2000 Awards

Year 3 – Wednesday June 13, 2001

Bingeman Park Ballroom, Kitchener

2000 ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

 

Scott Stevens – Ice Hockey

Kitchener

 

Scott Stevens is a Captain of the New Jersey Devils, a Stanley Cup Champion, MVP and arguably the hardest bodychecker in the National Hockey League.  Scott, a Kitchener native, and alumnus of the Kitchener Rangers, receives praise from his Coach Larry Robinson (another Rangers alumnus) who states “nobody works harder in practice and nobody comes to play more every night than Scott Stevens.”

 

No other player embodies what that “Canadian style of hokey” is all about. Scott was a first round draft pick of the Washington Capitals and joined the NHL while still 18. Two decades later he has become a leader on and off the ice.

 

Away from the rink, Scott is the Chair of the “Light the Night Walk” for the Leukemia Society and spends considerable time visiting hospitals in New Jersey. Last year, Scott made a lot of people in Kitchener smile when he brought Lord Stanley’s Cup home for a visit.

 

Nominees:

Art Binkowski – Boxing

Kitchener

 

Art Binkowski is a Super Heavyweight Olympic Boxer whose year started with four wins in Mexico and Tampa which qualified him for the Sydney Olympics. Representing Canada at the games, Art was 1-1, winning his first match before falling to the eventual Bronze Medalist.

 

Art has been boxing for ten years and has been Ontario Champ five times and is a 3-time Canadian Champion.
Out of the ring, he is never far away, assisting at the local boxing club while continuing his education at Wilfrid Laurier University.

 

Born in Poland in 1975, he became a Canadian citizen eleven years ago.

Art Binkowski

Jennifer Button – Swimming

Waterloo

 

Jennifer is a two-time nominee, an Olympian swimmer and a holder of two Canadian records in the 200m Butterfly and is a member of the 4 x 100m medley relay team.

 

At the Olympics, in four events, Jennifer had two top-ten finishes. On the World Cup circuit, Jennifer was first in the 200m Butterfly, won a Gold Medal at a meet in England, Silver in Italy and a Bronze in Germany.

 

Since returning home from the Olympics, Jennifer has gone back to school to finish her degree, helps with kids at Variety Village and is an active member of the Athletes Council of Swim Ontario.

Jennifer Button

Donna Mancuso – Boxing

Ayr

 

Donna is Canada’s reigning Women’s National Lightweight Champion and is the number one ranked lightweight in the world. She is also a 2-time member of the National Women’s Team.

 

Her titles from last year include National Champ, Feenix Cup Champ, Boxing Ontario Female Athlete of the Year, USA National Golden Gloves Champ and Boxing Canada’s Female Rookie of the Year.

 

Donna is an officer with Waterloo Regional Police Services and has been active in the ring for four years. When not in the ring or training, Donna is working on her level one coaching certificate and helps at the boxing club.

 

Among her listed goals is to be a positive role model for young women.

Donna Mancuso

Laura Nicholls – Swimming

Waterloo

 

Swimmer Laura Nicholls is the co-recipient (with boxer Lennox Lewis) of last year’s Athlete of the Year

Award and was a member of Canada’s Olympic swim team. At Sydney, Australia she had two top-ten finishes in four events.

 

Laura is the current Canadian record holder in five categories including the speed event – the 50m Freestyle.

 

Laura may get out of the pool, but rarely gets a chance to dry off. Four times per week, she can be found coaching a group of about thirty swimmers and extends her experience in other ways. She tours schools and speaks openly about setting and achieving your goals, in and out of organized sports.

When there is time in her hectic schedule, Laura attends a number of charitable events hosted by groups like United Way and the Heart and Stroke Foundation helping to promote healthier living.

Laura Nicholls

Kelly VanderBeek – Alpine Skiing

Kitchener

 

Kelly is a two-time nominee and like most world-class athletes, she spends more time training than competing.

 

As well she has managed to maintain an average in the 90’s at Grand River Collegiate.

 

Kelly is ranked the Top Overall Junior in Canada, finishing 1st in Downhill, 1st in Giant Slalom, 2nd in Super G and 3rd in Slalom. She also finished 2nd overall in the Pontiac Cup Series which is open to skiers of all ages.

 

Off the slopes, Kelly’s athleticism continues with competitive soccer and cross-country running.

Kelly VanderBeek