Mitchell tops Best of BC list at awards

Port McNeill's Willie Mitchell was honoured last week as the "Best of BC" Athlete of the Year.

Port McNeill’s Willie Mitchell was honoured last week as the “Best of BC” Athlete of the Year.

Founded by non-profit sport federation Sport B.C., and in its 47th year, the award recognizes a professional or amateur athlete for outstanding athletic achievement. Past recipients include Steve Nash, Justin Morneau, Joe Sakic and Lauren Woolstencroft. More than 7,500 fans voted to recognize Mitchell with this year’s award.

“Willie Mitchell is a homegrown B.C. success story,” said Hon. Bill Bennett, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. “He’s a small-town boy who worked long and hard to make it to the NHL, and since then, has done our province proud with his many achievements, including winning the Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings last year. He is an inspiration to all British Columbians, and I congratulate him on this well-deserved award.”

Currently playing for the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, Mitchell keeps close ties to B.C. and Vancouver Island where he was born and raised, supporting a number of community causes including Save Our Salmon and Fishing for Kids.

Mitchell returned to Port McNeill last year to hoist the Stanley Cup in his home town in front of nearly 4,00 fans, before going on to stops with the Cup in Alert Bay and Telegraph Cove.

“Supporting important community initiatives in British Columbia keeps me connected with my roots,” said Mitchell.