The 30th anniversary Lois and Doug Mitchell Awards, emblematic of the U SPORTS Athletes of the Year, return to an in-person event at the McDougall Centre in Calgary on May 24, 2023.
This year's event showcases the top female and male athletes from the four U SPORTS conferences and pays homage to the 30 years of the Awards (formerly known as the Howard Mackie Awards, BLG Awards and Lieutenant Governor Awards). The 2023 edition of the Awards will also celebrate the life of the program's founder, Doug Mitchell, who passed away last July at 83.
Doug, a UBC Thunderbird football alumnus, founded the awards back in 1993 as a way to increase the profile and support of Canadian university student-athletes. He would often recount that he was inspired to create a Canadian version of the Heisman Trophy ceremony to tell the stories of U SPORTS student-athletes.
He and his wife Lois co-founded the Mitchell Family U SPORTS Alumni of the Year Awards in 2021 to highlight university sports graduates' contributions to their alma mater.
"For 30 years, Lois and the late Doug Mitchell have been two of the biggest boosters of University Sport in Canada," said Pierre Arsenault, U SPORTS CEO. "The Lois and Doug Mitchell Awards is the biggest event on the U SPORTS calendar, and we are pleased to be back in person for another amazing celebration in Calgary."
The nominees also benefit from leadership training sessions by University of Calgary professor Dr. Cari Din, an Olympian who holds a Ph.D. in Leadership Behaviour.
"Doug and I wish to provide these outstanding student-athletes with the opportunity to further develop their leadership skills," said the Honourable Lois Mitchell. "These young adults are the future of our country, and while it is important to highlight their past success as athletes, we believe in investing in the development of their soft skills that will help launch their careers and be honourable citizens."
Over the past 30 years, 258 student-athletes have been recognized as their conference's most outstanding student-athletes, while 58 have earned the title of U SPORTS Athletes of the Year. This year's winners with be the 59th and 60th recipients of the prestigious Lois and Doug Mitchell Trophies.
The nominees for this year's awards will be unveiled beginning next Monday with the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) conference, followed the next day by Canada West, the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) on Wednesday and concluding on Thursday with the nominees from Ontario University Athletics (OUA).
The eight nominees arrive in Calgary on Tuesday, May 23, for dinner with the Trustees of the Canadian Athletic Foundation, a not-for-profit board founded 31 years ago by Doug Mitchell. Those trustees will select the winners of the Lois and Doug Mitchell Awards in a secret ballot vote on Wednesday, May 24, with the winners being unveiled that evening during a reception at McDougall Centre.
All eight (8) nominees will be in attendance in Calgary, with media availability occurring on May 24.
Media wishing to attend the awards ceremony or who would like to request an interview can submit an accreditation and interview request by clicking here.