As reported in yesterday’s Bulletin, Kimberley’s Molly Miller brought home two gold medals from the BC Winter Games. She also brought home a prestigious award, the W.R. Bennett Award for Athletic Excellence.
The award is given to one outstanding athlete at each BC Winter and BC Summer Games. The award includes a $2500 bursary and is designed to recognize and support the ongoing development of young athletes.
The award was named in honour of the former Premier of British Columbia, William Bennett, who was instrumental in starting the BC Summer and BC Winter Games program in 1978. The Award was first presented by Mr. Bennett at the 2008 BC Summer Games, which were hosted in Mr. Bennett’s hometown of Kelowna.
Nominees were evaluated on major sport accomplishments, future potential and ambition in sport, and leadership. Miller was nominated by Cross Country BC and chosen by a BC Games Society selection panel.
Despite her youth, Molly Miller’s list of accomplishments is already lengthy. She almost always competes well above her age level, and wins at that level. She has just returned from the German Nationals where she won a bronze medal.
Her mother, Kim, told the Bulletin last month that going to the BC Winter Games was important for Molly, not just for the competition but for the opportunity to be with athletes her own age.
Molly competed for Team BC at the 2015 Canada Winter Games as a 13 year old in an under 23 category where many athletes were 10 years older than her. She was an integral part of Team BC’s relay and brought home a silver medal from those Games. At the 2015 Canadian Cross Country Championships she won two golds and two silvers against athletes two years older than her as well as the aggregate award for her age group. She has been identified by Cross Country Canada and is a member of the National Junior B team. Miller actually qualified for the National Junior A team but was still too young to compete at that level.
Miller not only has achieved in sport, she has also demonstrated on a daily basis what it means to be a leader within her sport, school, and community, said a BC Games press release. She is an active member of the “Free the Children Club” at her school raising awareness about poverty locally and internationally and has initiated fundraising efforts to support families in Kenya and Nepal. Miller was also one of 17 athletes presented a Coast Capital Savings Athlete Bursary Award at the 2014 BC Winter Games for her exemplary leadership activities.
Currently a grade 9 student at Selkirk Secondary School in Kimberley, she maintains an A average and has an interest in pursuing neuroscience.
“I was so surprised when I realized that I was being recognized with this award at the Closing Ceremony,” said Miller. “I am very thankful for this support as I am going to Sweden for a training camp so this will be a huge help.”