Lennox Lewis is the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World. After a controversial loss to Evander Holyfield in March of 1999, Lennox won the re-match in November 1999 to claim all three heavy-weight belts including WBC, WBA and IBF titles. In so doing, he became the first Canadian-Trained Boxer since Tommy Burns to become the Undisputed World Champion.
Lennox trained at the Waterloo Regional Police Association Boxing Academy under the tutelage of renowned local boxing guru Arnie Boehm. Lennox attended Kitchener Collegiate Institute and hit the international scene in a big way in 1988 when he won Olympic Gold for Canada in Seoul, South Korea.
Lennox is admired and liked by coaches, teachers, fans, media and peers. Out of the ring he funds a school for under-privileged children in England and is vocal about avoiding drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
As one of his many supporters states – “He is a gentleman and a gentle man.”
A 2nd time nominee, Laura has been a member of the Region of Waterloo (ROW) Swim Club for 17 years and was an Olympian in 1996.
She set a Canadian Record in the 50m Freestyle at the 1999 Spring Nationals, winning her 10th National Title.
Laura’s big breakthrough came at the Pan-Am Games where she won five medals including Gold in the 100m Freestyle, Bronze in the 50m Freestyle, and two Golds and a Silver in the Relays. She also competed in the World Short Championships placing 7th in the 200m Freestyle.
Her last stop was the Pan Pacific Championship in Sydney where she set a Canadian record in the 100m Freestyle placing 4th and being the first Canadian Woman to break 56 seconds for this event.
Laura also won eight medals in the World Cup Series along with a Gold in the 100M Freestyle and a Silver in the 50m Freestyle at the World Cup Meeting in Edmonton.
On top of working and training full-time, Laura spends several hours a week coaching young swimmers in the ROW Swim Club. Laura has also been a guest speaker at many local schools talking to students and teachers, as well as speaking to many swim clubs in Ontario.
Jennifer Button is regarded as one of Canada’s best Butterfly specialists. She is currently ranked #2 in Canada and #9 in the world.
A National Team member since 1997, Jennifer represented Canada in three major international events in 1999 – World SC Championships – 7th in 200m Butterfly; 1999 Pan-Am Games – Silver medal in 200m Butterfly; and World Cup Series in Washington – a Silver medal in the 200m Butterfly.
Jennifer is a 3rd year Kinesiology student at University of Toronto but for the year 2000 has been taking part-time course at Wilfrid Laurier University to allow her to train with her home Region of Waterloo Swim Club. She works with a few groups within the ROW Swim Club and spends time speaking to school age children in schools and swim clubs across Ontario.
Jennifer is also on the panel of athletes representing swimmers at Swimming Canada.
Colin Doyle is a member of the 2-time National Lacrosse League Champion Toronto Rock. He was the leading scorer in 1999 with 17 goals and 34 assists and was instrumental in his team finishing #1 overall and winning the 1999 League Championship. Colin led his team with four goals and an assist and was voted Championship MVP.
Colin was also the youngest member of Canada’s National Field Lacrosse team in 1999.
Colin is presently a 3rd year student at Wilfrid Laurier University, majoring in Geography and has hopes of a career in Teaching or Marketing.
He coached the WLU Field Lacrosse Team and as well, coached the K-W Bantam Boys team to the 1999 Provincial Championship. Colin is active in public relations for the Toronto Rock Lacrosse Club and ran the Toronto Rock Lacrosse Camp during the 1999 March break.
Curtis Gloade is a competitive Off-Road Cyclist who competes in the grueling Veteran Mountain Bike Category. Relying on his 10 years experience, he finished first overall in the Ontario Cup Provincial Points Series.
He then went on to win the Ontario Cup Provincial Championship by a seven minute margin. He also posted a 9th and 14th placement in two of the Canada Cup Race Series.
Curtis is very active in the developmental aspect and coaching of his sport and plays a leading role in the development of the coaching manual and the course curriculum.
Curtis is also the Manager of the Waterloo Cycling Club/The Flying Dogs race team. On top of the rigors of training, coaching, competition and holding down a full-time job, he is a new father.
Thomas Hope is attending Wright State University (a Division I School in the NCAA) on a basketball scholarship. As a freshman, Thomas led his team in minutes played and was the only player on the team to start all 28 of their games.
He was instrumental in the biggest upset in the NCAA season when his team beat the eventual NCAA Champion Michigan State, 53-49 in December. Thomas played all 48 minutes of that game leading both teams in rebounds and stole the ball late in the game to seal the deal.
Thomas also started on Team Ontario last summer and was instrumental in helping the team win the Gold Medal at the National Junior Championships.
When not playing ball, Thomas maintains a 3.3 Grade Point Average and volunteers in areas schools reading to young children and teaching them the value of an education. He has also been involved with the “Do Sports Not Drugs” campaign at Bechtel Park in the K-W area and coaches and referees in the Wildhawk Basketball House League.
Kelly VanderBeek is a competitive skier who is on the rise and was the overall Canadian Junior Champions for Alpine Ski racing and was 2nd overall in the Pontiac Cup Series Open Age Category.
She registered three wins in a grueling race schedule and has shown some outstanding placings in the FIS and Nor-Am races throughout the year where she competed in the Giant Slalom, Slalom and Downhill events.
Kelly was also the youngest female to be selected to the Ontario Ski Team and won her second Ski Canada Award, given to athletes who show potential to reach the National Ski Team.
Kelly is a young athlete who leads by example and her high level of determination to do her best at all times is contagious. She excels at school with a 93% average at Grand River Collegiate Institute in Grade 11 where she also played on their soccer team that won WCSSA and CWOSSA.
Fitzroy Vanderpool is last year’s Athlete of the Year recipient and Fitz “The Whip” had another great year in the ring.
He rose to the top of his game and became a World Champion, winning the WBF World Junior Middleweight Title in April 1999. He then went on to successfully defend his title in November 1999.
Fitz was the inaugural recipient of the Athlete of the Year Award and has been a great ambassador for the program. He continues to be an excellent role model to young athletes as coach, mentor, referee and judge at boxing clubs in the area.
Out of the ring, Fitz volunteers with the Alcohol & Drug Recovery Association and is the Fire & Safety Ambassador for North America. He also lends his name to local charities for fund-raising initiatives.
His roots are clearly in the community but his goals continue to be global.