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Saskatchewan Sport Awards Recipients and Finalists Announced

Exciting new changes for the program, including the Inspire Through Sport Award

From Olympic and Paralympic athletes and coaches to national champions and international competitors, there’s no shortage of all-star talent in the 2021 Saskatchewan Sport Awards.

The annual program celebrates the success and dedication of those in the province’s amateur sport community through two categories – Excellence Awards and Recognition Awards. The Excellence Awards celebrate outstanding event performances or a series of performances by a Saskatchewan athlete, coach or team within a given calendar year, while the Recognition Awards include the Volunteer and Coach Dedication Awards which honour individuals who have devoted their time and effort to the growth of sport in Saskatchewan. 

New for the 2021 Saskatchewan Sport Awards is the Inspire Through Sport Award. It recognizes an individual or team who demonstrated courage, determination, and/or perseverance and whose unwavering sprit serves to inspire other across the amateur sport community and beyond.

Astrid Baecker, Megan Penno, Erin McCormick, Jocelyne Moe, Jonathan Mudryk, Jamie Schneider and Marj Walton are honoured for their contributions to sport in the 2021 Recognition Awards class, while 18 deserving finalists have been named in the six Excellence categories.

“Saskatchewan has many highly-talented and devoted individuals who have represented our amateur sport system at all levels of competition and achieved many great accomplishments not only this past year, but throughout their lifetimes,” said Lance Dudar, Volunteer Board Chair for Sask Sport, which serves as the provincial federation for amateur sport.

“Sask Sport is excited and proud to celebrate the finalists and recipients for their contributions to sport in Saskatchewan. These individuals lead by example daily to show everyone that sport, truly, is more than a game.”

Other changes for the 2021 Saskatchewan Sport Awards include a nomination process that expanded from previously accepting nominations from Sask Sport members only, to now open to sport community groups, media or the general public, as well as the celebration date moving from March to January, annually. 

The 2021 Saskatchewan Sport Awards will be celebrated through a virtual celebration gala on Thursday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. on YouTube Premiere. The gala will honour the seven Recognition Awards recipients, as well as announce the recipients of the six Excellence Awards and celebrate those named as finalists. Visit Sask Sport’s YouTube channel to view. 

The Saskatchewan Sport Awards will also be available for viewing on January 28 on SaskTel maxTV Local on Demand feature channels 46/346.


Jonathan Mudryk • Saskatoon • Special Olympics

Nominated by Special Olympics Saskatchewan

Overcoming challenges both on and off the ball diamond, Jonathan Mudryk inspires through sport with his positive outlook, determination and perseverance, as well as his support and encouragement as a teammate. Jonathan has been faced with many health challenges since birth due to a rare congenital heart defect, for which he has undergone 5 open heart surgeries as well as about 15 other heart surgeries. Most recently, Jonathan received a liver and heart transplant. None of that has stopped him reaching success in sport, though. Jonathan has played nine years with the Special Olympics Saskatoon Thunderhawks softball team and had an unforgettable moment at the 2018 Canadian Special Olympics Summer Games. Pitching for Team Saskatchewan in the championship game with Saskatchewan up by two with two outs in the final inning, Jonathan caught a pop fly to secure the win and the gold medal for his team. Jonathan is eager to get back to the mound, even working on his throwing arm while he recovered in hospital. Jonathan’s outstanding traits were recognized by his Thunderhawks’ teammates when he earned the team’s Heart and Soul Award and Gold Glove of Love award during his last season.

Marj Walton • Regina • Swimming

Nominated by Swim Sask

Displaying leadership, knowledge and passion, Marj Walton inspires through sport with her devotion and increased involvement for swimming in not only Saskatchewan, but across Canada and the world. Marj first began her journey in swimming competing as a youth in Regina and moved into coaching while she lived in Nova Scotia from1990 to 1998. Upon her return to Regina in 1998, Marj was hired as the Executive Director of Swim Sask, a role she still holds today. Over the last two-and-a-half decades, Marj has continued to get involved in multiple swimming initiatives. She competed along with her mom and sister in the Regina Masters Swim Club from 1998 to 2011, volunteered at countless Saskatchewan, Western and Canada Games, been a member of the National Paralympic Team attending the 2012, 2016 and 2020 Paralympic Summer Games and has her sights set on joining the 2024 team. She’s also the Chair of the Swimming Canada Para swimming selection committee. Currently, Marj is working on multiple initiatives to help build new pools in communities across Saskatchewan that not only meet requirements to hold competitive meets but exceeds them.


