Kiera Van Ryk wins U Sports female athlete of the year

Kiera Van Ryk can add another award to a stellar season. This time, it’s the Lieutenant Governor’s award for 2019 Women’s U SPORTS Female Athlete of the Year.

The UBC women’s volleyball outside hitter faced off against Ryerson University’s Theanna Vernon (volleyball), Université de Laval’s Sarah-Jane Marois (basketball) and Dalhousie University’s Courtney Baker (volleyball).

Van Ryk enjoyed a productive year, where she led Canada West with 398 kills and 489 points — earning her Canada West Women’s Volleyball Player of the Year. She also helped lead her team from a slow start in the season to a national championship, for which she was awarded with the Mary Lyons Award for U Sports women’s volleyball Player of the Year, and her second appearance on the first-team U Sports all-star roster.

The award is given to the female athlete that exemplifies “athletic accomplishment, outstanding sportsmanship and demonstrated leadership.” The winner was chosen by a not-for-profit board headed by Thunderbird legend Doug Mitchell on May 2.

"I see sport as a space and opportunity to feed into and walk alongside the future of Canada. Being a high level athlete, we have the opportunity, the power to choose if we want to be roll models and mentors,” said Van Ryk in her acceptance speech.

“Sport provides us with such an influential voice, one that can be used to have a positive impact on the future of Canada.”

With this award, Van Ryk joins former T-Birds Annamay Pierse (swimming), Liz Cordonier (volleyball) and Shanice Marcelle (volleyball) as Jim Thompson Trophy recipients.