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Redbirds girls lacrosse teams honoured at Breakfast of Champions

Newmarket club's U13 provincial champions were among 100 athletes who received medals at the Sport Aurora event celebrating athletic achievements

Members of Newmarket's Redbirds Lacrosse Club are being recognized as champions, along with more than 100 local athletes and coaches, by Sport Aurora.

The Redbirds' U13 Girls Division B Field Team and U13 Girls Division D teams — both won gold at the provincial championships last July — were among nine teams honoured at the annual Breakfast of Champions Sunday at King's Riding Golf Club.

Medals celebrating achievements in sport were given out to players and teams, including lacrosse, gymnastics, rugby, curling, basketball and hockey, for wins at provincial championships or higher. 

“If you consider what a 'championship' means, for some of you, this may be the last one you have,” said Ron Weese, president of Sport Aurora. “Championships don’t come along every day, and reaching this level of sport happens because of drive, determination, effort, skill – and sometimes luck."

Keynote speaker Mark Heese, a professional beach volleyball player and former Olympian, shared personal ups and downs in his sports career, overcoming adversity, and the importance of seeking support from family, friends, coaches and teammates. 

Each athlete received Olympic-sized medals, and two additional awards were awarded to coach and player of the year. 

Alistair Johnston was named athlete of the year. He began playing soccer as a child and then moved to Aurora at the age of seven. He has since played all over York Region, including Aurora FC, Richmond Hill SC, Vaughan SC, helping his teams win a number of tournaments and titles. 

Coach of the year went to Greg Johnson, who is the coach of the Aurora Jr. A Tigers. He was previously a professional hockey player and played for the Boston Bruins, helping the team reach the Stanley Cup finals in 1990. He also played games with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Johnson played with Team Canada at the 1985 World Junior Championship, scoring two goals to help the team win gold.

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Elizabeth Keith

About the Author: Elizabeth Keith

Elizabeth Keith is a general assignment reporter. She graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2017. Elizabeth is passionate about telling local stories and creating community.
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