About the Awards
Success in business is more readily achieved when an individual is a team player, has faced competition, and developed passion and an ability to effectively communicate. In the early 1990s, when Canadian universities were facing financial cutbacks and athletic programs seemed the first to be cut, it was hoped that by introducing the BLG Awards, we could assist in focusing attention on the importance of athletics at Canadian universities and at the same time, showcase the great student athletes we produce in Canada.
Since 1993, BLG has hosted the BLG Awards to honour the top university athletes in the country and promote post-graduate studies at Canadian universities. The BLG Awards are held in partnership with U SPORTS - the national organization governing interuniversity sport in and for Canada. Each of the 56 U SPORTS universities select a male and female athlete from which one male and one female nominee are chosen to represent Atlantic Canada, Canada West, Ontario and Québec. These eight nominees are then considered for the U SPORTS Male and Female Athletes on the Year based on their athletic accomplishment, outstanding sportsmanship and demonstrated leadership. Winners are selected by the Canadian Athletic Foundation, a non-profit board established to administer the Awards and protect the integrity of the selection process.
We continue to monitor the progress of past BLG Awards winners and are pleased to see their continued success in their professional and personal lives.
The eight nominees are selected based on the following criteria:
- Must have participated in a U SPORTS-sanctioned sport for two years (including the current year of nomination)
- Must be in a course of study leading to their first undergraduate degree or graduate program (minimum second year);
- Must be the university’s Athlete of the Year or runner-up; and
- Cannot be a previous BLG Award winner
The Canadian Athletic Foundation
The Canadian Athletic Foundation is a non-profit organization established for the express purpose of administering the Awards and protecting the integrity of the selection process.
The Board of Trustees has 21 members from five cities across Canada who are committed to this endeavour and to ensuring that Canadian university athletes receive the recognition they so richly deserve.
Rewarding the Winners
To recognize the dedication and hard work of the athletes in both their athletic and academic programs, and to support their continued education, the BLG Award winners receive:
- a unique custom-made sculptured fossil-stone trophy
The Jim Thompson Trophy
In 2003, the Women’s Athlete of the Year trophy was named “The Jim Thompson Trophy” in recognition of the contribution of the late Jim Thompson, an original Trustee of the Canadian Athletic Foundation Board. Jim served on the Board of the Canadian Athletic Foundation since its inception in 1993. As President of TSN at the time, he was responsible for bringing the Awards to television. Jim was not only a strong supporter of the BLG Awards but a firm believer in the value of athletics at Canadian universities and of amateur sports.
At the time of his passing in 2002, Jim was the Chief Executive Officer and Secretary General of the Canadian Olympic Committee.
The Doug Mitchell Trophy
In 2009, the Men's Athlete of the Year trophy was named "The Doug Mitchell Trophy" to honour the Chairman of the Canadian Athletic Foundation, founder of the BLG Awards, an original Trustee of the Board, and former CFL Commissioner (1984-88) who played for the UBC Thunderbirds and B.C. Lions.