Even with the cancellation of the 2020-21 Alberta Colleges Athletic Association, RDC Athletics chose to honour some of its top athletes.
On top of academics, athletes across the college landscape organized community fundraisers, mental health campaigns, blood drives and food drives.
The volunteer efforts played a big part in the RDC Student-Athletes Advisory Council selecting the Outstanding Male and Female Athletes of the Year.
“Even though statistics and accomplishments from this past year’s ACAC competition weren’t available to consider, academic achievements and commitment to training, along with leadership on their team, within RDC Athletics and the community, were all factors in selecting the recipients,” an RDC news release reads.
RDC Queens Hockey forward Camryn Wallan was named the Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year and defenceman Tyler Podgorenko of Kings Hockey is the Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year.
“Cam has demonstrated strong leadership qualities from the first day she began her career at RDC, and she has been selected the Queens’ captain,” said Queens head coach Kelly Coulter, who is also an RDC Student-Athletes Advisory Council member.
“She commits to her training and consistently demonstrates that she is ready to compete every single day. This positive attitude and drive have existed for her entire time with Queens Hockey. As a future teacher, I know she will be an amazing educator as she truly loves helping others.”
Wallan’s leadership and ability to connect with others has made her an integral member of the Queens Hockey team and RDC Athletics.
“Cam is so deserving of this award because of how she treats her teammates and everyone she interacts with,” said Coulter.
“Cam leads by example every day and I am very proud of her.”
Podgorenko will return for his fifth season with the Kings next year and will be captain of the group.
He graduated from the Instrumentation Engineering Technology Diploma program at RDC and is returning next year to complete his studies in Electrical Engineering Technology.
“Ty is arguably the best defenceman in the ACAC and will return for his fifth year. He has stepped up and taken the lead for our team during the pandemic and is also co-chair on the Student-Athletes Advisory Council, which has been vital in organizing opportunities for our student-athletes to engage with central Alberta,” said Kings coach Trevor Keeper.
“Ty will be one of our team captains next year. He takes so much pride in enhancing the culture of not only Kings Hockey, but RDC Athletics as well.”
RDC also handed out another major award to a player who exemplified great leadership qualities over the past year. Queens Basketball forward Amy Szymanek received the 2020-2021 Al Ferchuk Leadership Award.
“Amy is one of our team captains, and she has many characteristics that inspire and elevate the play of those around her. She leads by example with her relentless effort and positive attitude, and she puts the needs of the Queens above her own,” said Mandy Botham, Queens Basketball head coach.
“Amy was a part of the Student-Athletes Advisory Council last season and she is co-chair this year. She has been a driving force behind several projects at the college, such as team fitness challenges and mental health awareness.”