The Comox Valley Kickers RFC celebrated the historic 2023/2024 rugby season this past Saturday for the highly anticipated year-end awards banquet hosted at the Comox Legion, located above our sponsor, the Beaufort Ave Pub. A pleasant surprise was when the Beaufort Ave Pub donated an additional $1,500 to the club, an unexpected gesture of generosity from our steadfast sponsor, symbolizing a reaffirmation of community support. 

With over 70 attendees, the evening was filled with delicious food, provided by the players and guests potluck style, heartfelt speeches, and memorable entertainment.

A standout moment of the evening came with a performance of Smash Mouth’s “All Star” by the men’s rookies done with inspiration from Shakespeare, adding a unique and unforgettable flair to the festivities. The crowd was in awe of the performance - the production value! the acting! the singing! the glitter! –  erupting into thunderous applause and enthusiastic cheers, setting the perfect tone for the evening.

After announcing his retirement from coaching, Men’s Coach Dan Mills received a heartfelt standing ovation, a testament to the profound impact he had on the team, club, and sport.

The pinnacle of the evening unfolded during the awards ceremony, where players, recognized for their exceptional performance and unwavering dedication throughout the season, were celebrated with well-deserved accolades. 

Kickers Women’s Award Winners:

MVP: Cali McKay
Back of the Year: Danelle Campbell
Forward of the Year: Dara DeMarce
Rookie of the Year: Ava Perkins
Most Improved: Tanya Garneau
Most Tenacious: Audrey Jones
Most Sportsmanlike: Jess Nikkel

Kickers Men’s Award Winners:

MVP: Brandon Hudson
Back of the Year: Devon Moore
Forward of the Year: Derek McCubbin
Rookie of the Year: Nick Fielding
Most Improved: Tom Gregory
Most Tenacious: Craig Whiley
Most Sportsmanlike: Landon Maybaum

The addition of a new Indigenous Player of the Year marked a significant moment of inclusion and celebration. This award was presented to Christina “Beans” Green-Speck by Women’s Coach, JB Nikkel honoring their exceptional talent and contribution to the team. 

The Phil Koester Award recognizes the Club Person of the Year, celebrating the individual who embodies the very essence of what it means to be a part of the rugby family. Joe Goldes was the recipient of the award this year. As the Director of Rugby Operations, he has tirelessly worked behind the scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly, from organizing travel to swag orders to supporting teammates. 

As the evening progressed, the air was filled with shared stories, laughter, and reminiscence of the unforgettable moments that made the season truly special. It was a fun evening had by all and we look forward to the 2024/2025 rugby season.