Kimberley cross country skier, Molly Miller was announced as the recipient of the W.R. Bennett Award for Athletic Excellence at the Closing Ceremony of the 2016 BC Winter Games.
Miller’s achievements in cross country skiing are unprecedented for an athlete of her age. She competed for Team BC at the 2015 Canada Winter Games as a 13 year old in an under 23 category where many athletes were 10 years older than her. She was an integral part of Team BC’s relay and brought home a silver medal from those Games. At the 2015 Canadian Cross Country Championships she won two golds and two silvers against athletes two years older than her as well as the aggregate award for her age group. She has been identified by Cross Country Canada and as is a member of the National Junior B team and recently competed at the German National where she earned a bronze medal. Miller actually qualified for the National Junior A team but was still too young to compete at that level.“I was so surprised when I realized that I was being recognized with this award at the Closing Ceremony,” said Miller. “I am very thankful for this support as I am going to Sweden for a training camp so this will be a huge help.” Miller not only has achieved in sport, she has also demonstrated on a daily basis what it means to be a leader within her sport, school, and community. She is an active member of the “Free the Children Club” at her school raising awareness about poverty locally and internationally and has initiated fundraising efforts to support families in Kenya and Nepal. Miller was also one of 17 athletes presented a Coast Capital Savings Athlete Bursary Award at the 2014 BC Winter Games for her exemplary leadership activities.Currently a grade 9 student at Selkirk Secondary School in Kimberley, she maintains an A average and has an interest in pursuing neuroscience. She competing Whitehorse at the 2016 Canadian Championships and has the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in her sights but, also maintains a balance of school activities and other sports.The W.R. Bennett Award for Athletic Excellence recognizes one BC Winter Games athlete for their achievement in sport. Nominees were evaluated on major sport accomplishments, future potential and ambition in sport, and leadership. Miller was nominated by Cross Country BC and chosen by a BC Games Society selection panel. The W.R. Bennett Athlete Excellence Award was named in honour of the former Premier of British Columbia, William Bennett, who was started the BC Summer and BC Winter Games program in 1978. The award includes a $2500 bursary to use towards future sport expenses or post secondary education.