Marj Mitchell Sportsmanship Award
The inaugural Scott Tournament of Hearts had been held in 1982 in Marg Mitchell’s home city, Regina. The organizing committee chair was Evelyn Krahn, past president of the Canadian Curling Association, and Mitchell chaired the transportation committee.
Renowned for her fierce competitive spirit and wonderful sense of humour, Mitchell was dedicated to giving back to her sport, having reaped the benefits of two appearances at the Canadian women’s championship. She skipped her Saskatchewan team of Nancy Kerr, Shirley McKendry and Wendy Leach to the national title in 1982 – following it up with Canada’s first women’s world crown – and was runner-up in 1975. She was a winner in every sens of the word – feisty, strong-willed, determined and full of confidence.
Unfortunately, there was one battle Mitchell couldn’t win. In 1983, shortly after the second Scott Tournament of Hearts, she died of cancer at the age of 35.
Mitchell, however, has not been forgotten. Since 1998, the sportsmanship award at The Scott Tournament of Hearts has been awarded in her honour as the Marj Mitchell Award.
Until Scott Paper assumed sponsorship of the Canadian Women’s Curling Championship in 1982, the competition had never offered an individual sportsmanship award.
Scott Paper decided to sponsor a sportsmanship award, and decided, in association with the CCA, that the award sould be named each year in honour of an individual who exemplified the spirit of curling and had had a lasting impact on the region hosting The Scott Tournament of Hearts that year.
The award has recognized many of curling’s unsung heroes, as well as many of its most outstanding athletes and builders.
It’s appropriate that the award now be known as the Marj Mitchell Award and that its inaugural presentation took place at the 1998 Scott Tournament of Hearts in Regina, where Michell learned to curl, spent her curling career and contributed so much to the sport she dearly loved.
Past Winners of the Marj Mitchell Sportsmanship Award
- 2011 – Cathy Overton-Clapham, Manitoba (Marj Mitchell Award)
- 2010 – Kelly Scott, British Columbia (Marj Mitchell Award)
- 2009 – Cori Bartel, Alberta (Marj Mitchell Award)
- 2008 – Stefanie Clark, Prince Edward Island (Marj Mitchell Award)
- 2007 – Stefanie Clark, Prince Edward Island (Marj Mitchell Award)
- 2006 – Kelly Scott, British Columbia (Marj Mitchell Award)
- 2005 – Stefanie Richard, Prince Edward Island (Marj Mitchell Award)
- 2004 – Sherry Anderson, Saskatchewan (Marj Mitchell Award)
- 2003 – Anne Dunn, Ontario (Marj Mitchell Award)
- 2002 – Meredith Doyle, Nova Scotia (Marj Mitchell Award)
- 2001 – Jane Arseneau, New Brunswick (Marj Mitchell Award)
- 2000 – Anne Merklinger, Ontario (Marj Mitchell Award)
- 1999 – Jane Arseneau, New Brunswick (Marj Mitchell Award)
- 1998 – Anne Merklinger, Ontario (Marj Mitchell Award)
- 1997 – Alison Goring, Ontario (Diana Doe Award)
- 1996 – Stephanie Marchand, Quebec (Arline Wilson Award)
- 1995 – Alison Goring, Ontario (Bob Stewart Award)
- 1994 – Patti McKnight, Ontario (Effie Hezzelwood Award)
- 1993 – Laurie Allen, Team Canada (Mabel Mitchell Award)
- 1992 – Heidi Hanlon, New Brunswick (Joyce Myers Award)
- 1991 – Alison Goring, Team Canada (Vera Pezer Award)
- 1990 – Jackie-Rae Greening, Alberta (Lee Tobin Award)
- 1989 – Heidi Hanlon, New Brunswick (Sylvia Fedoruk Award)
- 1988 – Mary Baird, Nova Scotia (Caroline Ball Award)
- 1987 – Kim Duck, Ontario (Myrna McQuarrie Award)
- 1986 – Mabel Thompson, Alberta (Jo Wallace Award)
- 1985 – Cathy Dillon, Prince Edward Island (Lura McLuckie Award)
- 1984 – Yvonne Smith, Ontario (Elizabeth MacDonald Award)
- 1983 – Penny LaRocque, Nova Scotia (Ina Hansen Award)
- 1982 – Carol Thompson, Ontario (Joyce McKee Award)