Owen Kurvits, a third-year kinesiology major from Hamilton, ON, has been named the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) Player of the Year in men’s badminton. Kurvits was also named All-Canadian, recognizing the national scope of his athletic accomplishments.
It has been another incredible season for Kurvits, the defending Provincial and National Champion in men’s singles. He went 29-2 this season and won the OCAA West Regional without dropping a match. He is competing at the OCAA Provincial Championships at Seneca College in Toronto from February 18-20. Joining him at the Championships is the men’s doubles team of Ryan Phan and Kevin Barkman. The winners of the Gold and Silver medals in each category will advance to the National Championships, March 3-5 at Vancouver Island University.
Commenting on the award, Kurvits said, “It is a huge blessing to be named Player of the Year for the second year in a row. I am excited to see all the hard work that is put in pay off. For Redeemer and the badminton program, we have established ourselves as one of the top teams in Ontario. With the addition of athletes like Ryan and Kevin, it looks like we are in a great position for the future.”
This is the second year in a row that Kurvits has been honoured with both awards. Men’s volleyball standout Ryan Talsma ’10 is the only other Redeemer athlete to have won All-Canadian and Player of the Year awards.
After being named the OCAA Player of the Year on Friday, Kurvits picked up more hardware on Saturday, capturing a silver medal in men’s singles at the Provincial Championship. This is Owen’s third consecutive OCAA medal having collected gold in 2013-14 and 2014-15. Phan and Barkman captured the silver medal in the men’s doubles event, solidifying their ticket to the Canadian event. Both Phan and Barkman are in their first year for the Royals and will be making their inaguaral appearance at the National Championships. Read more about the Provincial Championship results at redeemerroyals.ca.