CORNWALL – On top of a double world championship, Emily Vallance has something to add to her winnings – the Jacques Richard Trophy.
The 15-year-old Cornwall kickboxer was named the area’s top sports personality for 2016 during the 52nd annual Cornwall Lion’s Club Sports Award Dinner Wednesday night at the Best Western Parkway Inn.
“It feels awesome! I’m actually really surprised that I got this award,” Vallance told Cornwall Newswatch.
Vallance explained her family dynamic attracted her to kickboxing. “I have three brothers. Two of them are older than me so I’m used to like playing around and stuff so, always trying to prove myself against them,” she said.
She’s about to get into heavy training – two-and-a-half hours a night, six days a week – to get ready for the world championships in Florida in September.
Roughly 240 people – including athletes, parents and coaches – saw over 60 awards and bursaries handed out.
The Joe Assaly award for the most outstanding junior athlete went to Grant Cooper – the Cornwall Colts’ captain and first Cornwall-born Colt to captain Team Canada East at the World Junior A Hockey Challenge. Cooper was also given the hockey award.
Herman Rogalsky received the lifetime achievement Friends of the Round Table award. Rogalsky has been recognized with numerous awards for his work in the community, including being named Optimist of the Year three times and given a 25-year service award from Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Canada. He was also named Cornwall’s citizen of the year.
“It’s been a pleasure. Of all the things that I did to volunteer and all the times I did it was always something to do with the kids. And I still enjoy it and as long as I can do it, can still do it for a little while, but I have to slow down a little bit at a time,” Rogalsky chuckled.
With an average grade of 94 per cent, Shana Krol took home the RBC $1,000 bursary for scholastic and athletic achievement, as well as the Dave Dorman Trophy for Track & Field in javelin and the RBC High School award for girl’s volleyball.
The Cornwall Lions Club also handed out a number of cheques to help local organizations with youth and sport – $1,500 to the SD&G Basketball Association, $1,000 to Champs East Side Boxing Club and $500 to Cornwall MMA (Mixed Martial Arts).
Montreal comedian Joey Elias cracked up the audience before the awards ceremony.
For the full list of winners click here.