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Sanehpreet Basra Named U SPORTS Field Hockey Player of the Year 2023 — Women’s Field Hockey — U SPORTS

Sanehpreet Basra Named U SPORTS Field Hockey Player of the Year 2023 — Women’s Field Hockey — U SPORTS

TORONTO (U SPORTS) – Sanehpreet Basra of the UBC Thunderbirds has won the 2023 Liz Hoffman Award as the U SPORTS Women’s Field Hockey Player of the Year. The announcement was made Thursday afternoon at the All-Canadian Awards in Toronto, host city of the 2023 U SPORTS Women’s Field Hockey Championships.

Other major award winners included Victoria’s Rebecca Stone, who won the Joyce Sleep Award as Rookie of the Year; Eli Peters of Guelph, who won the Jill Wilson Student-Athlete Community Service Award; Maria Leahy of Waterloo, who won Fox40’s Marina van der Merwe Coach of the Year, and Tyler Klink of Vancouver, British Columbia, who was named Referee of the Year.

The 2023 U SPORTS Women’s Field Hockey Championships kick off Friday evening at Back Campus Fields, on the University of Toronto’s St. George’s Campus. Game 1 of the best-of-three series begins at 6pm (ET), with Game 2 on Saturday at 2pm. If Game 3 is necessary, it will be played Sunday at 1 p.m. series can be watched on CBC Sports digital platforms.

Liz Hoffman Award (Player of the Year) – Sanehpreet Basra, University of British Columbia

Sanehpreet Basra has been a force for the Thunderbirds all season, as the fourth-year midfielder has shown tremendous vision in creating dangerous attacks, while also playing great and reliable defense. Basra’s composure even in the most tense situations helped stabilize the team when it mattered most. The Delta, B.C., product has been instrumental in the success of a UBC team that has challenged for top spot in Western Canada all season, and wasn’t far behind on the final weekend.

Other candidates: Nina Watson (Queens).

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Joyce Sleep Award (Rookie of the Year) – Rebecca Stone

Rebecca Stone made an immediate impact in her first year as a member of the Vikes hockey team, starting every game at the central midfield position. In his first year, the Victoria, British Columbia native is a versatile player with a high hockey IQ who makes things happen on both sides of the ball and helps the Vikes capture their fifth straight conference title.

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Other candidates: Juliet Redelaar (York).

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Student-Athlete Community Service Award – Ellie Peters, Guelph

Ellie Peters, a third-year midfielder with the Gryphons, has impressed on the field since arriving in Guelph in 2021, earning OUA All-Star honors in her second and third seasons. Off the field, Peters was equally impressive, being named a U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian while pursuing a university degree in accounting. The 20-year-old Kitchener, Ontario native, has been named captain of the Gryphons for 2023, and she has consistently made a concerted effort to give back to those around her. Since 2020, she has given back to her local hockey community by volunteer coaching and refereeing with the Guelph Cobras. Peters finished the 2023 season as one of the most productive players in the OUA, tied for fourth in the OUA with five goals and third in the OUA with nine points.

“True stars rise to the top not by chance, but through purpose and passion. Ellie makes a huge impact on the Gryphon field hockey program and in the community through her actions, talents and dedication,” said Michelle Turley, Gryphons head coach. He leads by example on and off the field, playing with calm and confidence as well as promoting a great team dynamic. Within the community, Eli takes initiative, demonstrates a deep understanding of the sport, has an excellent way of breaking down skills, and most importantly shows the ability to motivate and inspire young athletes.

Ellie Peters joins Katherine McMillan (2018) as the second Gryphon hockey player to receive the U SPORTS Gail Wilson Award.

Other candidates: Jaden Campbell (Calgary)

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Marina Van Der Merwe Award (Fox 40 Coach of the Year) – Maria Leahy, Waterloo

Maria Leahy has led the Waterloo Warriors to an impressive 2023 season. The team started their season with an impressive 1-0 win over the Toronto Varsity Blues, which set the tone for what was to come. They finished with an 8-2 record, leading the West Division and securing a spot among the national rankings. Under Leahy, the team improved significantly from the previous season, which saw them finish third in the division 3-5-2. Leahy’s coaching prowess helped her team earn a spot in the semifinals and two of her players, Fernback and Megan Hobson, earned OUA All-Star honors.

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Leahy’s athletic legacy is impressive, as her mother, Lisa Power Leahy, is a member of the Waterloo Sports Hall of Fame and is the all-time leading scorer in field hockey for the Warriors. Lisa Power Leahy was also a member of the Canadian Olympic Team at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. Furthermore, Leahy’s great-uncle is Hockey Hall of Famer Father David Power, who founded and coached the first ever Canadian national hockey team in Canada.

Other candidates: Jane Swagar (Calgary)

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Official of the Year: Tyler Klink, Western Canada

Tyler Klink has extensive experience as a member of the FIH Professional League Referees Committee, and that experience is very evident on the field. This season has been particularly important for the Vancouver resident in the lead-up to his participation in the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.

Other candidates: Josh Miranda (OUA)


Liz Hoffman Award (Player of the Year): Sunpreet Basra, University of British Columbia

Juice Sleep Award (Rookie of the Year): Rebecca Stone, Victoria

Gail Wilson Award (Student-Athlete Community Service): Eli Peters, Guelph

Marina van der Merwe Award (Fox40 Coach of the Year): Maria Leahy, Waterloo

General rule: Tyler Klink, Vancouver, BC (CW)

All Canadians






Academic program

Sanhbrit Basra

University of British Columbia



Delta, BC


Rebecca Carvalho




Brampton, Ontario


Mariel Fernback


A goal keeper


Guelph, Ontario.


Isabella Green




Duncan, B.C


Megan Hobson




Waterloo, Ontario.

Arts and business

Libby Hogg




Victoria, BC

social science

Annika Kleinschmidt




Hamburg, Germany

social science

Cody Cotten




Christchurch, New Zealand

Open studies

Abby Wariner




Newmarket, Ontario.

Biomedical engineering

Nina Watson

the queen



Vancouver, British Columbia

Arts and sciences

Natalie Winter




Coquitlam, British Columbia

Kinesiology and health sciences

(All Canadians are selected without regard to positions)

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