Maria Samson Receives Colette McAuley NSWT Award

In its fifth year of existence, the Colette McAuley Award (CMA) was awarded to Maria Samson of Alberta at the NWL Championships in Vancouver, BC.  This award was the brainchild of former National player Meghan Mutrie who felt that women who played this great sport and gave back to it in the true spirit of the game deserved to be recognized. 

For the fifth year in a row, the CMA committee had a difficult time choosing a winner due to the quality of nominees. Three names were submitted this year by the provincial unions competing at the NWL Championships (no nomination was received from Quebec on Ontario) – Mary Giles (ATL), Maria Jaworski Samson (AB) and Barbara Mervin (BC).

 The winner receives a personal cheque for $1000, interest earned from the endowed Colette McAuley Fund through the Canadian Rugby Foundation.

While all nominees have an impressive rugby resume with amazing contributions back to the grassroots, provincial and national levels, it was with great pleasure to present this award to Maria. She is the Vice President Women on the Dog River Howlers Board of Directors, she captains her club and provincial team, a member of the leadership committee at the National level and the 2012 Women’s 15s Rugby Canada Player of the year.  Maria is also an extraordinary role model for young kids at the CN Rugby Canada Youth Clinic, the Rugbyfest Kid’s Camp, the KidsCAN School Day by AthletesCAN.  She is in the process of becoming an Ambassador for “Fast and Female”, an organization that supports, motivates, inspires, and empowers girls ages 9 to 19 to stick to sports and the healthy lifestyle by exposing them to innovative programming.

Maria states, “It is a tremendous honour to be the fifth recipient of the Colette McAuley Award, especially with Colette making the presentation!  Having been around Colette at XVs camps over the past couple of years, it’s easy to understand why an award was made in her honour. With the Canadian Rugby Foundation backing the CMA, it truly makes it something special as monetary awards in women’s rugby are few and far between. I took a moment to look at the names on the plaque – Mars, Foster, Julia, Howie – and I was thinking how surreal it was having my name alongside theirs.  They are terrific role models for women’s rugby and all continue to give back to the sport selflessly.”

Next stop for Maria is Colorado with the Senior Women’s National Team 15s as she and her teammates take on England, USA and South Africa at the 2013 Nations Cup.

Posted in Awards News.