The Kinsmen Club of Lethbridge is pleased to sponsor the Sports Persons of the Year Award. The club has sponsored this award since its inception in 1995. These awards acknowledge individuals for their outstanding performance or participation in sports while representing Lethbridge and area during the previous year. In 2007, these awards were expanded to include both female and male recipients each year.
Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame announces Kinsmen Sports Persons of the Year
Sept. 24, 2020 – Two young athletes who have elevated their home town to national and international accolades have been recognized as Kinsmen Sports Persons of the Year by the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame.
Evelyn Beaton, a judoka who won multiple international tournaments over multiple age groups was named the female recipient, while soccer player Nico Pasquotti, one of the top offensive weapons for the Canadian Premier League’s Cavalry FC was named the male winner. The Kinsmen Sports Persons of the Year awards acknowledge individuals for outstanding performance or participation in sports while representing Lethbridge.
“What both Nico and Evelyn have achieved at such early stages of their careers is truly remarkable,” says Dave McMurray, Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame chair. “Both athletes call Lethbridge home and have proudly represented our city while competing on some of their sports’ biggest stages. They are carrying on a great tradition of exceptional athletes who have come out of our city.”
The Kinsmen Sports Persons of the Year are typically announced in the spring and celebrated at the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame’s induction banquet in May, however this year’s announcement and banquet were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A member of the storied Lethbridge Judo Club, Beaton was just 14 years old for most of the 2019 season. Her victories in the -44kg division included the U18 National Cadet Championship, the Canada Winter Games, the Edmonton International U18 competition, the Open National Championships and the Canada Cup. She also earned a silver medal at the Pan American U18 Championships, a bronze at the prestigious Thuringia Cup in Germany, and she qualified for and competed at the Cadet World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Moving up to the senior division late in 2019, she won her first championship at the Ontario Open Senior Canadian Circuit in Toronto. In early January 2020, Beaton opened the new year with a victory at the Canadian Cadet Championships in both the U18 and senior division, helping the Lethbridge Judo Club win its second-straight U18 Canadian Club of the Year title.
“I am very proud of my 2019 season but it would not have been possible without the support of my coaches and all of the hard work that me and my teammates put into our training daily,” says Beaton. “Judo is an individual sport but we can not achieve anything without our team. I am still very young and there is a lot of hard work ahead of me if I want to keep improving. I would like to thank the Lethbridge Judo Club, the Kinsmen and Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame for recognizing my achievements.”
Pasquotti, 24, was a member of Calgary’s Cavalry FC for the inaugural season of the Canadian Premier League – Canada’s top professional soccer league. He helped lead Cavalry FC to the top spot in both halves of the CPL regular season, and a second place finish in the CPL playoffs. In 23 appearances, Pasquotti scored five goals – tied for fourth on the team and 18th in the CPL – totals that were strong enough to earn him the right wing position on the CPL’s “Team of the Year.”
Prior to his professional career, Pasquotti played for both the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns and Lethbridge College Kodiaks. He re-signed with Cavalry FC in the summer and just finished his second season with the club.
“I am very honoured to be chosen for this award,” says Pasquotti. “This past year has really been a great experience and I have learned a lot of things, which I hope is only the start of things to come. My first professional season has given me the confidence to push even harder in effort to make it to the next level. I know the countless hours of training and hard work that I put in to being the best I can be, but it’s great knowing and feeling the community I grew up in recognize it as well. The support from the community, my friends, and peers means a lot. My family’s support is everything and I wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”
The Kinsmen Sports Persons of the Year have been awarded annually since 1995.
The Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame has inducted more than 320 members since its formation in 1985 as part of the City of Lethbridge’s Centennial celebrations. While the 2020 induction banquet was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans are underway to announce a new class of honourees in 2021. Nominations are accepted at any time up to Jan. 31 and can be submitted online.