The U SPORTS Athletes of the Year Awards returned after last year's absence @U SPORTS

Waterloo Warriors' Tre Ford and Queen's Gaels' Sophie de Goede have been announced as the winners of the Lois and Doug Mitchell U SPORTS athletes of the year awards for the 2021-2022 season. 

The award winners were named on Wednesday May 25 after an initial shortlist of eight nominees were unveiled earlier in the month.                 

Ford, a fifth-year student at the University of Waterloo, took home the U SPORTS Male Athlete of the Year for a fantastic campaign as quarterback for the Warriors' American football team, winning the U SPORTS MVP in the process, as well as his role in the track and field team where he came fifth in the national championships at 60 metres.

De Goede claimed the award's female equivalent following a stellar year in both rugby and basketball for the Queen's University teams - she played a crucial role in the Gaels' first U SPORTS Women’s Rugby Championship gold medal, whilst also collecting a bronze medal with the women's basketball team at the U SPORTS Women’s Final 8 Championship.

The event is celebrating its 29th year and has been a staple celebration in Canadian university sport since its inception. 

It returned this year following a season-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The other nominees for the male award were Derek Epp of Trinity Western University, Guy-Frank Essomé Penda of the University of Montreal and Osman Omar of Cape Breton University.

Montana Leonard of the University of Calgary, Jessy Lacourse of Laval University and Lexie Shannon of the University of New Brunswick made up the three other female nominees. 

Formerly known as Canadian Interuniversity Sport, U SPORTS adopted its current name after the organisation re-branded in 2016.

It unites 56 universities and four regional conferences across Canada.