The Ontario Volleyball Association is proud to announce Maddie Lethbridge of London Volleyball Club as the 2017 Evelyn Holick Award winner and Alexandre St-Denis of Ottawa Maverick Volleyball Club as the 2017 Ken Davies Award Winner!
These awards are presented annually at the Ontario Championships to a female and male youth division athlete in recognition of outstanding commitment, dedication to the sport of volleyball, leadership, sportsmanship and athletic ability. The Evelyn Holick and Ken Davies awards are considered the most prestigious honours awarded to youth athletes by the OVA.
Maddie Lethbridge is a standout left side for London Volleyball Club. In the words of her coach, Patrick Johnston,
"To sum Maddie up in one word, I would say "motivated". This motivation shows up every night in practice, and every time we step on the court. The standard Maddie sets is contagious, and raises the level of her peers but also ensures an environment where she can continue to develop her abilities as an athlete. Over the past two seasons, Maddie has been our team leader in every way. A natural captain, she was selected via vote by her peers to lead our team through the season. She leads with her voice, with her abilities and most critically, with her passion for excellence. Maddie’s leadership and “in-the-clutch” performances are instrumental to our team's success."
A truly versatile arthlete, Alexandre St-Denis is tasked with playing both left side and libero for the Ottawa Maverick Volleyball Club. According to his coach Thierry Lavigne,
"Alexandre epitomizes the qualities of determination, leadership, athletic ability and sportsmanship. The similarities between Alexandre and Ken Davies, the award's namesake, are glaring. In addition to being a successful multi-sport athlete and winning numerous individual honours and team championships, Alex, like Ken Davies, is quietly intense, a dedicated worker, one of the most unselfish and coachable players. Alex is often the first one at practice and the last to leave. He always sets up the equipment, leads the warm up and takes down the equipment. Alex’s teammates have affectionately nicknamed him "machine", simply because he completes every task like a machine!"
Congratulations Maddie and Alexandre!
There will be a ceremony honouring our award winners, including the 18U boys and girls All Stars, at Ontario Championships on Friday, April 21 on Court 3 at 2:00pm. We invite all OVA members and volleyball enthusiasts to join us in celebrating the achievements of these deserving athletes.
About Evelyn Holick
Throughout her years on the volleyball scene, Evelyn Holick accomplished many firsts in her life. Evelyn Holick was the first female National official in Ontario. She was the Head Coach for Ontario’s first Women’s Provincial Team in the very first Canada Games. Her accomplishments and commitment to volleyball established Evelyn as the first role model for female players, coaches and officials in the province.
About Ken Davies
A native of Kendal, Ontario, Ken was born on September 8, 1971. His outstanding athletic abilities allowed him to excel in many sports. He was the MVP with the Darlington soccer team, MVP with the senior high school basketball team, MVP with the senior high school volleyball team, and Athlete of the Year at Clarke High School in Newcastle. He was chosen to the Ontario Provincial Team for the Canada Games in Saskatoon in 1989 which, as he put it, “was the dream of a lifetime”.
Ken’s goals were “to become a national team player and a physical education teacher”, and to that end he worked very hard at both academics and volleyball. According to his Provincial Team coach, “he was a quietly intense and dedicated worker. He was one of the most unselfish and coachable players I have ever worked with.” Ken was a quiet individual with a rich inner life. He liked “to playgolf, soccer and read”, however, according to his own words, “it was competition” that was the driving force that led him to engage in highly elite and competitive programs.
Of course, Ken’s idea of playing sports was “to play 100% all the time”. While returning from a tournament in the fall of 1989, Ken’s life was tragically taken from him by a drunk driver. His example and memory will always be with us.
Note: All quotes in bold are taken from Ken’s Provincial Team Athlete Profile form written by him in June 1989.