Sport North announces 2020 award winners

Last modified: December 4, 2020 at 11:43am

Wren Acorn won the first Sport North Award named for the late Robin Mercer-Sproule as the organization revealed its 2020 honourees.

Speed skater Acorn, now a member of Canada’s national development program, was named the NWT’s junior female athlete of the year – an award now named for Mercer-Sproule, who passed away earlier this year and left a broad sporting legacy.

Mercer-Sproule, an NWT Sport Hall of Fame entrant, took part in 12 editions of the Arctic Winter Games and represented the territory in a range of sports.


“Robin was a big believer in sports and contributed greatly to the Northwest Territories sport community,” read a news release from Sport North on Friday.

“From figure skating to softball, Robin gave any sport she played 100 percent and showed an admirable amount of both talent and hard work.

“We are proud to give the award to Wren Acorn … who has shown great dedication to her sport and to her community. We believe Robin would be proud to have Wren as the first recipient of this award.”

The list of award-winners published on Friday came in the absence of the ceremony that would ordinarily accompany the annual announcement. The pandemic has cancelled many such events in recent months.

There were two awards each for tennis and curling. In tennis, Nikki Gohil won youth male athlete of the year and Bernie Bennett picked up the active for life award, while curling’s Team Koe received team of the year and Shona Barbour was senior female athlete of the year.


Joining Acorn in speed skating, Josh Boudreau – from the sport’s Special Olympics team – won junior male athlete of the year.

Squash player Devin Madsen was named senior male athlete of the year.

Judo’s Mario Desforges won coach of the year, softball’s Rob Johnson was named the Dennis Crane Memorial official of the year, and biathlon’s Chuck Lirette took the Delma Kisoun community contributor award.

Desiree Gautreau won the Ruth Inch contributor to sport award for her work in gymnastics, while Corothers’ Home Building Centre and owner Charles Corothers won the corporate contributor award.