VANCOUVER, B.C. – Canada Snowboard is pleased to announce that Kiersten Higginson (Slopestyle) of Mississauga, ON., Katie Anderson (Snowboardcross) of Jaffray, BC., and Michelle Salt (Para-Snowboard) of Calgary, AB., are the 2015 recipients of the Neil Daffern Award.
The Neil Daffern Award honours the memory of the early snowboarding pioneer. More than just a snowboard advocate and designer, Daffern was also one the first Canadians to compete on the international World Cup circuit.
This is the 13th year the award has been given to up-and-coming Canada Snowboard High Performance Program athletes, and it marks the first year it has been awarded to three individuals, one of which is a para-snowboard athlete. Kiersten, Katie and Michelle have demonstrated a high level of commitment and dedication to the sport. They will each receive $5,000 in financial assistance to help them in their competitive snowboarding journeys.
Kiersten Higginson is a 23-year old freestyle snowboarder. At the 2011 Canada Winter Games she was on the podium and the 2014 Snow Crown Ski & Snowboard Festival she was on the podium for all three events Slopestyle, Big Air & Halfpipe.
Katie Anderson is a 19-year-old snowboardcross snowboarder. In the 2014 season Katie had eleven top-ten results and four podiums that secured her a third place finish overall on the NorAm Tour rankings.
Michelle Salt is a 29-year-old Paralympic snowboarder who finished ninth at the Sochi Games. She was successful in achieving a third place finish at the recent Big White Banked Slalom World Cup. Michelle is the first para-snowboard athlete to receive the Neil Daffern Award.
NEIL DAFFERN AWARD – RECIPIENTS
2015 Katie Anderson (SBX) * Kiersten Higginson (SBS) * Michelle Salt (PARA)
2014 Aubrey McManiman (SBS) * Zoe Bergermann (SBX)
2013 Michael Ciccarelli (SBS) * Marianne Leeson (PGS)
2012 Carle Brenneman (SBX) * Brooke Voigt (SBS)
2011 Chris Robanske (SBX) * Dan Csokonay (SBX)
2010 Palmer Taylor (HP) * Kevin Hill (SBX)
2009 Matthew Tunnicliffe (SBX) * Jake Holden (SBX)
2008 Christelle Doyon (SBX) * Micheal Lambert (PGS)
2007 Mike Robertson (SBX) * Matthew Morison (PGS)
2006 Kimikio Zakreski (PGS) * Kory Wright (PGS)
2005 Erin Simmons (SBX) * Philippe Bérubé (PGS)
2004 Sarah Conrad (HP) * Tom Velisek (SBX)
2003 Amy Newton (PGS) * Neil Connolly (HP)