Local athletes will take centre stage when the Truro Sports Heritage Society hosts its annual awards dinner.

The event is scheduled for March 5 and will take place at the Best Western Plus Glengarry. It will recognize the many outstanding athletic achievements by local athletes and teams in 2016 along with well deserving coaches and volunteers.

Those being honoured will range in age from 12 to 78 years old and are involved in a wide variety of sporting activities.

That includes Chris MacDougall who is set to receive the society’s chair award. Last year, MacDougall embarked on a cross-country cycling journey in memory of his son – Charlie, who passed away from cancer at the age of 14.

MacDougall’s goal was to raise $1 million in support of cancer research. He left Vancouver, British Columbia on July 24 and finished September 28 in St. John’s, Newfoundland – a total of 7,500 kilometres.

In a release from the heritage society, it states, “Chris, who like his father, has provided leadership roles to community organizations such as the new hospital fundraising project, also wrote a daily blog for followers to be part of his journey as he wrote about the sites, the challenges, and the adventures he endured each day. He remained motivated as he knew his brave, energetic and fun loving boy would onside and Chris said he could hear Charlie say, ‘Cool Dad! I want to go with you.’”

Dave Armstrong Memorial Sporting Families Award

Truro’s ‘first family of tennis’ is also set to be honoured. The Piers family will be receiving the Dave Armstrong Memorial Sporting Families award.

The Armstrong award does not recognize an athlete, team, coach or builder. Instead it celebrates the many contributions that families have made to sport over multiple generations in the Truro area. The Piers have been playing, coaching, organizing and helping to build numerous sports in the Truro area.

“It is impossible to list all the accomplishments of the family over their years of participation,” continued the release.

The family legacy starts with John Piers who efforts to build the sports of tennis and basketball in Truro resulted in his selection to the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame as a builder in 1980. That was followed by the induction of his two sons – David in 1988 and Bob in 1997. David was unbeaten on the Maritimes Tennis Circuit for 15 years and was the number one ranked 18-year-old in the country in 1952.

Bob won the 1958 boys under 13 singles and doubles national championships. That was followed by the Canadian Open under 18 boy’s title in 1963. Also a standout basketball player, Bob was named the University of New Brunswick’s Male Athlete of the year in 1966. He has won dozens of NSSAF championships in track and field, volleyball and basketball for the CEC Cougars. He still coaches the varsity girls’ volleyball team.

Jack Piers grew up playing tennis with his brothers and father. He was a member of the Truro Tennis Club executive for more than 29 years, most recently as the tournament director with his wife, Romaine. Jack and Romaine passed their love of tennis on to their children – Chris, John, Mary and Teresa – who are passing it along to the next generation.

“The third generation of sports excellence is represented by Jeff and Karen Piers, the children of Bob and Carol, who have excelled in the sport of basketball as players and coaches,” the release stated.

Jeff captained the St. FX X-men team and after graduation returned as an assistant coach to the program winning a national championship with the X-men in 2000-01. As for Karen, the release says she is arguably one of the best female basketball players in Nova Scotia’s history playing her college basketball for the NCAA Oregon ducks, winning three PAC 10 championships. She later coached the NCAA Sacramento State Hornets and the University of Idaho Vandals.

Tim Horton’s Merit Award

He’s a sports legend in Colchester County. However, you won’t meet a nicer, more modest man than Brookfield’s Lyle Carter.

Carter was drafted to play hockey in with the Toronto Malboros at the age of 18. He enjoyed a 13-year professional hockey career which was highlighted by playing for the California Golden Seals in 1971-72. He was also an all-Canadian fastball player with the well-known Brookfield Elks fastball team.

A back injury would end his hockey career in 1975. But that didn’t stop Carter from returning home to open a landmark sporting goods store. His interest in telling the public interesting sports stories about local athletes and teams began in the late 70s when he produced a weekly radio show with Frank MacDonald on CKCL called ‘Sportsscene’ on Saturdays.

That led to producing weekly articles in the Truro Daily News – something he’s done for the past 23 years. That evolved into a second weekly column that isn’t sports based.

“Lyle describes the column writing as a wonderful and enjoyable experience for him as he gets to know the people and their great stories. He considers it a privilege to have people open up to him with their life stories so that he can communicate various highlights and human interest stories to a very significant fan base of his column,” toted the release.

Truro Daily News Merit Award

Over the past decade, Paul and Joyce Millman have dedicated themselves to the growth and development of athletics in Colchester County and Nova Scotia.

Paul has been coaching since 1990 and an official for throwing events for more than a decade. Joyce has been the administrator for the Truro Lions Track Club and an official with Athletics Nova Scotia.

Since 2007, the track club has grown from 20 members to 56 with several of those athletes becoming the top throwers in Canada.

“Joyce and Paul exemplify the spirit of track and field by demonstrating an ongoing passion, pride and dedication that inspires athletes, coaches and other clubs to provide the best atmosphere and environment for athletes in the sport. They are both dedicated to creating better opportunities for all athletes throughout the province and are committed to ensuring those same athletes excel on the national stage,” states the release.

Johnson Saunders Chartered Accountant Merit Award

Diane Daniels has been ‘horsing’ around since the 1950s. At a very early age, she developed a devotion and love for the sport of harness racing from her parents as well as through the tutelage of people like Ingham Palmer, Doug Harkness Frank Daniels and more.

From her first job as a counter clerk to writing with substantial authority on the sport, she has been an integral and sustaining spirit in the sport she loves. Currently the Truro Raceway Race Office supervisor, Daniels has worked concurrently as a field rep with Standard Bred Canada for more than 11 years.

Daniels has organized standard bred youth camps, helped with re-establishing amateur driving events, won the Bobby Leyte Memorial Award, been a saes secretary and has written a column entitled ‘Trackside.’

“I feel privileged to have been involved and been able to work and volunteer with a sport to which I am so truly dedicated,” said Daniels.

CBC’s Bruce Rainnie will host the event and also speak about his experience of covering the Olympics.

Tickets are $25 for students and $40 for adults. Tables of 10 are available for group purchase. For additional information, contact Sara at 902-957-0084 or email sara_mckenna@hotmail.com.