Kamloops gymnast Rebecca Wharton was presented with the W.R. Bennett Award for Athletic Excellence by Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon during the closing ceremony of the 2018 BC Winter Games on Sunday at Sandman Centre.
Wharton has achieved impressive results in both individual and all-around events for the past several seasons with the Kamloops Gymnastics Club, including a first-place finish in all-around at the 2017 B.C. Championships and at the Cob Web invitational. She won three bronze medals in the Kamloops Games, in the all-around, beam and floor.
The long hours of training and competition pressure led to Wharton taking a break from gymnastics in 2016 and trying new sports. But she realized her strong love for the sport and returned to gymnastics, qualifying first in her zone for the Games despite a knee injury that hampered her training.
The award recognizes Wharton’s leadership skills inside and outside the gymnastics club.
As a student at Arthur Stevenson elementary in Westsyde, Wharton engages in leadership roles as a volunteer for the hot lunch program. She also plays volleyball and basketball and demonstrates the same qualities as she does in gymnastics by supporting and leading her teammates. Her goal is to become a police officer so she can help make the world a better place.
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. Wharton was nominated by BC Gymnastics 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, Bill Bennett, who started the BC Summer and BC Winter Games program in 1978. The award includes a $2,500 bursary to use toward future sport expenses or post-secondary education.