Kristine Chambers jokes that she feels a tad young to receive a sport lifetime achievement award. But at age 45 her resume already reads as a lifetime commitment to sport and community — from competing and succeeding in international competition, to building programs and opportunities for young athletes while affirming the power of sport and physical activity to improve lives and communities.
“Sport has the power to make such a big impact in the lives of young people,” says Chambers, founder and head coach of Exceleration Triathlon and Multisport Club in Vancouver. “Our motto is we try to build people first, athletes second and triathletes third. Involvement in sport doesn’t necessarily need to be about competition. Involvement in sport can be a key component to lifelong health, and kids need to start by just getting out and moving.”
North Vancouver’s Chambers will be presented with the Sport BC Daryl Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award at the 55th Annual Athlete of the Year Awards March 9 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The award, named in honour of late former Sport BC Chair Daryl Thompson, is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant, long-term contribution to amateur sport in British Columbia.
Chambers was just 16 when she won the junior women’s title at the 1994 World Duathlon Championships in Hobart. A former swimmer turned cross-country runner, she gravitated to duathlon and triathlon and for several years remained one of the world’s top young competitors in the disciplines.
Coaching and teaching began to hold more allure than the rigors of elite competition and in 2001 Chambers launched Exceleration, with programs for young people aged 4-19 in addition to adult sessions. Her hope was to help participants develop fundamental physical skills that could foster lifelong participation in recreation or competitive sport. The popular club’s participants now number from 300 to 400 depending on time of year and sessions offered.
Chambers notes that, while swim-bike-run disciplines are at the heart of the program, not all participants emerge as triathletes or duathletes. There are national level wrestlers who discovered sport at Exceleration. Others moved on to concentrate on cycling or team sports or recreation programs. The key is that all participants experience sport as a benefit to their physical and community lives.
“We have a non-competitive reputation although now some of our kids have gone to the national level,” explains Chambers, who also works as an elementary school teacher in addition to her coaching duties at Exceleration. “But we have always been very strong in our values – Respect, Community, Inclusion and Personal Excellence.”
“On behalf of the Board, Members, and staff team of Sport BC, I congratulate Kristine Chambers on being selected as this year’s Daryl Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient. Her commitment to the sport of triathlon and amateur sport is inspiring, while this is an acknowledgement of her long term dedication to her sport, we know she will keep on giving back”, shares Sport BC’s President and CEO, Rob Newman.
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Media Contact Athlete of the Year Awards
Allison Mailer Thursday, March 9, 2023
Sport BC, Communication Manager Vancouver Convention Centre East