Ashley Gunderson and Aidan Kidd were honoured last week as two of F.P. Walshe school’s best athletes.
Gunderson and Kidd received the Danny Paskal Memorial Athletic Award at the school’s Blue and White Night.
“Essentially it’s our athletes of the year,” F.P. Walshe school athletic director Craig Patton said of the award.
The Danny Paskal Memorial Athletic Award is presented to athletes who exemplify the spirit of an F.P. Walshe school student who 18 years ago was killed in a car crash.
Recipients have a true love of sports; show a deep desire to improve, learn new skills and strive to reach the highest level of competency possible.
The award recipients also demonstrate a healthy lifestyle, befitting an athlete, and have been recognized by outside sources for high achievement such as all-stars, representative, university or college teams, provincial teams or national team programs.
“I had the pleasure of teaching and working with Danny,” Patton said. “Danny was a fierce competitor, an outstanding person and very, very good athlete.”
Gunderson played volleyball, basketball and rugby during her Grade 12 year.
“Ashley has had a tougher road for her successes as she has had to battle to recover from major knee surgery,” Patton said.
Gunderson was named an all-star in rugby and helped the Flyers win the south zone championship as well as the provincial Tier 2 championship.
“Her coaches have described her as the perfect team player,” Patton said. “She accepts her role on her teams with grace and confidence.”
Gunderson earlier during Blue and White Night received the Order of Walshe for volleyball, basketball and rugby.
Gunderson was named the most improved player on the basketball team and most sportsmanlike on the rugby team.
The Southern Alberta High School Rugby League named Gunderson to its all-star team at wing, and she was chosen to play in the Deep South Conference basketball all-star game.
“Ashley also leads a lifestyle befitting an athlete,” Patton said. “She is a fierce competitor and a hard worker both in practice and in games. She is not always satisfied with her own performance and wants to always make improvements to her game.”
Patton said Gunderson has a strong will to win, which she demonstrated during the rugby provincial tournament where she made several inside runs to set up teammates to score.
“These kinds of contributions do not go unnoticed by those of us who know the game,” Patton added. “Ashley certainly emulates the spirit of Danny Paskal.”
Aidan Kidd participated in high school volleyball, basketball, baseball, badminton and track and field, and plays for the Fort Macleod Royals American Legion baseball team.
“To say that Aidan Kidd is an involved athlete at F.P. Walshe would be a bit of an understatement,” Patton said.
Kidd was named to the all-star teams of both the Westwinds Volleyball League and the Chinook Basketball League during the past seasons.
“Aidan has a passion for sports that is like no other,” Patton said. “He loves to play sports, talk sports, watch sports.”
Patton noted that Kidd — who he described as a “gym rat” — is also willing to assist as an official at F.P. Walshe school for junior high sports.
“Aidan is serious about sports and it shows in his everyday life,” Patton said. “He leads a very positive and active lifestyle befitting that of an elite athlete.”
Patton said Kidd competes hard and is a good teammate and a pleasure to coach.
“I have found Aidan to be accepting of any role I give him just as long as he gets to play,” Patton said. “Aidan certainly emulates the qualities that Danny Paskal did while at F.P. Walshe.”