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Sport BC lauds champions, on and off the field

By Don Fennell

Published 4:37 PDT, Fri April 9, 2021

Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021

Richmond’s Camryn Rogers and Sanjeet Sadana recognized with provincial awards

On or off the field of play, Camryn Rogers and Sanjeet Sadana stand out among Richmond’s sporting community.

A graduate of the vaunted Richmond Kajaks Track and Field program, Rogers has become one of the world’s top young hammer throwers. Sadana, meanwhile, continues to advance the opportunities for youth who might not otherwise be afforded the chance to participate in athletics through his tireless support of KidSport Richmond.

Both Rogers and Sadana were recognized recently by Sport BC during its 54th annual awards which were held virtually. Rogers was named the Junior Female Athlete of the Year, while Sadana was recognized as KidSport Community Champion.

Always appreciative of the opportunities provided her, Rogers has come back stronger than ever in 2021 after the disappointment of having the 2020 season cancelled by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The reigning NCAA champion in the women’s hammer throw, she was also named national athlete of the week by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on April 6. 

Rogers began defence of her NCAA title with a new personal best—on her first attempt of the day, no less—of 71.73 metres to win the Stanford Invitational on April 2. The mark was the best in the NCAA this year by more than 10 feet. She added two more throws of over 70 metres at the meet and currently has the five best throws in the NCAA this season.

In her senior year at the University of California at Berkeley, the McMath Secondary graduate’s 2019 competitive season was one for the ages. Besides winning the NCAA championship, she was also a First Team All-American and recorded the seventh-best hammer throw in NCAA history with a mark of 71.50 metres at the NCAA Championship. Ranked second in Pac-12 history and first in the school record books, she also holds the Canadian under-20 record.

Typically humble, Rogers thanked Sport BC for the award but quickly credited others for being instrumental in her success.

“A big thank you to my coach Mo Saatara and the rest of my Bears family who I’m grateful to train with every day,” she said. “And to Garrett Collier and the Kajaks family who have always been so supportive on my path of throwing. I am thankful to be surrounded by so many incredible mentors and I’m more passionate than ever I get to do what I do every single day.”

General manager of the Richmond-based Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotel, Sadana continues to be an unsung hero for KidSport.

In the fall of 2013, Sadana left a Richmond Sports Council Meeting feeling burdened. It was reported that KidSport Richmond was struggling to provide funds to help kids play in organized sports. 

There was very little money. So little, that the grants had been reduced to $150 per year. As well, cheques for approved funding would only be released when enough donations could cover the cheques.

Sadana shared his burden with his boss Gary Collinge, who was then general manager of the Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotel. After some discussion, Richmond Sports Council received an email with a generous offer. The Hilton was willing to donate a 200-seat fundraising dinner that KidSport Richmond could organize. All proceeds would go to the local chapter. All expenses including catering, service, hotel rooms for out-of-town guests, meeting rooms, a VIP reception and more would be donated by the hotel.

Seven years later, with Sadana now the hotel’s general manager, little has changed—except that the Hilton has extended its commitment, and more funds are being raised so that more Richmond children are able to enjoy the benefits of sport.

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