year in July, held in the Netherlands.

Along with the awards portion of the evening, special guest and former NHLer Doug Gilmour was at the event, mingling with attendees and participating in a hot-stove, Q-and-A session to cap off the evening.

More than 50 Gilmour- and NHL-related memorabilia were auctioned off throughout the night to help raise more money.

The cost to attend the event was $125 per plate.

Money raised from the night will go to the Prince Albert Raiders education fund and projects that the P.A. Kinsmen deems to be the community’s greatest need.