2021 Tsunami Legacy Award Winners

Tsunami is happy to congratulate our 2021 Legacy Award winners! Although the 2020-2021 season was a rollercoaster, Tsunami athletes, coaches and volunteers displayed their resilience, commitment and passion at each twist and turn. Please join us as we recognize just a few of the outstanding members at our club.

 

Alia Burlock – Female Athlete of the Year

Each season the awards celebration is a bittersweet moment for the coaches and this year is no different. Today we celebrate an athlete who Tsunami has watched grow and mature over the past five seasons. Although you will be deeply missed at Tsunami, we know that this is just the beginning of what is sure to be a long and successful water polo career. Alia Burlock has an athletic resume that speaks for itself. Here is the SparkNotes version: Alia is a nine-time NCL medalist, three-time NCL Western All Star, two-time Team Alberta athlete, Canadian National Team Athlete and soon to be an NCAA Division 1 student-athlete. As one of the most talented females to come through the Tsunami program, Alia’s greatest strength as an athlete and leader is her ability to make those around her better. Alia grinds it out at practice every day and inspires those around her to do the same. Alia has helped contribute to many Tsunami NCL podium finishes through her incredible stamina, excellent vision for the game and versatility. Over the past few seasons the coaches have watched Alia embrace her role as a leader at our club and through her example, inspires those around her to challenge themselves, trust in the process and to be fearless in their goals. Throughout Alia’s Tsunami career she has prioritized her academics and invested in the Edmonton community as a volunteer coach. The Tsunami Female Athlete of the Year Award recognizes someone who embraces the Tsunami club values and today we are thrilled to congratulate Alia Burlock as our 2021 recipient. Alia, best of luck in your next chapter and remember to eat all your food, wear sunscreen and that you will always have a home at Tsunami.

 

Camilo Cortes – Male Athlete of the Year

The recipient of the Tsunami Male Athlete of the Year is someone who is an outstanding athlete and exemplifies the core values of our club. The award recognizes someone who is an ambassador and beacon for all athletes at Tsunami. The 2021 award goes to a deserving individual who I have had the great pleasure of coaching for the past three seasons. Today I am honored to present Camilo Cortes with the 2021 Tsunami Male Athlete of Year Award.

I have watched Camilo grow into a skilled water polo player and outstanding leader for other athletes at the club. It’s been a joy to be a part of Camilo’s journey during his time at Tsunami where the coaching team has watched him mature into a powerful leader, talented athlete, and valued member of the Tsunami community. Camilo sets a high standard at Tsunami for being a committed, passionate and a strong student-athlete. If I had to use one word to describe the legacy Camilo has left during his time at Tsunami it would be “RELENTLESS”. Camilo is the type of player that never quits and is unyielding to whatever he is applying himself to at the moment. I think everyone at Tsunami has guarded Camilo in a drill or scrimmage and felt his relentless spirit. Even if the coach has asked the players to go 50% during the drill, more often than not, Camilo gives his best effort. This relentless pursuit of greatness has helped Camilo improve drastically over the years. He went from an athlete that could barely hold pace for 50’s to becoming one of the go-to athletes at our club. This is how I know Camilo will become successful in whatever he plans on doing in the future.

Camilo, you have left your mark at Tsunami and we wish you all the best in your future endeavours. Keep that relentless spirit at the University of Toronto and don’t worry, I will see that the club continues to implement the Camilo Two Question Rule moving forward.

 

Arabelle Vollman – Teammate of the Year

The Tsunami Teammate of the Year award is unique because it is selected by the athletes of our club. Tsunami comes together each year to recognize an athlete who makes a difference in the lives of their teammates. The 2021 recipient of this award is someone who makes Tsunami stronger through her positive attitude, strong work ethic, passion for our club, and by taking the time to be there to support her team. In a year filled with many bumps and turns, Tsunami is honoured to congratulate Arabelle Vollman as our 2021 Teammate of the Year.

