CHARLOTTETOWN – Sport P.E.I. has started its countdown to the annual awards banquet, which will be held here at the Rodd Royalty on Friday, April 11.
In the coming weeks, finalists for each of the categories will be highlighted, and kicking things off are the three nominees for the P.E.I. Mutual official of the year award – Mike Jones (rugby), Mandy Li (taekwondo) and Cliff Poirier (curling).
Ticket information will be announced shortly, and further details on the banquet can be obtained by contacting Nick Murray at 368-4547.
Summerside’s Cliff Poirier is a familiar face around the region’s curling rinks, and the Level 3 umpire is constantly in demand for his expertise and knowledge of the game.
Respected for his excellent judgment and decision-making, Poirier was head umpire for a number of provincial championships this past year, in addition to working at the national (Canadian seniors in Summerside) and world levels (world seniors in Fredericton, N.B.).
Both senior events were at the invitation of the Canadian Curling Association, which shows the high regard in which Poirier is held. He also officiated at the Curl Atlantic championships in Charlottetown, and his welcoming attitude to players, coaches and spectators makes him a popular presence at any event.
A tireless worker in the sport, both provincially and at the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club, Poirier did a lot of work on the transition to the new “Thinking Time” timing method. He actively recruits and develops new officials, teaching courses as required. He was also asked to oversee the planning for and recruitment of the officials for the Players’ Championship taking place next month in Summerside.
A great community-minded individual, Poirier is a dedicated volunteer, and is a past recipient of the Summerside volunteer of the year award.
Former North Milton resident Michael Jones now calls British Columbia home as he finishes his final year at Simon Fraser University, and the chemistry student has found the right formula to propel himself to the highest levels of rugby officiating.
In 2013, Jones became the first Island official to be appointed to the national panel of Canadian rugby referees, and his promotion earned him some high level appointments.
In March, he officiated at the National University 7’s in Langford, B.C., and he followed this with the gold-medal game in the under-19 Canadian rugby championships in Calgary, Alta.
Jones also enjoyed assignments during the Canadian rugby championship season, and was also involved at the national age-grade championships in Vancouver, B.C.
In October, Jones received two assistant referee appointments in the prestigious Americas rugby championship, a four-team international competition held in Langford, B.C.
Jones possesses an A1 qualification in B.C., and gives back to the sport by putting on clinics and education sessions for the Vancouver-Fraser Valley Rugby Referees Association.
Mandy Li (Taekwondo)
Montague’s Mandy Li is highly respected as a taekwondo referee and judge. She has been instrumental in developing the sport, both provincially and in the region.
A national (N1) official working towards her international referee certification, Li has been recognized on two occasions as the most improved referee at a national championship. She is in demand at all of the major tournaments because of her ability to either organize a ring or act as head referee, and she holds the position of provincial referee chair, where she has built a solid group of officials by running seminars and acting as a mentor.
Li has attended numerous regional and national events throughout the country in the past two years, including many seminars. In November, Mandy participated at the junior world championships and Youth Olympics qualifier in Montreal, and she will once again be in demand at many of the top events in 2014.