Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC) have announced this year’s winners of awards and grants for promising middle- and long-distance runners.
The Bruce Wilkie Awards are awarded by CGC and Athletics Canada to under-23 athletes competing in 800 and 1500 metres and mile, 3,000m steeplechase, 5,000m and 10,000m.
The scholarships, of CDN$2,500 (£1,500/$2,000/€1,700), were presented at the Canadian Track and Field Championships and are aimed at helping those aspiring to compete at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
This year’s winners are Alex Drover, Courtney Hufsmith and Nicole Hutchinson.
Drover is a second-year distance runner in track and cross-country at McMaster University, currently ranked fourth nationally in under-23 men’s 3,000m steeplechase.
In 2018, he represented Canada at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Under-20 Championships in Tampere in Finland, where he qualified for the final - only the third Canadian to do so in the last 20 years - and finished 12th overall.
In memory of runner and Commonwealth sport enthusiast Bruce Wilkie, @cgc_jcc and @AthleticsCanada award $2K scholarships to 3 up & coming Canadian runners aspiring to compete @birminghamcg22— Commonwealth Games Canada (@cgc_jcc) July 29, 2019
Learn more: https://t.co/qfJ4u8ZFVm@AthleticsCanada @thecgf pic.twitter.com/HyVxw1jfxt
Hufsmith competes in a range of events, with her primary focus the 1500m where she was ranked third nationally in the 2018 outdoor season for under-23s.
Hutchinson, a recent graduate of Villanova University, is currently ranked first in the 2019 outdoor Canadian women's under-23 rankings in the 1500m.
In addition, she ended the 2018-2019 indoor season ranked first in the mile in the Canadian under-23 women’s rankings, as well as first in the Canadian under-23 rankings in the 5,000m.
"Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the Bruce Wilkie Awards," Richard Powers, CGC President, said.
"Bruce was a lifelong athlete with a deep passion and dedication to the Commonwealth sport movement and the Commonwealth Games and these scholarships are a fitting legacy in his name."
David Bedford, Athletics Canada chief executive, added: “The 2022 Commonwealth Games are an important competition in the development of our world-class athletes as they aspire to the 2024 Olympic Games."