OTTAWA, ONT., CIS – Canadian Interuniversity Sport and national law firm Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) announced Wednesday the eight finalists for the 21st Annual BLG Awards.

Official BLG Awards website

The BLG Awards were established in 1993 to recognize the top female and male athletes from universities affiliated with CIS.

On Monday, April 29, the eight national nominees will be honoured at the John Bassett Theatre, in the Toronto Metro Convention Centre. One female and one male winner will receive a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship, while all finalists will return home with a commemorative gold ring.

The only previous presentation of the event in Toronto, in 2009, proved a resounding success, as more than 1,000 guests were on hand at the John Bassett Theatre. Calgary has played host to the awards gala on 18 occasions, including last year’s 20th anniversary edition, while Vancouver was the site of the 2011 ceremony. 

The awards show will premiere on Sportsnet in May.

“We are extremely excited to be hosting the 21st BLG Awards in Toronto,” said Doug Mitchell, National Co-Chair of BLG, which created the Awards. “We continue to be amazed by the talents and accomplishments of these outstanding athletes. Each year, as we follow the past winners and hear about their accomplishments or what they are involved in, we realize how important their university sports background has been to them. We congratulate the universities who have provided the great education and athletic programs for these students to succeed in their careers.”

“To be nominated for the BLG Awards is one of the most prestigious honours our 11,000 student-athletes can aspire to in their university careers,” said Pierre Lafontaine, chief executive officer of CIS. “This year’s nominees are all exceptional athletes who are also leaders on their campuses and in their communities, and they are truly the future of our country.”

The 2013 nominees for the Jim Thompson Trophy presented to the female BLG Award recipient are basketball player Justine Colley from Saint Mary’s University, hockey player Mélodie Daoust from McGill University, rugby player Britt Benn from the University of Guelph, as well as volleyball player Shanice Marcelle from the University of British Columbia, who was also nominated in 2011.

Colley, a fourth-year guard from East Preston, N.S., was named CIS player of the year in women’s basketball after she led the country in scoring for the third straight season with a remarkable average of 28.2 points per game. The commerce student guided the Huskies to the AUS title and a program-best third-place finish at the CIS championship.

Daoust, a second-year forward from Valleyfield, Que., became the first player in CIS women’s hockey history to be named the nation’s top rookie and player of the year in back-to-back seasons. The physical and health education sophomore captured the CIS scoring crown with a Quebec conference record 54 points in 20 games, guiding the Martlets to a perfect 20-0 mark in league play.

Benn, a fifth-year centre from Napanee, Ont., was voted CIS MVP in women’s rugby after she tallied an OUA-best 80 points and 16 tries in only six conference matches. In the playoffs, the sociology student helped the Gryphons claim the OUA banner and a silver medal at the CIS championship. 

Marcelle, a fifth-year outside hitter from Victoria, wrapped up one of the most decorated careers in CIS women’s volleyball history. After being named CIS player of the year for the second time in three seasons, the kinesiology student guided the Thunderbirds to a fifth national title in as many campaigns with the team and was voted a CIS championship all-star for the fifth time.

On the men’s side, the finalists for the Doug Mitchell Trophy are hockey player Lucas Bloodoff from Saint Mary’s, wrestler David Tremblay from Concordia University, soccer player Gagan Dosanjh from UBC, as well as football player Kyle Quinlan from McMaster University, who is nominated for the second straight year.

Bloodoff, a third-year forward from Castlegar, B.C., earned CIS MVP honours in men’s hockey after he led the AUS with 20 goals and 38 points in 28 league games, including a CIS-leading 12 power play markers. The commerce student then helped the Huskies to a pair of second-place finishes at the conference and national championships.

Tremblay, a fifth-year senior from Stoney Point, Ont., wrapped up an unblemished varsity career this winter when he became only the third male wrestler in CIS history to claim a fifth gold medal in as many seasons at the national championship. The arts student earned his second CIS male wrestler-of-the-year award and finished his career with an 80-0 record at Canadian university meets.

Dosanjh, a third-year striker from Abbotsford, B.C., led Canada West in goals (12) and points (21) in 14 leagues games en route to conference player-of-the-year honours. The kinesiology student then scored a tournament-high four goals in three matches at the CIS championship and was named MVP of the competition after he guided the T-Birds to the national title.

