By Evan Midford, Website & Social Media Coordinator

Once again, Sport Manitoba is proud to be recognizing the top athlete, team, coach, official, and volunteer of the year at our annual Night of Champions.

This special event is a celebration of the highest achievements Manitobans have made in amateur sport last year. The nominees are athletes and teams receiving national and international attention, dedicated volunteers contributing their time, officials facilitating decorum and fair play, and coaches shaping the next generation of champions. 

Reinvesting in amateur sport is one of Sport Manitoba’s top priorities. One of the ways we give back is by hosting events like Night of Champions, that recognize the passion and commitment of the individuals who drive our thriving sport system.

This year’s event will again be an intimate, invite-only event for the winners, their families and friends held in the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame. Each award winner will receive a bursary to put toward their involvement in sport, and a banner with their name and award will be hung at the Sport Manitoba facility. 

Next Thursday, April 18, Sport Manitoba will celebrate these champions for their exceptional achievements last year:


Official of the Year 

Greg Dzioba – Table Tennis – Winnipeg

Dzioba wanted to stay involved in table tennis after his years playing as an athlete, so he worked his way up the umpire ranks to the international level. He has officiated at the Paralympics in Athens, London, and Tokyo, and at the Olympics in Beijing. In 2023, he received Gold Badge Umpire status from the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), the highest level of umpiring and a distinction only 19 other people in the world shared with Dzioba in May. In addition to umpiring at events across the world, including Bangkok, Colombia, and China, Greg supports our local community through umpiring and coaching kids who are just starting the sport, and training and mentoring new table tennis officials.


Canada Games Legacy Fund Volunteer of the Year

Resby Coutts – Curling – Melita

Coutts has been involved in curling in a wide array of capacities since 1969, from University Intramural Coordinator, Executive Member of the Morris Curling Club and Wheat City Curling Club, to his many present day media and broadcasting roles throughout the province and country. In 2023, Coutts was a livestream commentator for countless championships, MC of the Opening Ceremonies Manitoba Open Bonspiel, a drawmaster for Fort Rouge Curling Club two-person Stick Curling Leagues, and acted as a ceremonies advisor to several committees for curling events across the province, and much more. His passion for curling is palpable and his skills make him a called upon asset as an advisor and mentor by provincial and national level curling organizations and by provincial championship event organizers.


SBC Insurance Athlete of the Year

David Howes – Figure Skating – Winnipeg

Howes is an outstanding figure skater at age 17. He’s a member of SkateCanada’s NextGen Team and is the 2023 Canadian Novice Men’s Champion. In 2023, he won a gold medal in men’s novice at the Skate Canada Challenge in Saskatchewan and made his international debut with a fifth place finish at Coupe de Printemps in Luxembourg. He is the highest ranked nationally of all first-year Junior Men, and was one of 10 Junior Men selected to represent Canada in 2023 on the Junior Grand Prix. Howes also received the 2023 Canadian Olympic Foundation/Skate Canada Toller Cranston Memorial Fund Athlete Award.


Calm Air Team of the Year

Team Einarson – Curling – Gimli

In 2023, Team Einarson won a record-tying fourth straight Canadian Scotties Tournament of Hearts National Championships, the Canadian Women’s Curling Championship, and went on to win the bronze medal at the World Championships in Sweden. All four members of the team received All-Star awards for their performances at the Scotties, which are awarded based on statistics taken throughout the week. Einarson, Sweeting, and Birchard received first team All-Stars, while Harris received second team All-Star.

Scotties Tournament of Hearts 2023 – Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver


Coach of the Year

Gabrielle Wishart – Volleyball – Portage la Prairie 

Wishart coached Team Manitoba’s 16U male volleyball team to a gold medal at the North American Indigenous Games in Halifax last summer. After a week of competition, her team finished with an 8-0 record and an international championship. She was also the winner of the Peter Williamson Memorial Award, a Sport Manitoba Coaching award in the Train to Compete/Train to Win category, which is awarded to coaches who primarily work with high-performance athletes who compete at the national or international level. She has been a member of the Volleyball Manitoba Board of Directors since 2021, and has actively used her role as a coach to advocate for better representation and inclusion within the sport of volleyball.