2022-2023 TSC Awards

Since last April, TSC has seen a resurgence in success as all teams are back in action. We’ve had 2 national champions, Men’s Tennis and Artistic Swimming – with Artistic Swimming going back to back for the top experienced team in Canada. Numerous other teams have qualified for and competed in Nationals, and it has been wonderful to see all 14 clubs return to competitive action. Our program has seen historic growth this year, with over 350 athletes donning the blue and gold, a sure sign that we have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than ever!

On April 5th, 2023 we honoured our exceptional athletes and groups with awards for their hard work and performances. Check out the list below for the winners and more information!

Table of Contents

TSC Rookie of the Year

This award is given to the top student-athlete (s) who demonstrate extraordinary athletic performance in their first year of intercollegiate competition. 

TSC Student Leadership Award

The TSC Student Leadership Award is given to student-athlete(s) who demonstrate several qualities of a leader.

TSC Athlete of the Year

TSC Athlete of the Year is awarded to the top student-athlete (s) who demonstrate extraordinary athletic performance in their given discipline.

TSC Legacy Award

The TSC Legacy Award is awarded to TSC’s outstanding graduating athlete(s), who has served as a leader both on and off their competitive surface

TSC Executives of the Year Award

The TSC Executives of the Year award is given to the team of executives that have presented themselves as unified leaders for their team.

TSC Team of the Year

The winners of the Thunderbirds Sport Clubs Team of the Year Award are highly competitive and exemplify the spirit of sportsmanship. 

Rookie of the Year

Marvin Kao, Men’s Tennis

Joining a group that was fresh off a national championship, Marvin has worked hard to make the top 6, slotting himself in as a solid player in both singles and doubles. All of his hard work was on display at Westerns, in a hostile environment where fans were blasting trumpets and horns between each point. With a trip to Nationals on the line, Marvin tuned out the noise to deliver an exceptional performance. Undefeated in both singles and doubles, Marvin played his heart out and has a bright future ahead of him. This athlete has grown tremendously over the season,  inspiring his teammates with his growth and performances as they made him feel welcomed into their loving family. 

Madison Weber, Equestrian

In UBC Equestrian SC’s return to competition, Madison Weber played a pivotal role in the team’s unprecedented competitive success. In her 2 competitions of the year, she placed first in all of her classes, winning multiple high-point titles. From these performances, she earned a spot at Zones in Stanford, an opportunity that only 3 riders from her Region have earned this year. Madison has raised the bar for competitive success and has a successful future ahead of her. As put by one of her teammates “If she’s in a class, she’s winning that class – and that whole show”.

Student Leadership Award

Ivy Liao, Table Tennis

In Table Tennis’s first year of competing in the NCTTA as a TSC, Ivy has elevated the experience of being an executive and an athlete on her team. Ivy has incredible attention to detail, improving team processes and communications and developing elaborate plans to execute her vision of fostering a positive, and inclusive sport environment while performing at a very high level. She is committed to the growth of the athletes in their sport club, constantly providing feedback to their athletes and affirming their growth and performances. Every word and action is meaningful and thought out to empower her fellow executives in their roles and to motivate her teammates in their performances.  All while this athlete manages to balance school, leading and competing for her sport club and representing Canada at an international stage throughout the school year.

Isabel Evans, Women’s Tennis

Isabel has served as a role model to all athletes in the Women’s Tennis Sport Club. With Isabel at the helm, the team revived their exhibition series against American schools, hosted the most successful mixer fundraising event to date, and improved their overall team culture. Isabel gives 110% to the team whether it be through tackling any administrative problem, being a vocal leader on the sideline, or by giving it her all during practice and in competition. When problems came up, this athlete did their best to hear everyone out to make sure their voices and opinions were heard – ultimately galvanizing their team to perform even better and band together even stronger. Not even a broken toe would stop this athlete from showing up and giving it their best at practice. In all of this athlete’s actions, she demonstrates her love for the team.

Athlete of the Year

Claire Hein-Salvi, Artistic Swimming

Returning to the team after contributing to Artistic Swimming’s National Championship run in the year prior, Claire and the team went into this season looking to repeat in their efforts. Amongst Canada’s finest collegiate artistic swimming soloists, Claire shone in this year’s National Championship, placing second in the solo category. She also played a key role in the Blue team’s performance that earned them the John Drake trophy for best-experienced university team in Canada. Of all experienced athletes at the competition, she earned the most aggregate points which also contributed to UBC’s second-overall finish at the event.