Astrid Baecker • Regina • Soccer

Nominated by Saskatchewan Soccer Association

Experiencing the sport of soccer from a young age and in a multitude of roles, Astrid Baecker has spent the last nearly 30 years making her mark as a coach. Astrid coaches all levels of soccer in Regina, from grassroots players who are first trying the sport to high-performance athletes with the University of Regina Cougars women’s soccer team, which she was named interim Co-Head Coach in 2021. Beginning in the early 90’s Astrid started taking National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) courses and has continued to seek out new opportunities and grow as a coach, through workshops, courses, mentorships and more. In 2013, Astrid made history as the first female coach from Saskatchewan to earn the Canadian Soccer Association B-License. Through her years of coaching, Astrid has been recognized many times, including the 2013 Saskatchewan Soccer Association (SSA) Grassroots Coach of the Year and the 2014 SSA Youth Coach of the Year.

Erin McCormick • Osler • Para Dressage

Nominated by Melanie Rempel (supported by Saskatchewan Horse Federation)

Transitioning from a therapeutic coach to a sport coach, Erin McCormick has helped Para dressage to flourish in Saskatchewan. Erin first earned her coaching certification in her role as a therapeutic coach, where she used horse riding —specifically the dressage discipline— to assist people who had intellectual and physical disabilities with their therapy. During that time, Erin discovered that many of her clients had the skill levels required to compete in Para dressage and took on the mantle of sport coach as she expanded her therapy services in a new direction. In 2015, Erin coached Saskatchewan’s first athlete in Para dressage and has continued to bring new athletes into the fold since. Eleven participants competed in events in 2021, including one athlete who is attempting to make the 2024 Canadian Paralympic team. Through it all, Erin has taken part in multiple workshops and courses as she continues to learn how to grow as a coach for athletes with different disabilities and on the opposite side has hosted many seminars to instruct others on Para dressage in an effort to grow the sport.


Jocelyne Moe • Humboldt • Weightlifting

Nominated by Ken Trofimuk (supported by Saskatchewan Weightlifting Association)

Volunteering her time as an official, coach and board member for nearly 40 years, Jocelyne Moe has made a lasting impact on the Saskatchewan Weightlifting Association (SWA). First volunteering her time in the sport of weightlifting because of the involvement of her three children, Jocelyne spent over two decades on the SWA’s Board of Directors. She began officiating the sport locally in 1998 and has since officiated at competitions provincially, nationally and internationally, including the 2014 Commonwealth Games, 2015 Pan American Games and the 2017 Junior World Championships. Jocelyne is one of two active female officials in Canada with international certification. Jocelyne is also a Level II certified coach and coached in Humboldt from 2000 to 2009. For her years of involvement, Jocelyne received a Saskatchewan Weightlifting Association Service Award in 2021.

Jamie Schneider • Regina • Curling

Nominated by Lorraine Schneider (supported by CURLSASK)

Using knowledge and experience gained from his own playing career, Jamie Schneider has dedicated his time to growing the University of Regina curling program over the last decade. Jamie helped develop the first men’s and women’s junior and senior divisions for the club in 2012 and has continued to coach multiple teams over the years at Canada West and U SPORTS competitions. In 2014, he also took on the added responsibility of coaching the U SPORTS national team at multiple World University Games. Outside of his work with the University teams, Jamie was also an alternate-player and coach for Regina’s Team Adam Casey at the 2017 Brier, was a coach with the Canadian junior women’s team in 2019 and is willing to lend a hand to anyone interested in improving their curling skills.

