Hurricanes prez becomes Hamilton ambassador

Hamilton Hurricanes president Mike Samuel has been rewarded for working up a storm.

Samuel, president of the Hurricanes, was named Sports Ambassador of the Year for 2011 at the recent 14th annual Tourism Hamilton Awards of Excellence dinner.

His nomination was among seven others for consideration.

“When I looked at the list of individuals and organizations that I was nominated with, I saw a number of ‘seasoned’ veterans that have been around a lot longer than I have and who have done a lot for the Hamilton community,” said Samuel.

The nomination criteria in the category of Sports Ambassador of the Year was simple: Someone who is responsible for boosting the economy and tourism of the City of Hamilton through sport. Samuel, with the support of a team of volunteers, met that standard by planning and organizing the Canadian Bowl Championship, which was hosted in Hamilton, in limited time.

Everything from coordinating hotel rooms and transportation to and from the practice field and stadium, to signing sponsors and coordinating catering of the dinners, to contacting the media and community people to become a part of the 2011 Canadian junior football championship was all done in 10 days.

Upon receiving the award, Samuel was “shocked and humbled.”

“But it wasn’t just one person who won this award. Everyone had a hand in winning this award. It is actually a Hamilton Hurricanes award,” said Samuel.

He said it was a great way to cap off a very successful year for the Hurricanes organization. “It is great for the Hamilton Hurricanes and the City of Hamilton. It was the first time that Hamilton had hosted a Canadian Bowl since 1981 and we were able to do it in just 10 days.

“This award and having the opportunity to host the Canadian Bowl puts Hamilton on the map in terms of Canadian Junior Football. Only four years ago we were preparing for our opening season after being out of the league for 14 years, and in four years we have won two Ontario Football Conference championships, played in the Canadian Junior semi-finals, hosted a Canadian Bowl Championship, and now we have won the Tourism Hamilton Sports Ambassador of the Year Award”.