Graeme McIntosh, Men’s Tennis

Whether it be during practice matches or with a national championship on the line, Graeme has exhibited that he will give all his matches every ounce of energy he has. He plays with a fierce but selfless passion, firing up his teammates whether he’s playing on the court or not. Graeme has gone a combined 16-1 in the last 12 months, and an undefeated 10-0 in playoff matches – including their 2022 National Championship run. Time and time again, Graeme has shone when the team needed him the most. His performances most certainly indicate that to him, pressure is a privilege.

Madison Ong, Women’s Ultimate

In the ultimate world, Madi is regarded as a force to be reckoned with, with strong performances at the club, collegiate and national level. During the TBird’s post-season run in the Spring of 2022, Ultiworld named Madi to the Women’s All-American First Team and the 2nd-runner up to D-I Offensive Player of the Year. This season, in addition to being named to the U24 Canadian National Women’s team, Madi is leading her team in assists and is in contention for Player of the Year. She and the team look to make another deep run at USAU Nationals, with hopes of bringing home a national title.

TSC Legacy Award

Abigail Edison, Triathlon

From her first year until now, Abigail has been instrumental in the growth of her club, fostering the inclusive, competitive culture that is on display today. Serving as a Travel & Safety Officer and then Club Lead for two years, Abigail worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure her team was able to train safely, even during the pandemic. Abigail leads with the purpose of making every athlete the best version of themselves, both with her organization and decision-making, as well as the effort she puts forth during training and competition. During her time as a Thunderbird, she has placed at the top of multiple podiums including the UBC Triathlon Duathlon, Vancouver Triathlon, and Toronto Triathlon Festival, all while maintaining Academic Thunderbird status each year. As shared by one of her teammates, “[Abby] will beat you in a race, and without pausing for a moment to catch her breath, she will turn around and cheer you on.” 

Nicolas Sanchez, Men’s Ultimate

Since his rookie year, Nicolas has worked hard to climb the ranks within the Men’s Ultimate Sport Club. In the last few years, Nicolas has built a reputation as the heart of the Men’s Ultimate team – putting in 110% effort to make the team the best they can be. Nicolas has gone out of his way to make everyone on his team feel valued and included, whether it be on or off the field. In games, he bolsters the team with his motivational words and big plays. Off the field, he’s created a personal relationship with all athletes and coaches – checking in on everyone’s well-being, providing individualized feedback with film, creating individualized off-season workout plans, and much more. Nicolas is relied upon by the athletes, captains, and coaches for advice and as a voice of reason. He has left a positive, lasting impact on the athletes who have passed through the team and set the standard for future Thunderbirds.

Executives of the Year

This year’s Nordic Skiing executive core is comprised of six leaders with unique skill sets, each of which contributes to the success of the club. Faced with a larger roster than normal, the executive team scaled their operations and tackled this opportunity with zeal. With a lot of their travel involving driving long distances in the winter, their executives were very proactive and great at communicating to ensure all athletes arrived at their destinations safely.

The group has invested countless hours and worked very hard to cultivate an inclusive, positive, and connected space for their athletes and it has shown in their athletic performances and record practice attendance. The positivity they have fostered remains unfazed by whatever grueling task they have at hand, with one athlete stating “I’d want anyone to experience the positive vibes of our Tower Beach stairs practices: the forest always rings with ‘Great work!’, ‘Keep it up!’, ‘Aller aller aller!’ and as always, tons of laughter”. These individuals brought out the best in each other and their athletes and made this season a special one.

From left to right: Fiona Schute, Rachel Bates, Isaac Lowenthal-Walsh, Mykal Bakker-Westeinde, Maggie Beckner, Reese Critchlow

Team of the Year

Since the last banquet, Artistic Swimming has won the National Championship not once, but twice! They earned the John Drake Trophy for the best team in the Experienced Category in Canadian University Artistic Swimming in back-to-back years. They also won top university honours last season in the overall aggregate score category (including Novice and Experienced teams, solo, duets, and trios) and finished second in that category this season.  At Nationals this season, they saw strong showings in the smaller performances, with Claire Hein-Salvi earning 2nd in the country, and soloist Serena Pak Yin Chin and the duet of Marissa Enns and Flynne Gossling coming in 5th amongst the nation’s top collegiate artistic swimmers. In addition to that, their teams dominated Westerns, topping the podium in team, duet, and solo categories. In the artistic swimming world, these athletes are in a class of their own.