The board chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer has received national recognition for her work.
Lyn Radford won the Sports Tourism Canada 2020 Sport Event Volunteer of the Year Award.
“I’m a proud Canadian, Albertan and Red Deerian,” Radford said in a video message during the 2020 Prestige Awards, which was posted online Thursday.
“I’m a Métis woman who became the first female chairperson to lead a Canada Games host society. In 2011, a colleague … and I realized that Alberta would have the opportunity to host the 2019 Canada Winter Games. A carrot had been dangled and I couldn’t let it go.”
Now nearly 10 years after she first envisioned this dream, the Games represents “the culmination of one the the greatest feelings of pride in my community building journey,” said Radford. “The 2019 Canada Winter Games were successful beyond measure. But not because of me, because of the compassionate, enthusiastic and brilliantly skillful group of thousands of volunteers across this nation that made it possibly for millions of youth to dare to dream of greatness.
“This award may be in my name, but it is shared with all of you. This was our moment.”
Radford thanked a number of individuals during her acceptance speech, including her family, the staff and volunteers of the Games, event sponsors and the people of Red Deer. She also thanked her maternal great grandmother, a Cree woman forced to leave her home reserve and raise 18 children in “brutally harsh and toxic” environment.
“I can still see her determination when standing up to people in power. She taught us to work smarter, but most of all, that every human being has their worth – you just need to help them find it,” she said.
To win the award, Radford beat out Brian Hetherington, with the World Triathlon Series in Edmonton, and Denis Perrault, with Hockey Day in Canada, the Western Canada Summer Games, CCA Rodeo and World U17 Hockey Challenge.
“When you consider not only the other two finalists and their great contributions – Brian as a multi-year organizer of a nationally recognized event, and Denis as a multi-event organizer – and also the millions of volunteers across this nation that share their time and skills to make our world a better place, this is indeed a tremendous honour.”