Local kayaker honoured with Jack Farley award

Malfesi nets sports scholarship

Maple Ridge resident and UBC engineering student Brian Malfesi was awarded the prestigious Jack Farley Youth Sports Achievement Award Wednesday night at the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame’s 2011 Banquet of Champions.

Malfesi joins an impressive roster of athletes, including 2011 inductee Maëlle Ricker.

“Brian is one of the brightest young talents in the sport of kayaking in Canada and highly deserving of this award,” said Sue Griffin, president and CEO of the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.

“He is an outstanding athlete and community ambassador – there’s no doubt in my mind that we will continue to see great things from him in the future.”

Since 1995, the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame has recognized one male and female graduating high school student with the Jack Farley Youth Sports Achievement Award. Along with the award comes a $2,000 post-secondary scholarship intended to assist the young athletes in their pursuit of future academic and athletic goals.

To be eligible, the individuals must commit to attending a post-secondary institution within B.C.

A graduate of Garibaldi Secondary School, Brian was a member of the volleyball and cross-country teams and played soccer in the community for a decade. Despite his heavy sports commitments, Brian maintained an incredibly high academic standing as an International Baccalaureate student, holding a 98 per cent average in his Grade 12 courses and served on student government at Garibaldi all five years of high school.

Malfesi has already represented Canada at the Pan American Canoe Kayak Championships in 2010, earning bronze medals in the junior K2 and K4 1,000-metre races. He has been a member of the Canadian junior national team since 2008 and is an eight-time national championship medalist. In 2010, Malfesi won a gold medal in the juvenile men’s K1 1,000-metre race.

Outside of his sports involvement, Brian also found the time to volunteer hundreds of hours at the Ridge Canoe-Kayak Club over the past six years, setting up and taking down race courses, cleaning the clubhouse, and managing the boat storage.