Peter Watts Memorial Grant: Matt Johnson, Saskatchewan / Ryerson
Matt Johnson enters the Ryerson School of Journalism this fall, after studying English at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, where he also served as the Sports Information Assistant with Huskie Athletics.
Since 2018, Johnson has produced weekly game coverage, and press releases for the Huskies and Canada West, as well as feature stories for the Huskies gameday magazine. His role has also included assisting with social media and digital content, as well as the needs of member communications staff.
For the 2019-20 season, Johnson also served as a U SPORTS Correspondent. His portfolio was highlighted by features on Huskies women’s basketball and Team Canada head coach Lisa Thomaidis – as she balanced a U SPORTS championship season, while preparing the national team to qualify for the Olympics in Tokyo – as well as former Alberta Golden Bears men’s hockey star Jason Fram, now playing for the KHL’s Kunlun Red Star franchise in China, after back-to-back U SPORTS All-Star Team appearance and Defenceman of the Year honours.
Previously, Johnson was a sportswriter for Saskatchewan’s campus newspaper, The Sheaf in 2017-18. His bylines also include the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post, Saskatchewan Rattlers and SCOREGolf Magazine.
Story of the Year Presented by the Globe and Mail: Jack Rabb, Queen’s
Jack Rabb recently completed his fourth year in the English program at Queen’s University. He currently serves as Sports Editor at The Queen’s Journal, as well as Editor-in-Chief of the Queen’s Undergraduate Review.
Rabb took home the U SPORTS Story of the Year Presented by the Globe and Mail for his piece on Thompson Rivers WolfPack women’s volleyball player Katie Kudvig. The feature explores the hometown star’s transition on the court from tennis to volleyball, her leadership with the WolfPack and her involvement in the Kamloops B.C. community.
The story was chosen by a panel consisting of sports information staff representing each of the four U SPORTS conferences, as well as the U SPORTS Communications Department.
Correspondent of the Year Presented by the Globe and Mail: Josh Kozelj, Victoria
Josh Kozelj, a fourth-year writing student at the University of Victoria this past year, is a Senior Staff Writer at UVic’s campus newspaper, The Martlet.
He was chosen for the honour of U SPORTS Correspondent of the Year, Presented by The Globe and Mail, based on the overall quantity and quality of his work, the diversity of his written portfolio, his punctuality, ability to find and pitch interesting stories, and regular involvement in contributing to U SPORTS Weekend Watch, a weekly Friday column previewing key games and events taking place each week of the season. All criteria was evaluated by the U SPORTS Communications Department.
Kozelj’s piece on Calgary Dinos cross country runner Eric Lutz, and his battle to return from a devastating back injury was one of the highlights of his written portfolio during the 2019-20 campaign and a finalist for the Story of the Year.