Phong Lee, Natasha Reimer and Jaxon Stel feel honoured to be recipients of the Pen High Lakers Robyn Muir Memorial Award.
The award exemplifies commitment to academics and athletics as well as the athlete being an inspiration to fellow athletes and coaches on and off the playing field.
It was an award Lee strived to win, yet he was still surprised when his named was called. He played on the basketball and rugby teams and was determined to be the best athlete possible.
“I’ve tried to improve my work ethic day-by-day,” said Lee.
The award was a personal goal for Lee, who experienced feeling excluded in situations.
“You believe that maybe you can beat them as well. Your personal goal is to surprise some people,” said Lee. “In my mind I believe that I was … not the top athlete in the school. I believe that I can achieve what some others could.”
A highlight to his season was captaining the senior rugby team. He loved traveling on the bus with teammates and joking around.
“When we went to trips, your game face was on,” he said.
That could have easily not have happened if not for he and Maks Foote. Lakers rugby coach Ken Sommerfeldt credited their determination in getting enough players.
“They have put their heart and souls into it,” said Sommerfeldt in May.
When that was brought up, Lee was quick to point out Foote was more organized in getting the team going.
Lee plans to attend the University of Victoria and will join the rugby program.
Reimer always gave her best to the basketball and soccer teams as she was motivated by playing sports she loves.
“If you don’t give it your all then you are not going to enjoy it as much,” said Reimer, who will play basketball at Capilano University while studying engineering.
In her final season, Reimer enjoyed going through various challenges with her teammates and experiencing highs and lows as a group. That connected her with teammates. Last season was the highlight as she helped lead the basketball team to provincials.
“Provincials was fun, but it (the highlight) was probably winning the valleys that same year,” she said. “We were the under dogs. There were two teams above us and they were expected to win. I had a really bad flu that weekend and still played.”
For Stel, who competed on the swim and rugby team, his final season of high school athletics was his best.
“I really bonded with the teams. When you are in Grade 12 there is a lot more atmosphere,” said Stel.
With several of his Lakers swimming teammates also being part of KISU’s swim academy, he said that created a great team bonding experience.
“We’re all together. I feel like family with the swim team,” he said. Same experience with the rugby team.
“I love playing the game and I love the moment when it comes down to it, when everyone is trying their best,” he continued.
When asked about hearing his name called for the award, Stel said he felt more connected to it because of how emotional teacher Bo Boxall was when talking about the award. Boxall won the award in 1999 while attending Princess Margaret and grew close to the Muir family.
“It felt very personal,” said Stel, who made the alternate list for the Canadian Coast Guard College in Nova Scotia.
Other Lakers award winners are as follows:
Sydney Clark- Kevin Wager
Thomas Edis, Anje Grakul- Ewart Award
Alyssa Kroeker- Stiopu Award.
Lakers Inspirational Award- Brayden Jones, Britney Young, Daniel Everton, Emma Schnieder, Helen Portner, Honor Hollman, Jean Grakul, Joseph Traynor, Kieran Loewen, Liam McHale and Tayedra Koppe.
Lakers Inspirational award- Julia Spears-Gr.11, Mirko Sempertegi, Gr.11, Simon Paisley Gr.11
Grade 9 Male athlete award- Jerry Xiang, David Paisley and Jackson Coates
Grade 9 Female athlete- Chloe Brydon
Grade 10 Female award- Lyndzie Caron, Celine Francisco and Cali Anderson
Grade 10 Male athlete- Nicholas Everton and Riley wall.
Grade 11 Female athlete- Anika Holowaty and Emma Brown
Grade 11 Male athlete- Cam Gunning
Grade 12 Male athlete- Richard Xiang.
Grade 12 female athlete- Tessa Lannon-Paakspuu