Redeemer University College celebrated the past year in sports on Saturday (April 5) at the 27th Annual Athletic Awards Ceremony and Breakfast. The event, held at the Courtyard Marriott in Hamilton, showcased a memorable year for the Redeemer Royals teams which took home record numbers of Ontario Colleges Athletic Association and Canadian Colleges Athletic Association awards and recognition for their hard work.
Success in the classroom was also a highlight of the 2013-2014 banquet as Redeemer’s student-athletes received as much recognition for their studies as they did within their sport.
Overall, 23 student-athletes received academic awards including the OCAA All-Academic Awards, CCAA Academic All-Canadian Awards, and Redeemer Scholar Athlete Awards. The Major Award winners were also honoured at the banquet including Coaching Staff of the Year, Outstanding Character, Scholar Athletes of the Year, and Athletes of the Year as well as the Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year awards to each Royals varsity team. Throughout the ceremony, Redeemer highlighted OCAA and CCAA success honoring two CCAA National Rankings, a record six OCAA Athlete’s of the Week, one CCAA Athlete of the Month, two Coach of the Years, 11 OCAA All-Stars, and three provincial medals including two provincial championships.
Women’s Volleyball standout, Curtiss Straatsma, took home the Female Athlete of the Year award. Straatsma led the Royals to their best season ever with a 13-5 record. Straatsma was an OCAA First Team All-Star and helped propel the Royals to the bronze medal match of the OCAA provincial finals. She led the Royals in almost every statistical category. Straatsma finished third in the OCAA in blocks, third in kills, first in points and impressively finished in the top 25 of the OCAA in digs.
She continued to break Redeemer career records with each game this season. This is the second consecutive year of dominance in OCAA women’s volleyball for Curtiss and her second consecutive Female Athlete of the Year award.
Provincial champion Owen Kurvits was named the Male Athlete of the Year for his dominant badminton season. Kurvits won Redeemer’s first ever badminton provincial title. Kurvits competed consistently at each tournament in 2013-14, proving himself to be one of the strongest players in the OCAA. By placing fourth in the country at the national championships, he tied a previous best individual finish ever by a Redeemer athlete, matching that of Cross Country runner and hall of fame Inductee Jakob VanDorp.
The respect he earned from competitors and teammates grew as he also displayed impeccable character and discipline in his approach to each game and in his off-court attitude and behavior and was awarded the Fair Play Award at the nationals.
David Klomps and Julie Koopmans were named the Scholar Athletes of the Year for their successes in the classroom and in their sport. Koopmans proved her athletic excellence again in 2013-14 in badminton and cross country. She qualified in the ladies singles event for the provincials in Badminton for the third straight year, finishing fifth in Ontario this year.
She was the first Royal across the line in all of her cross country races. She finished in the top 20 on three occasions and in the top 10 once. She and her team qualified for a second straight trip to nationals where she placed 54th in Canada.
Klomps led the men’s volleyball team to another strong OCAA season. He was one of the statistical leaders on the team and earned OCAA Second Team All-Star honours. He represented the Royals at the OCAA Volleyball All-Star game. Off the court, Klomps implored his team to aim for the greatest goal – a Gold medal, and yet was satisfied with any outcome as long as they played to their full potential.
The combination of drive and humility from Klomps this season is one of the reasons why others single him out as being one of the best leaders at the collegiate level.
Both Koopmans and Klomps were named to the Redeemer Dean’s Honours List.
Yakira Smeltzer was awarded Redeemer’s newest honour as the first ever winner of the Outstanding Character Award. Smeltzer was asked to captain the women’s volleyball team this year and took the responsibility very seriously, going above and beyond expectations. She regularly participated in the Leadership Development meetings and introduced and executed initiatives such as encouragement cards with a Biblical prayer given to each opponent, prayer after each match, and the leading of devotions before each match.
Benno Kurvits and Jeremy Stevens were named the Redeemer Coaching Staff of the Year for their success on the badminton court. The team earned a Gold and a Bronze medal in individual events at the OCAA provincials. The Gold medal was Redeemer’s first ever in the sport. Men’s Singles player Owen Kurvits also finished fourth at the national championships.
The coaches earned significant respect from around the OCAA and were honoured in 2013-2014 with being named OCAA Coach of the Year.
2013-2014 Redeemer Royals Award Winners
Male Athlete of the Year
Owen Kurvits (Badminton)
Female Athlete of the Year
Curtiss Straatsma (Women’s Volleyball)
Male Scholar Athlete of the Year
David Klomps (Men’s Volleyball)
Female Scholar Athlete of the Year
Julie Koopmans (Cross Country, Badminton)
Outstanding Character Award
Yakira Smeltzer (Women’s Volleyball)
Coaching Staff of the Year
Benno Kurvits, Jeremy Stevens (Badminton)
CCAA Academic All-Canadians
Men’s Indoor Soccer
MVP – Josh Elgeti
ROY- Patrick Beresford
Women’s Indoor Soccer
MVP- Grace Berkel
ROY- Debora da Silva
MVP- Owen Kurvits
ROY- Robyn Bennett
MVP- Calvin Turnbull
ROY- AJ Manguerra
MVP- Lindsay Moffatt
ROY- Lindsay Moffatt
MVP- Jake Klassen
ROY- Eli Tolkamp
MVP- Curtiss Straatsma
ROY- Ali Blekenhorst
MVP- Julie Koopmans
ROY- Aaron Hesman
MVP- Josh Elgeti
ROY- Zach Kingma
MVP- Monica Loewen
ROY- Meaghan Rudd