He’s long been one of the city’s MVPs. But Sammy Morizawa would rather just go about his business than take time out to be recognized.
However last Thursday (April 26) at the annual Richmond Sports Awards, held at R.A. McMath Secondary School, a standing ovation reaffirmed just how highly thought of, and appreciated, by the sports community the longtime city parks co-ordinator is.
“What can you say about him? He’s an unsung hero. He’s got people smarts and is a pleasure to work with,” says Richmond Sports Council chair Jim Lamond, who presented the Sports Council Award of Distinction to the modest Morizawa.
Arjan Bhullar, who won gold as a wrestler for Canada at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and is now competing as a mixed martial artist in the UFC, was named the Richmond News Sportsperson of the Year.
Longtime Richmond educator Mike Charlton received the Don Fennell Award of Distinction for his many years of contributing to school sports. Early in his teaching career, Charlton encouraged students at H.J. Cambie Secondary School to become involved in track and field, and later focused his attention on advancing the sport of badminton. More recently, while a teacher and administrator at R.A. McMath, he guided the school’s rugby team. In each sport, Charlton’s teams enjoyed considerable success.
Others recognized at the annual Richmond Sports Awards were: Reid Scally (Special Olympics); longtime coach Jim Brady, administrator Matt Mercer, official Prem Gundarah, U18 United Metro team and Old Blacks masters team (soccer); high school sports athletes Dakota Chan (multiple sports) and Carson Bradley (track and field); thrower Camryn Rogers, coach Garrett Collier and administrator Karen Fisher Hagel (Kajaks track and field); athletes Cameron Lewis, and Brayden Carpenter, coach Raul Verde Rios and official Ethan Wong (Richmond City Baseball); athlete Nancy Yijia Liu and coach Kara Kalin Zader (swimming); athlete Alisha Lau (golf); Ian Ryder (judo); Bill Wong (tennis); Nam Nguyen (Rockets speed skating); Commanders and Generals (Panther Cheer); Ryan Reid (bowling); coach Keegan Murphy (Connaught Skating Club); and coach/administrator Rob Parmar and the provincial champion Bantam team (Richmond Raiders football).
Part of the proceeds from the annual Richmond Sports Awards dinner, which is hosted in part by the leadership class at McMath, goes to KidSport Richmond which was established in 2008 to provide grant to in-need Richmond families so their children can participate in sport.