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Richey nominated for athlete of the year award

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Sport BC has nominated Kyla Richey university athlete of the year. The awards will be announced in March.

The accolades continue to pour in for Roberts Creek’s Kyla Richey after a wonderful career with the University of British Columbia women’s volleyball team, which won five national championships.

Last week, Sport BC nominated Richey as university athlete of the year.

Sport BC has been hosting this annual athletic celebration for 47 years and recognized B.C.’s best athletes in 17 different categories. The award winners will be announced at an awards gala on March 7 at the River Rock show theatre in Richmond.

Richey said she was surprised to learn of the nomination.

“It’s very cool. Our UBC team has been nominated a couple of times as team of the year and Doug [Reimer] has been nominated as coach of the year, but it is kind of weird to get individual recognition in a team sport such as this. I have always tried to put the credit on my teammates first. You can’t achieve these kinds of things without them. It’s a really humble feeling.”

A selection committee made up of sportswriters, broadcasters, athletes and amateur sports experts representing every part of the province chose the nominees in the 17 categories.

Richey spent the better part of the past year training in Winnipeg with the Canadian national team, but has found time to come home to work with her mom Jan, who coached the Elphinstone senior girls to the provincial championships.

Jan is now coaching in the Sunshine Coast club volleyball season, and Kyla is helping out as well.

“I’m doing some work with the Grade 8 team. The team reminds me a lot of my high school team, so it’s been a lot of fun,” she said. “Right now I’m also hopefully getting closer to getting a pro contract. I’d like to get in at least half a pro season before going back to the national team. It’s been a slow year for pro contracts, but hopefully something will come through in the next few days. It’s a long process.”

Failing landing a pro contact means Kyla will head back to Winnipeg for more training with Team Canada.

“I want to find the right fit, find a place where I can go play and get better. This is not a vacation, this is getting better so I can be better for the national team,” she said.

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