Korissa Williams, Ross Proudfoot named Ontario University Athletics' 2015 BLG Nominees

Korissa Williams, Ross Proudfoot named Ontario University Athletics' 2015 BLG Nominees

Voting expanded to general public for first time

OTTAWA (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) and national law firm Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) announced Wednesday the eight finalists for the 23rd annual BLG Awards.

The BLG Awards were established in 1993 to recognize the top female and male athletes from universities affiliated with CIS.

On Monday, May 4, the eight national nominees will be honoured at the Martha Cohen Theatre in Calgary. The female and male winners will receive a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship, while all finalists will return home with a commemorative gold ring and a watch from Timex, the official supplier of CIS.

This year’s event will mark the 20th presentation of the awards gala in Calgary. Over the years, the event has also held been held in Toronto (2009, 2013) and Vancouver (2011). The 2015 ceremony will air nationally later this May on Sportsnet.

Although the 2015 recipients will be determined by the Canadian Athletic Foundation, a not-for-profit board which has selected the winners for the past 22 years, the general public is encouraged to vote as part as an online-voting pilot project. Fans can vote through the following websites:

CIS: http://en.cis-sic.ca/blg_awards/2014-15/releases/blg

BLG Awards: www.blg.com/blgawards

Sportsnet: www.sportsnet.ca/cis

“We are extremely excited to be hosting the 23rd BLG Awards in Calgary,” said Doug Mitchell, National Co-Chair of BLG. “We continue to be amazed by the talents and accomplishments of these outstanding athletes. Each year, as we follow the past winners and hear about their accomplishments or what they are involved in, we realize how important their university sports background has been to them. We congratulate the universities who have provided the great education and athletic programs for these students to succeed in their careers.”

“The BLG Awards represent the epitome of what it means to be a student-athlete, and this year’s nominees more than meet that standard,” said Thérèse Quigley, president of CIS. “Not only are these eight extraordinary athletes, each one is also a leader in the classroom and in the community.”

The 2015 nominees for the Jim Thompson Trophy presented to the female BLG Award recipient are rugby player Emma Taylor from St. Francis Xavier University, soccer player Jessica King from Trinity Western University, as well as basketball standouts Mariam Sylla from McGill University and Korissa Williams from the University of Windsor.  

Taylor, a fifth-year lock from Scotsburn, N.S., was named MVP of the CIS championship after she helped the X-Women capture the Monilex Trophy for the third time in her five campaigns with the team. During the regular season, the business administration student led Atlantic University Sport (AUS) conference with 10 tries in six games en route to league MVP and first-team all-Canadian honours.

Sylla, a third-year centre from Conakry, Guinea, guided the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) champion Martlets to the best result in program history at the CIS championship, a silver medal. In league action, the pharmacology junior averaged a double-double with 12.4 points and 10.8 rebounds per game and was rewarded with the conference MVP trophy and a spot on the first all-Canadian team. 

Williams, a fifth-year guard from Windsor, Ont., was voted MVP of the CIS championship after she helped the Lancers tie the all-time record with their fifth straight Bronze Baby Trophy triumph and, along with teammate Jocelyn LaRocque, became the first players in history to win five CIS rings in women’s basketball. Prior to the Final 8 tournament, the business student had been named the CIS defensive player of the year and a first-team all-Canadian.

King, a fifth-year midfielder from Liverpool, England, guided the Spartans to the Canada West title and a silver medal at the CIS championship. In regular season action, the psychology student scored 12 goals in 11 contests, including a CIS-leading seven game-winners, on her way to national player of the year honours.

On the men’s side, the finalists for the Doug Mitchell Trophy are soccer player Justin Maheu from Cape Breton University, hockey player Cédric McNicoll from McGill University, cross country and track runner Ross Proudfoot from the University of Guelph and football player Andrew Buckley from the University of Calgary.

Maheu, a second-year striker from Ottawa, became the first male athlete from CBU – in any sport - to be named CIS player of the year after he scored 15 goals in only 11 league games, for a CIS-best average of 1.36 goals per outing. In the playoffs, the arts student helped the Capers reach the AUS championship final, where they suffered a heart-breaking 2-1 loss to UNB.

McNicoll, a second-year centre from Boucherville, Que., who was in his fifth year of CIS eligibility after playing three seasons at the professional level, helped the Redmen top the Ontario University Athletics East division standings and to a fourth-place finish in the conference playoffs. In league play, the management student tallied 34 points in 25 games en route to OUA East MVP and second-team all-Canadian status.

Proudfoot, a fifth-year runner from Sudbury, Ont., began his final university season last fall with a gold-medal performance at the CIS cross country championships, where he helped the Gryphon men claim the team banner for the fifth time. In the winter, the human kinetics master’s student was named male MVP of the CIS indoor track and field championships after he dominated his two events, the 1500 and 3000-metre races.

Buckley, a fourth-year quarterback from Calgary who amassed 18 touchdown passes and 10 rushing majors in eight league games, became the first player in history to receive both the Hec Crighton Trophy as CIS player of the year and the Russ Jackson Award, honouring success on the football field, in the classroom and in the community. The kinesiology student helped the Dinos reach the Canada West final, where they were upset by Manitoba.

2015 Female BLG Award Nominees (Jim Thompson Trophy):

AUS: Emma Taylor, rugby, StFX (Scotsburn, N.S.)
RSEQ: Mariam Sylla, basketball, McGill (Conakry, Guinea)
OUA: Korissa Williams, basketball, Windsor (Windsor, Ont.)
CWUAA: Jessica King, soccer, Trinity Western (Liverpool, England)

2015 Male BLG Award Nominees (Doug Mitchell Trophy):

AUS: Justin Maheu, soccer, Cape Breton (Ottawa, Ont.)
RSEQ: Cédric McNicoll, hockey, McGill (Boucherville, Que.)
OUA: Ross Proudfoot, cross country / track & field, Guelph (Sudbury, Ont.)
CWUAA: Andrew Buckley, football, Calgary (Calgary, Alta.)

Korissa Williams, Windsor

Ross Proudfoot, Guelph

About the BLG Awards

The BLG Awards were established in 1993 to recognize the top female and male athletes from universities affiliated with Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS). The Awards are based on athletic accomplishments, outstanding sportsmanship and leadership. Each of the 56 CIS schools nominates one female and one male athlete of the year. From these nominees, one female and one male athlete are chosen within each of the four regional associations: Atlantic University Sport (AUS), Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ), Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA). To be eligible, a student-athlete must have competed in a CIS sport for a minimum of two years and cannot be a previous recipient of a BLG Award.

All nominees receive a commemorative gold ring and a watch from Timex – the official supplier of CIS - and winners are presented with a trophy and a $10,000 scholarship to attend a Canadian university graduate school. Winners are selected by the Canadian Athletic Foundation (CAF), a not-for-profit board established for the purpose of administering the BLG Awards and protecting the integrity of the selection process. The CAF Board of Trustees consists of 19 members from five Canadian cities representing major corporations from across the country who are committed to ensuring that Canadian university athletes receive the recognition they deserve.

About Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) is a leading, national, full-service Canadian law firm focusing on business law, commercial litigation and arbitration, and intellectual property solutions for our clients. BLG is the country’s largest law firm with more than 750 lawyers, intellectual property agents and other professionals in five cities across Canada. We assist clients with their legal needs, from major litigation to financing to trademark and patent registration. For further information, please visit www.blg.com.

Source: CIS