Quinlan, a fifth-year quarterback from South Woodslee, Ont., claimed the Hec Crighton Trophy after he led the country with 19 touchdown passes in eight conference games while adding seven rushing majors, tops among CIS pivots. The economics student helped the Marauders repeat as OUA champions and reach the Vanier Cup national final for the second consecutive year.   

The BLG Awards are based on athletic accomplishments, outstanding sportsmanship and leadership. Each of the 54 CIS schools selects one female and one male athlete of the year. From these nominees, one female and one male athlete are chosen within each of the four regional associations: Atlantic University Sport (AUS), Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ), Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA). To be eligible, a student-athlete must have competed in a CIS sport for a minimum of two years and cannot be a previous recipient of a BLG Award.

All nominees receive a commemorative gold ring and winners are presented with a trophy and a $10,000 scholarship to attend a Canadian university graduate school. Winners are selected by the Canadian Athletic Foundation, a not-for-profit board established for the purpose of administering the BLG Awards and protecting the integrity of the selection process. The CAF Board of Trustees consists of 21 members from five Canadian cities representing major corporations from across the country who are committed to ensuring that Canadian university athletes receive the recognition they deserve.

2013 Female BLG Award Nominees (Jim Thompson Trophy)

  • AUS: Justine Colley, basketball, Saint Mary’s (East Preston, N.S.)
  • RSEQ: Mélodie Daoust, hockey, McGill (Valleyfield, Que.)
  • OUA: Britt Benn, rugby, Guelph (Napanee, Ont.)
  • CWUAA: Shanice Marcelle, volleyball, UBC (Victoria, B.C.)

2013 Male BLG Award Nominees (Doug Mitchell Trophy)

  • AUS: Lucas Bloodoff, hockey, Saint Mary’s (Castlegar, B.C.)
  • RSEQ: David Tremblay, wrestling, Concordia (Stoney Point, Ont.)
  • OUA: Kyle Quinlan, football, McMaster (South Woodslee, Ont.)
  • CWUAA: Gagan Dosanjh, soccer, UBC (Abbotsford, B.C.)

Past BLG Award Winners

  • 2011-12: Ann-Sophie Bettez (McGill – hockey) / Marc-André Dorion (McGill – hockey)
  • 2010-11: Jessica Clemençon (Windsor – basketball) / Tyson Hinz (Carleton – basketball)
  • 2009-10: Liz Cordonier (UBC – volleyball) / Erik Glavic (Calgary – football)
  • 2008-09: Annamay Pierse (UBC - swimming) / Joel Schmuland (Alberta - volleyball)
  • 2007-08: Laetitia Tchoualack (Montreal - volleyball) / Rob Hennigar (UNB - hockey)
  • 2006-07: Jessica Zelinka (Calgary - track & field) / Josh Howatson (Trinity Western - volleyball)
  • 2005-06: Marylène Laplante (Laval - volleyball) / Osvaldo Jeanty (Carleton - basketball)
  • 2004-05: Adrienne Power (Dalhousie - track & field) / Jesse Lumsden (McMaster - football)
  • 2003-04: Joanna Niemczewska (Calgary - volleyball) / Adam Ens (Saskatchewan - volleyball)
  • 2002-03: Kim St-Pierre (McGill - hockey) / Ryan McKenzie (Windsor - cross country & track)
  • 2001-02: Elizabeth Warden (Toronto - swimming) / Brian Johns (UBC - swimming)
  • 2000-01: Leighann Doan (Calgary - basketball) / Kojo Aidoo (McMaster - football)
  • 1999-00: Jenny Cartmell (Alberta - volleyball) / Michael Potts (Western Ontario - soccer)
  • 1998-99: Corinne Swirsky (Concordia - hockey) / Alexandre Marchand (Sherbrooke - track)
  • 1997-98: Foy Williams (Toronto - track & field) / Titus Channer (McMaster - basketball)
  • 1996-97: Terri-Lee Johannesson (Manitoba - basketball) / Curtis Myden (Calgary - swimming)
  • 1995-96: Justine Ellison (Toronto - basketball) / Don Blair (Calgary - football)
  • 1994-95: Linda Thyer (McGill - track & field) / Bill Kubas (Wilfrid Laurier - football)
  • 1993-94: Sandra Carroll (Winnipeg - basketball) / Tim Tindale (Western Ontario - football)
  • 1992-93: Diane Scott (Winnipeg - volleyball) / Andy Cameron (Calgary - volleyball)