MVP Guthrie, Rookie Svatos win Canada West women’s rugby awards


October 23, 2012, EDMONTON – Chelsea Guthrie of Alberta, who led the conference champion Pandas during the season with a conference-best six tries, has been selected 2012 Canada West women’s rugby Most Valuable Player.

Canada West women’s rugby Rookie of the Year, Alberta’s Amee Svatos, scored three tries in four conference season matches for the Alberta Pandas as. The Pandas, host of the 2012 conference championship, went 4-0-0 during the season.

Svatos, who plays in the Back 3 position, hails from Canby, Oregon, where she played non-varsity rugby for the Oregon State Club team while attending Oregon State University. She previously played for the Team USA U-20 squad before transferring to the University of Alberta this season.

Winning the Student-Athlete and Community Service award is Tarin Arndt of the Calgary Dinos.

Arndt is very active in community and volunteer evdeavours that cover the globe. In 2010 she founded T4A Apparel – Tie Dye For Africa, a not-for profit fundraising initiative aimed to raise money for The Napenda Rescue Foundation, KCC Slum & Living Positive Mlolongo through hand-made tie dye t-shirts. A year later, Arndt founded the Napenda Rescue Foundation to provide children, women and people affected by HIV/AIDS infection in East Africa with health pre-requisites such as shelter, education, social security, social relations, food, income, empowerment, and stable ecosystem.

While still active in both of the foundations she helped create, she is also as Living Positive Kenya & Mlolongo intern and volunteer and finds time for rugby the Saints Rugby Club in Calgary, where Arndt is Saints Rugby Club a member and the Fundraising Executive.

For the fourth time in his career, Alberta Pandas head coach Matt Parrish has been voted Coach of the Year.

Parrish, in his night season, led the Pandas to a perfect 4-0-0 conference record in 2012, including a win over six-time defending conference champion Lethbridge in the team’s final regular season match. Alberta went on to claim victory in the Canada West Finbal Four and advance to CIS Nationals.

Parrish first served as an assistant coach to Helen Wright, then a co-coach in 2004 before taking over full-time duties in 2005 and went on to win top conference honours that season. He was Coach of the Year again in 2007 and 2008.

“Matt Parrish is the epitome of a committed coach,” said Ian Reade, Director of Athletis at the University of Alberta. “He has really persevered through the highs and lows of Pandas Rugby, and has likely experienced every emotion a coach can experience. Our university is fortunate to have Matt Parrish as part of our family.”

Notable 2012 All-Stars include Brandi Van Eeuwen (Lethbridge), a two-time CIS gold medalist, five-time Canada West champion, former All-Canadian, CIS Tournament All-Star and the 2008 CIS Rookie of the Year, who makes her record fifth straight appearance as a Canada West All-Star.

Carmen Hobbs (Alberta), 2010 CIS Rookie of the Year Meghan Hamm (UBC), Brynna Walker (Calgary) and conference scoring leader, Alberta’s Chelsea Guthrie, each made the all-conference roster in 2011. For Guthrie and Hamm it is their third consecutive selection to the team.

Following is a list of the 2012 Canada West women’s rugby Awards & All-Stars:


  • Most Valuable Player: Chelsea Guthrie, Alberta
  • Rookie of the Year: Amee Svatos, Alberta
  • Student Athlete/Community Service: Tarin Arndt, Calgary
  • Coach of the Year: Matt Parrish, Alberta



  • Brandi Van Eeuwen, Lethbridge
  • Carolyn McEwen, UBC


  • Carmen Hobbs, Alberta

2nd Row

  • Jade Menin, Calgar
  • Haley Glendinning, UBC

Back Row

  • Lindsey Duxbury, Lethbridge
  • Amee Svatos, Alberta
  • Miranda Monty, Alberta

Scrum Half

  • Chelsea Guthrie, Alberta

Fly Half

  • Megan Hamm, UBC


  • Brynna Walker
  • Amanda Williams

Back 3

  • Kelcey Leavitt, Calgary
  • Paula Woynarowsky, Lethbridge
  • Rebecca Fairbairn, Alberta

The Canada West champion Alberta Pandas now move on to the CIS championship, November 2-4 at St. FX University in Antogonish, NS.

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