TORONTO / VANCOUVER – AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, is proud to announce that the Toronto Star has been named the Presenting Sponsor of the Randy Starkman Award for Leadership in Sports Journalism.
The award, which was revived last year as part of the Canadian Sport Awards following a decade long-absence, will be officially handed out at this year’s celebration on Friday evening.
The award was initially created in 2012, following the sudden passing of its namesake just a few months prior, who served as a long-time Toronto Star amateur sports reporter and advocate. It recognizes the extraordinary career and unparalleled contributions of the late Randy Starkman in telling the stories of Canadian athletes and sport for over 30 years from an athletes’ perspective.
Previous winners of the award include 2022 recipient and veteran sports reporter Lori Ewing, who spent over two decades with The Canadian Press before moving to the United Kingdom last winter to join Reuters Sports, and Starkman himself posthumously in 2012. Olympic canoe sprint bronze medalist Thomas Hall – now the Director of Communications and Media Relations with the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), following a distinguished career in sports reporting – accepted the award in its inaugural year on behalf of the Starkman family.
The award will serve as an ongoing recognition of Starkman’s legacy and will be a call to action to inspire current and future Canadian sports journalists to strive for the kind of sports journalism that he demonstrated throughout his career. Nominees for each of the Canadian Sport Awards are now available online here.
Kicking off the first in-person AthletesCAN Forum weekend since 2019, veteran CBC Sports host Scott Russell will helm this year’s celebration of trailblazers, athlete-centred accomplishments and initiatives – as the Canadian Sport Awards take place on the evening of Friday, Sept. 8, with five notable winners recognized at the Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel in Richmond, B.C and live on AthletesCAN’s digital channels. The event is made possible in part by the generous contribution of Richmond Sport Hosting.
Following Forum, a national digital campaign in partnership with CBC Sports along with the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees for the People’s Choice Award for Most Trending Moment of the Year will take place in December, after the conclusion of the 2023 Pan American and Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
Devin Heroux, CBC Sports
Devin Heroux is a cross-platform reporter who covers Olympic and Paralympic news and has reported on the last three Games in PyeongChang, Tokyo and Beijing. He is also a curling correspondent, hosting That Curling Show with World Champion turned-broadcaster Colleen Jones. Heroux is based in Toronto after working for the CBC in Calgary and Saskatoon.
Sean Fitz-Gerald most recently worked for seven years as a Senior National Writer at The Athletic, having been one of the company’s first hires with its Toronto bureau in 2016. As a reporter, he has covered the Olympics and Pan American Games, and is well known for finding unique human interest angles and gaining insightful responses in interview features, particularly with Canada’s national team athletes. Prior to The Athletic, Fitz-Gerald also worked as a sports reporter for the Toronto Star, National Post and The Canadian Press.
Rachel Brady, The Globe and Mail
Rachel Brady began writing for The Globe in 2011, and has profiled many of Canada’s biggest athletes, reporting on issues such as gender equity and athlete abuse.
She won the 2021 National Newspaper Award for sports coverage and received a Michener Award nomination, partnering with colleague Grant Robertson on an investigation that revealed a troubling number of elite amateur Canadian athletes binge, purge and starve themselves, often under pressure from coaches and National Sport Organizations.
Brady also worked as a producer with Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium (CTV Olympics) covering the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.