OVA names vollyball’s 2014 Ken Davies, Evelyn Holick award winners

Jo-Anne Ljubicic —

The Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA) is proud to announce the winners of the prestigious Ken Davies Memorial Award and Evelyn Holick Award. The 2014 recipients are Andrew Richards (London, ON) of London Volleyball Club and Lauren Sanderson (London, ON) of Forest City Volleyball Club.Vollyball

The Ken Davies Memorial Award and Evelyn Holick Awards are presented annually at the Ontario Championships to a male and female Youth Division athlete who best demonstrates the qualities of determination, leadership, athletic ability, sportsmanship and fair play.

“I never thought this thing was going to be possible. It’s like a dream,” said Richards who was overjoyed at winning the 2014 Ken Davies Memorial Award.

It is obvious that Sanderson, the Evelyn Holick Award winner understands the virtues associated with winning the prestigious honour; “Volleyball is a game that goes much be­yond the physical aspect,” she says. “Lead­ership and confidence, management of emotions, keeping a level head and trusting your teammates can win championships. In this sense, volley­ball has helped me develop personal skills that are crucial to my life off the court.”

The Awards will be presented on Friday, April 25, 2014, during the final weekend of the 2014 Ontario Championships taking place at RIM Park in Waterloo, ON. Richards and Sanderson will also be featured on the cover of the 2014 Ontario Championships program, available on site at the Championships and online at www.ontariovolleyballchampionships.org prior to the event.

Andrew Richards, 2014 Ken Davies Memorial Award Recipient:
Andrew is a tenacious competitor who loves to live for the moment where everything is on the line. He wants his opponents to be at their best, because he loves the thrill of the challenge,” said nominator Wayne Rabley.

Ever humble despite his many successes, Richards has taken great strides both indoors and on the beach. In fact, you may have seen his beaming face on Volleyball Canada’s site after he and partner Jake MacNeil sealed a spot in the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. Those Games take place in late August.

Indoors, Richards has made his mark with both Regional and Provincial teams and earned all-star honours at the Summer Games. Locally, he captains the London Volleyball Club’s 18U squad, which was Ontario champion. On top of all that, he paced his high school team to OFSAA gold and silver medals. Richards is committed to McMaster University next season.

Rabley said it best in summing up Richards’s qualifications. “I am confident that if Ken Davies was still alive, he would want Andrew Richards to be the captain of his team.”

Lauren Sanderson, 2014 Evelyn Holick Award Recipient:
Another Londoner, Lauren Sanderson, is the very deserving 2014 Evelyn Holick Award winner. As her nominator, Forest City’s Vaughan Peckham, said, “Lauren is an outstanding volleyball player and leader. She is unquestionably the most valuable player on our team and also one of the most effective captains I have ever had.”

She played a large part in turning Forest City into a perennial contender, capped off by a gold at the Ontario Championships in 17U play, which earned her All-Star recognition. Team Ontario selectors could hardly miss her. She was the team’s youngest member in 2012 and helped it to victory at the National Team Challenge Cup in 2013.

Come fall, Sanderson will attend Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. After her schooling is done, she hopes to represent Canada internationally.

About the Ontario Championships:

The 2014 Ontario Championships will take place over four (4) weekends, beginning March 28th, 2014 and will feature over 600 teams from across the province. The Championships are the largest volleyball competition in Ontario, and the largest Provincial Volleyball Championship of its kind in Canada, with upwards of 30,000 athletes, coaches and spectators participating in this showcase event. The Championships will include six (6) different age divisions ranging from 13 & Under to 18 & Under, competing on 26 courts under one roof at RIM Park in Waterloo, ON. Admission to the Ontario Championships is free for all ages.

About OVA:

Established in 1929, the Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA) is the official governing body and provides the organizational structure for the sport of volleyball in the province of Ontario. The OVA is involved in every facet of the sport and offers programs at all levels for both indoor and beach volleyball. The OVA strives to provide all Ontario residents with fair and equal access to participation and personal growth through recreational, competitive, elite, instructional, administrative, coaching and officiating volleyball programs.