Call is out for Bill Sturrup athlete of the year

Will Ryan Ellis capture an unprecedented third straight Golden Horseshoe Athlete of the Year award or will there be a new winner for 2011?

The hockey player from Freelton, currently playing for the Milwaukee Admirals in the American Hockey League, captured the award as the athlete of the year for Hamilton/Burlington in 2009 and 2010. Ellis has also represented Canada at the World Junior Champion, winning a gold medal and two silver medals. No athlete has ever won the GHAY award three years in a row. Swimmer Joanne Malar won it three times but not consecutively.

The committee that administers the GHAY award is looking for your help to find this year’s winner. The Hamilton Spectator is once again helping to collect the votes; visit their website at and click on the link for Athlete of the Year to nominate someone. (Or click here.)

Nominations are open until Dec. 31.

The criteria for the Bill Sturrup Trophy include:

1. Candidates must be a resident of Hamilton or Burlington.

2. Candidates may be a professional or amateur athlete.

3. Candidates must have demonstrated superior athletic performances at the provincial, national or international level.

4. The athlete’s performance could be as an individual or as part of a team.

5. The award will be one award and may be won by a male or female.

6. There is no age restriction.

Past winners include: Joanne Malar, swimming, 1995, 1999, 2000; Clara Hughes, cycling, 1996; Graham Hood, running, 1997; Titus Channer, basketball, 1998; Mark Oldershaw, canoeing, 2001; Susan Palmer-Komar, cycling, 2002; Joe Stankevicius, rowing, 2003; Jesse Lumsden, football, 2004; Danny Syvret, hockey, 2005; Sona Thorburn, basketball, 2006; Alena Sharp, golf, 2007; Chelsey Gotell, swimming, 2008.