Barry Grasby, Trent Zorgdrager and Olivia Giovinazzo were recognized with awards at the Stratford Minor Sports Council banquet Saturday night.
Grasby was named Sportsperson of the Year, while Zorgdrager was named the city's top male athlete, and Giovinazzo took home the award for top female athlete.
Grasby is best known for his involvement in baseball, serving as Stratford minor baseball's umpire-in-chief for the last 36 years. After he was nominated for the award by the SMBA and Stratford Rotary Hockey, where he serves as a director and convener, Grasby wrote in a letter to the selection committee that he hasn't volunteered his time to gain recognition.
“However, if I am recognized, perhaps it will inspire more individuals who think they don't have time to give to their capacity and receive such rich rewards in seeing boys and girls play, compete, improve, have fun, win and make friends,” he said.
SMBA president Dave Graff also vouched for Grasby's contributions as a coach.
“The combination of Barry's
extensive knowledge and experience, his infectious passion for baseball and his unparalleled love for children makes him an ideal coach,” he wrote.
Zorgdrager played Rotary Hockey, club and high school volleyball, and is an accomplished golfer.
Stratford Country Club assistant golf professional Chris Dickenson told the awards committee Zorgdrager is not only an exceptional athlete, but an even better person.
“He makes everyone around him a better person,” Dickenson wrote. “He is always kind hearted, attentive and honest. He always has that patented smile even when things aren't going his way. I have watched Trent grow from a kid into a young man and I can't understate how impressive that young man is.”
Giovinazzo played soccer and volleyball – both with club and high school teams – in 2017.
“So many of the skills that I learned from sports I have been able to apply to my everyday life,” she wrote to the selection committee after being nominated for the award by the Stratford Volleyball Club.
Above excerpt from the Beacon Herald, Wednesday, May 2, 2018
NOTE: TRENT PLAYED FOR STRATFORD MINOR HOCKEY (SMHA) FOR 9 SEASONS