Below are a few of comments from Arabelle’s teammates:

“Arabelle proved to be a kind teammate not only to me, but noticeably to all other players. Although this was a tough year, Arabelle consistently focused on the positives and encouraged others to do the same. She was helpful and kind in and out of the pool. Arabelle also participated in the coaching program and encouraged young athletes to continue to stay positive and have fun in a safe manner. Overall, during both our time online and in person, Arabelle was kind, hardworking, encouraging and positive. She demonstrates what it means to be a good Tsunami Athlete and helps others to do the same.”

“Arabelle deserves this award because she worked to be at as many practices as she could, kept me motivated and was a great spirit,

especially during a COVID year.”

“Arabelle is both an amazing teammate and athlete. She always arrives to practice early to help set out the equipment, greets the coaches and thanks them for the practice. Arabelle gives her 100% and has something nice to say about everyone. Arabelle is an amazing teammate and I feel grateful and privileged to play this sport with her.”

 

Camilo Cortes– Student-Athlete of the Year

Throughout his time at Tsunami Camilo Cortes has shown dedication to his schooling just as much as he has displayed a deep passion for water polo. As a result of this unshakable commitment, Camilo has been accepted to the University of Toronto where he will not only play the sport he loves, but make a difference in educational circles where he will showcase his intelligence and hard work. Countless times throughout Camilo’s career he has gone to great efforts to make it to practice and ensure he balances his student-athlete schedule. Camilo is appreciative of the opportunities in front of him, opportunities he has earned through skills he has developed in school and in the water. As a staff we have been privileged to coach Camilo who always distinguished himself by his incredible persistence. When Camilo sets his mind on something, there is absolutely nothing that will stand in his way. From the coaches, board members, and most importantly, his teammates, we are excited to recognize Camilo Cortes as the 2021 Tsunami Student-Athlete of the Year. Good luck with your future endeavours at Toronto and wherever your talents take you.

 

Nandor Voros – Most Coachable Athlete

For the past three seasons when it comes time for the coaches to select our Most Coachable Athlete, Nandor Voros’ name has always come up. Ever since Nandor first joined the club as a U10 the coaches have been impressed with his eagerness, passion and coachability. Nandor’s approach to each practice is to work hard and soak up as much information as possible. No matter what the drill, set, or game, Nandor always gives his full effort. The attention Nandor gives his coaches ensures that he gets the most out of every practice. Whenever Nandor is given feedback he applies it immediately which allows him to improve rapidly. As a coaching staff, Nandor was an easy selection for this award as every single one of us respects you and the tremendous effort you put into training day in and day out. Even with a tough season and a broken arm, Nandor persevered to make Tsunami a better place and to grow as an athlete. Congratulations to Tsunami’s 2021 Most Coachable Athlete, Nandor Voros!

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Ella Cowan – Most Dedicated Athlete

This past season athletes were tested unlike any challenge they have faced before. Nothing came easy this year as our sports community faced curveball after curveball with canceled competitions, an unpredictable start-and-stop training environment, and the inability to train as a team. Today Tsunami recognizes an athlete who proved her dedication, motivation and resilience, regardless of the obstacles placed in front of her. Ella Cowan was determined to do whatever she could to chase her goals such as attending dozens of virtual meetings, completing a home strength program, connecting with coaches for additional out-of-the-box training suggestions and waking up at five AM for practice. This season Ella achieved 100% practice attendance with the only missed practices being government mandated, which from Tsunami’s perspective doesn’t count as a missed practice. Ella’s unrelenting work ethic and unshakable commitment make her a leader at our club who inspired other Tsunami athletes to push through a very difficult year. Although the season did nothing but present barriers, Ella’s commitment to do whatever it took did not go unnoticed and the Tsunami coaches watched her grow as an athlete, leader and teammate against all odds. Tsunami is proud to recognize Ella Cowan as our 2021 Most Dedicated Athlete.

