Blazers Tai Linklater and Levi Klassen selected as inaugural 2021-22 Bill Wedlake True Sport Award winners

The True Sport awards recognize student-athletes who demonstrate the principles of True Sport on the field of play, in the classroom and in the community

The Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) is pleased to announce Tai Linklater – Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Blazers women’s soccer/futsal fullback player – and Levi Klassen – CMU Blazers men’s volleyball libero player –are the inaugural 2021-22 Bill Wedlake True Sport Award winners.

The True Sport awards recognize student-athletes who demonstrate the principles of True Sport on the field of play, in the classroom and in the community. These awards were established to recognize Bill Wedlake, the first Executive Director for the MCAC and his commitment to living the True Sport Principles with the MCAC. At the end of each season, two student-athletes receive a $250 award.

CMU’s Director of Athletics Cara Isaak discussed both award winners, “Tai is very active on campus and is a member of student council. She plans group bike rides for students and sustainability events. She volunteers with Special Olympics and encourages her teammates to get into coaching to give back. Levi is his team’s representative with the varsity athletes council (athlete leadership group that coordinates activities and advises staff on athlete issues). Last semester, Levi led the volleyball team in collecting winter clothing at home games to be donated to the Main Street project. He is especially good at including and welcoming everyone in sport.”

The True Sport seven principles are: Go For It; Play Fair; Respect Others; Keep It Fun; Stay Healthy; Include Everyone; Give Back.

Linklater commented: “Being a well-rounded person is important in sport because it helps you develop good relationships. Pushing yourself to be better and encouraging other is more important than winning. There are a lot of people watching you when you play sports and it is important to be good role models. These principles go beyond sport and are important to our community.”

Klassen stated: “It is important that athletes and those supporting them embody values that make sport about more than self-contained competition, and instead, see it as something that is generative in the lives of both the athletes and those who watch them. This is why values like those embodied in the True Sport Pillars are so important; they encourage athletes to grow in their athletic environments in a way that helps them to look beyond themselves, broaden the scope of what they consider to be important, and ultimately, learn to work against the underlying forces that can make athletic competition a destructive force in society. At its most ideal, sport can be one of the most creative spaces for people to explore the kind of person that they want to be, so it is great that in the MCAC, there is growing recognition for those who pursue that.”