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Sports Scene: Outstanding Merit Award recipients


TRURO, N.S. —

The 35th annual Truro Sport Heritage Society sports awards dinner takes place Sunday night, March 3 at the Best Western Glengarry.

The exciting event pays tribute to Truro and area teams, athletes, coaches and supporters.

Last week, we highlighted one of The Merit Award recipients, John Sellers, who had a phenomenal career officiating hockey and growing the game. This week, we’ll take a close-up look at the other two deserving recipients of the Merit Award.

Dara Pelkey-Field

An instructor at Dalhousie Agricultural Campus, Pelkey-Field teaches in the animal science program. She is involved in several sports at a high level – equestrian (show jumping), triathlon, running and Spartan Obstacle Course Racing. With her equine teammate ‘Ava,’ competition has taken them all around the Maritimes and to Quebec.

“This was a building year for my horse and I,” Pelkey-Field said. “Ava is still young and moving through the levels of the equestrian sport of show jumping; she showed lots of potential this year. I’m looking forward to future competition.”

Pelkey-Field rides out of the Horseplay Stables in Brookfield and is coached by Danica Ellis. 2018 year also saw Pelkey-Field enjoy huge success competing in triathlon. Leading all females in points, she captured the Triathlon Nova Scotia Race Season Series.

“This was my first season of triathlon, I sort of took the reverse track others take. I did my first triathlon after committing to doing the Ironman 70.3 in June. I spent the rest of the season racing the sprint distance in Nova Scotia – to say the season was surreal is an understatement.”

Overall, Pelkey-Field considers completing the Ironman 70.3 her biggest 2018 accomplishment. Inspired by her husband Mike to compete in the Quebec event, she had to contend with a real phobia of water which led to panic attacks.

“It took a solid year of training in the pool to first learn to swim, and then a lot of commitment and trips to the lake with Mike right beside me before I was ready to attempt open water by myself.”

Learning more about Pelkey-Field’s vigorous daily training schedule and her strong determination, I marvelled at an athlete accomplishing what she has accomplished.

Try to fathom – the Ironman 70.3 means miles, the swim is 1.9K, followed by 90K bike and then a 21.1K run. Absolutely incredible. Dara is truly a champion.

Hans Budgey

A teacher at CEC for 18 years, Budgey teaches science and physical education judo. He has been an assistant coach in CEC boys soccer for 18 years.

“I have the opportunity to work with one of the finest soccer coaches in the province, Jay Foster. I take great satisfaction in the fact that he has entrusted me with the task of working with goal-keepers and defenders during some practices.”

There can sometimes be rewards in coaching soccer.

“A former player told me that in his mind, Foster and Budgey were just as concerned with molding good citizens as they were with having a great soccer team. I felt great hearing that comment.”

When the soccer season ends, Budgey begins coaching the CEC boys and girls wrestling teams. Wrestling is a full bannered NSSAF sport and Budgey, a seven-year coach, has enjoyed seeing his teams win five provincial banners in recent years.

“I have had the good fortune to have numerous former wrestlers come back and share their knowledge and help out with instruction and mentoring. I like to think it’s their way of endorsing the CEC wrestling program.”

Coaching a third sport, Budgey works with the CEC Running Club, which was started by teachers Kate Adams and Nicole Hart. A highlight for the club is running the Johnny Miles 5K every June in Pictou County. Budgey contributes to the CEC track and field program by being ‘the voice’ (announcer) at many NSSAF meets.

He also plays a big part in the Reach For The Top program, a mental competition, fast reflex and general knowledge contest which has seen CEC enjoy success competing in.

Sensei Budgey with the Colchester Yawara Judo Club, in 2003 Phillip Hicks and Budgey, a former Maritime gold medalist in Judo, started the club desiring to make the sport available to young and old.

A truly exceptional and generous man, Budgey is all-about developing our leaders of tomorrow. Budgey and his very

supportive wife, Cynthia, reside in Onslow Mountain, next door to the farmhouse where Hans grew up.

TAGLINE: Lyle Carter’s sports column appears weekly in the Truro News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 902 673-2857.

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