 

Chad Chrapko – Newcomer of the Year

Chad’s first year with Tsunami has been one for the books. He came to the club during uncertain times and has immediately made an impact. His eagerness to learn and respectful presence on the pool deck always brings a smile to the coaching staff who he frequently asks for extra advance on his water polo knowledge and skills. Chad is the first person to volunteer to help a teammate and is always willing to help with equipment. He ends every practice by thanking the coaches and asking for feedback to take into the next session. So Chad, to answer your question, “Keep on working hard, be a great teammate, and continue to bring your amazing attitude and smile to the pool deck”. It has helped us all through such a crazy time and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for you. Congratulations to the 2021 Tsunami Newcomer of the Year, Chad Chrapko!

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Dylan Jara – Most Improved Athlete

Dylan, over the past year I have had the pleasure to coach and get to know you at the U14 and NCL practices. This past year has been especially unusual, however your attendance, attitude and perseverance has not only impressed the coaching staff, but proven to your fellow teammates that hard work pays off. As a coach it is so rewarding to watch an athlete growing into their own skin and capabilities. This season you have grown and improved considerably during the limited amount of time we were in the water such as the strength of your shot, your body positioning and most importantly, your confidence. Thank you for showing your dedication to the team. The coaches cannot wait to see what is in store for you in the future. Congratulations to Tsunami’s 2021 Most Improved athlete, Dylan Jara!

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Vuki Radosavljevic – Coach of the Year

The past eighteen months have been a challenge for Tsunami coaches who were asked to coach water polo without access to pools, with no competition schedule to train for, and with athletes isolated at home. Throughout this difficult year each coach stepped up to find creative and unusual ways to continue to connect with athletes and support them through a situation none of us were prepared for. This season Vuki Radosavljevic stepped-up as the lead coach for our male NCL team and guided one of Tsunami’s largest male NCL programs to date through a roller coaster year. For the past five seasons Vuki has been an invaluable asset to the Tsunami coaching team through his tireless dedication to the Edmonton water polo community, silent but powerful leadership style, and his openness to learn. Vuki has grown into an exceptional coach who Tsunami hopes will continue to be a key piece of our coaching team for years to come. Always ready to support our club, Vuki leads by example and exemplifies the values that Tsunami stands for. As a long-time Tsunami athlete and coach, Vuki’s impact on the Tsunami community is significant and we are honoured to recognize him as the 2021 Coach of the Year.

 

Darby Haysom – Junior Coach of the Year

This season Riptides was lucky to have the positive, energetic and caring presence of Darby Haysom on the pool deck. Since joining our coaching team in 2019, Darby has grown significantly as a coach and is always willing to go above and beyond to create a memorable experience for her athletes. Throughout the season Darby continued to gain confidence as a coach as she seamlessly transitioned between different age groups. As an athlete Darby has always been a fantastic teammate and leader so it comes as no surprise that Darby is developing into an outstanding coach. Darby comes to the pool deck every practice with a smile on her face which is quickly transferred to the athletes she coaches. Whether Darby is in the middle of a heated game of Penguin or managing a rambunctious group of U10s over Zoom, she connects with athletes to make sure that they have just as much fun at practice as she does. In addition to the excellent team coaching Darby delivered this season, she went above and beyond to coach athletes in a one on one environment. Tsunami and Riptides are lucky to have Darby on our coaching team and thrilled to recognize her as our 2021 Junior Coach of the Year.

 

Danny Howard – Volunteer of the Year

When the board met to select the 2021 Volunteer of the Year it was a quick and unanimous decision as to who this year’s recipient would be. Danny Howard has gone above and beyond over the past few seasons in his role as Bingo Coordinator at Tsunami. From overhauling our bingo system to mentoring each bingo volunteer, Danny’s contributions to our club have been significant. This season Danny made Tsunami history as the first winner of the Volunteer of the Year Award without a registered athlete at the club. Danny continued in this role even after his athlete took a step away from the sport to ensure that this vital volunteer role was filled. If this doesn’t immediately convince you that Danny is more than deserving of this award, Danny has acted as a key volunteer in many other roles throughout his time in the water polo community and is often the first to step-up when help is needed. Tsunami will miss Danny’s passionate, outgoing and committed personality and is extremely happy to recognize him as our 2021 Tsunami Volunteer of the Year.

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