Benjamin Konwicki wins W.R. Bennett Award for Athletic Excellence

Author: BC Games Society/Thursday, February 27, 2020/Categories: Front Page, News, 2020 News, BC Winter Games, 2020 BC Winter Games

Benjamin Konwicki wins W.R. Bennett Award for Athletic Excellence

Prince George speed skater Benjamin Konwicki was presented with the W.R. Bennett Award for Athletic Excellence by Alison Noble, President and CEO of the BC Games Society and Jamey Paterson, Chair of the BC Games Society Board of Directors during the Fort St. John 2020 BC Winter Games Closing Ceremony on Sunday, February 23.

Benjamin was awarded Most Improved Skater by his Prince George Blizzard Speed Skating coach for two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016. He went on to achieve impressive results in short track, long track, and relay events, winning the Overall Champion title in the Learn To Train category in his age group at both the 2019 and 2020 BC Long Track Championships and the 2019 BC Short Track Championship. Benjamin was also the Overall Champion in the Train to Train category in his age group for the 2020 Canada Youth Long Track Championship where he earned four gold medals.

Benjamin was a strong competitor at the BC Winter Games, earning a gold medal in the 7 lap ISU Mass Start Boys Long Track, bronze in the 500m Olympic Style Boys Long Track, two silver medals in the 400m Boys Short Track and 2000m Point Race Boys Short Track, and helped his team to a fourth place finish in the 3000m Relay Boys Short Track. Benjamin also plays ultimate frisbee and volleyball and demonstrates the same qualities as he does in speed skating by supporting his teammates. When he is not playing himself, he volunteers as an official, scorekeeper, or linesman.

Currently attending Kelly Road Secondary School, Benjamin is also dedicated to his academics and was a member of the Sacred Heart School QuizMe team in Grade 6 and 7, an opportunity usually reserved for 7th graders. Upon graduation from Sacred Heart in June 2019, Benjamin was awarded the Sean Duchesneau Outstanding Graduate Student award and has been recognized during both reporting periods for Learning Excellence since starting high school.

When he isn’t training or studying, Benjamin volunteers at the Prince George Blizzard Speed Skating Club maintaining equipment for the Youth Learn to Skate program and looks forward to becoming a Junior Coach in the coming season. He also volunteers with the Prince George Outdoor Ice Oval Society and, when visiting his grandparents during the holidays, volunteers at the Strathcona Food Bank in Sherwood Park, AB.

Benjamin’s goals as an athlete are to continue training with the Prince George Blizzard Speed Skating Club until he graduates from high school. He then plans to move to Calgary to continue his training in the Oval Program at the University of Calgary and complete a degree in Kinesiology or Wildlife Biology. He hopes to be part of the Long Track National Training Team and advance to the National Team, one day earning the opportunity to compete at the Olympics and travel with the National Team as a Junior or Senior skater on the World Cup circuit.

The W.R. Bennett Award recognizes one BC Winter Games athlete for their achievement in sport and leadership.  Nominees were evaluated on sport accomplishments, ambition, and leadership.  Benjamin was nominated by BC Speed Skating and chosen by a BC Games Society selection panel.

The W.R. Bennett Award was named in honour of the former Premier of British Columbia, William Bennett, who was started the BC Summer and BC Winter Games program in 1978.  The award includes a $2500 bursary to use towards future sport expenses or post secondary education.

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