Megan Penno • Regina • Special Olympics

Nominated by Special Olympics Saskatchewan

Introducing new programming and accounting methods in her more than 10 years with Special Olympics Regina, Megan Penno has made changes that will allow the organization to continue to grow in the future. Megan created a competitive basketball league, which she also coaches in, that increases in participants each year and teaches athletes multiple new skills that can be used on and off the court. Megan has also taken her coaching talents to the provincial level, coaching Saskatchewan’s basketball team at the Canadian Special Olympics Summer Games in 2014 and Regina’s bowling team at the Saskatchewan Special Olympics Summer Games in 2017. Behind the scenes, Megan has been the Chairperson of the Games Committee for the last two Provincial Special Olympics Winter Games and assisted Special Olympics Regina with marketing and fundraising. Megan was recognized for her service with the 2020 Special Olympics Saskatchewan Volunteer of the Year award.



Nominated by Swim Saskatchewan

A first-time Paralympian, who finished fourth in the women’s S6 100-metre backstroke, ninth in the 50-metre S6 freestyle and competed in the S7 100-metre freestyle, setting Canadian and Americas records in the swims.

Nominated by the Saskatchewan Cycling Association

A bronze medalist on the first day of the Paralympics in the Women’s C4 Individual Pursuit, who also earned a fourth-place finish in the Time Trial and a gold medal in the C4 3KM Canadian Championships.

Nominated by Saskatchewan Athletics

A bronze medallist at the U20 World Athletics Championships, who set a Saskatchewan record with a time of 57.27 seconds in the women’s 400-metre hurdles and the recipient of multiple gold medals throughout the outdoor track season.


Nominated by Saskatchewan Athletics

A silver medalist at the Canadian Olympic trials in long jump, who also earned gold at an international event in Montreal with a jump that was just five centimetres away from a Saskatchewan record.

Nominated by the Regina Thunder Football Club

The Prairie Junior Football Conference MVP and Outstanding Offensive player and Receiver with 621 yards and eight touchdowns.

Nominated by Dive Sask

A diver who set a personal-best and Saskatchewan record in 10-metre competition at the FINA World Cup, securing a spot for Canada at the Olympics, before qualifying for the Olympics at the Canadian trials with a silver medal.


Nominated by Dive Sask

Coach of Saskatchewan-based diver Rylan Wiens, who achieved personal bests and earned a spot for himself and Team Canada in the Olympics, and a coach for the Saskatoon Diving Club.

Nominated by Special Olympics Saskatchewan

Head coach for the Regina Wildcats softball team and coach for a variety of other sports in Special Olympic programming.

Nominated by Swim Saskatchewan

Canadian Paralympic swimming coach who helped Saskatchewan-based swimmers Nikita Ens and Shelby Newkirk to personal bests and Canadian records at the Games, head coach of the Saskatoon Lasers Swim Club.

Nominated by the Regina Thunder Football Club

Head coach of the Regina Thunder, who led the team to an 8-0 record, while receiving the Prairie Junior Football and Canadian Junior Football Coach of the Year awards.


Nominated by the Saskatchewan Weightlifting Association

The top-ranked junior weightlifter in Saskatchewan, with a gold medal performance at senior nationals in the 49-kg weight class and a silver medal at junior nationals in the 55-kg class.

Nominated by Tennis Saskatchewan

A competitor in two Junior National Tennis Events, as well an international event with two semifinal appearances and top 12 finishes in all singles and doubles events.

Nominated by family (supported by the Saskatchewan Horse Federation)

A Top 10 finisher at the American Quarter Horse Canadian Nationals, Ford World Youths and the Canadian Gold Buckle Futurity.


Nominated by Baseball Saskatchewan

A pitcher for the Canadian Junior National team during an 18U Friendship series with the United States who also pitched to the third best Earned Run Average in the Western Canadian Baseball Summer League.

Nominated by Golf Saskatchewan

The youngest qualifier for the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship and first winner of the Maple Leaf Junior Tour National Championship from Saskatchewan since 2016.


Nominated by CURLSASK

This rink scored three points in the seventh end to a take the 7-4 advantage in the final of the Canadian Senior Curling Championship en route to a 10-4 victory and a provincial record with four straight titles.

Nominated by Rowing Saskatchewan

The first men’s rowing pair from Saskatchewan to win gold at a Rowing Canada National Championship since its inception in 2006.

Nominated by Water Polo Saskatchewan

The 15U National Water Polo Champions, who recovered from a four-goal deficit within the final five minutes of the championship game.