Nov 2012 07

Okanagan Sun Receiver Ben White Wins National Honour

Posted in Featured, Sports

As part of the 2012 Canadian Bowl the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) is proud to announce the 2012 recipient of the Past Commissioners Community Service Award. This award is given annually to an outstanding young man playing football for a CJFL team as well as contributing to his community.

“The Canadian Junior Football League provides the opportunity for young men aged 17 to 22 to participate in highly competitive post-high school football that is unique in Canada. The goal of the league is to foster community involvement and yield a positive environment by teaching discipline, perseverance and cooperation. The benefits of the league are strong camaraderie, national competition and life-long friends.”

CJFL Life Member Ron White will present Ben White of the Okanagan Sun with the Past Commissioners Award at the Jostens Banquet of Champions Friday November 9 in Langley, BC.

Ben White is a fifth year graduating receiver for the Sun out of Okanagan Mission Secondary School in Kelowna.

For the last three seasons Ben has been a key member of the Sun offence with 51 receptions for 1389 yards and nine touchdowns.

The soft spoken White has been a leader among the receivers both due to his unassuming demeanor and willingness to offer advice to younger players.

Sun general manager Jay Christensen, who has coached some of the best receivers ever to play for the Okanagan Sun, says Ben is special for reasons beyond just his on field abilities.

“Ben is such a solid player. As a third year receiver he would play on any team that I have been involved with. His speed and hands are both exceptional. But the thing with Ben is he is such an exceptional person. He brings a respectful way to the locker room and the field that is infectious. You can see younger players notice it even if they are unaware of it completely. He is a real role model on how you should carry yourself and respect your opponent.”

Ben was named the club’s most sportsmanlike player in both the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

The Okanagan Sun is active in the community, with its players volunteering at community events. Ben is always counted on by the club as an ambassador.

All our players I think the aspect of our community involvement but every once in a while one comes along who understands the importance of it, and why giving back to charities is just the right thing to do. That’s Ben. You know he will do great things someday in this area because he cares about others.

Ben’s caring about others extends beyond the gridiron as he is a youth leader at New Life Church in Kelowna.

It is Ben’s heart to encourage others, with a focus to help kids physically, socially and spiritually.

During 2013, Ben had the opportunity to live this out in his community, province and internationally.

In February and again in June, Ben travelled to Haiti, initially to explore ways he might be of help.

Through distributing food and clothing, organizing medical supplies and light construction, there is always a need to fill and work to be done in Haiti. Ben worked with Rod, Debbie, Tim and Katie Wray of Kamloops, who are currently rebuilding Camp Mahanaim at Les Cayes, Haiti. The purpose of the camp is to raise up youth leaders and mentors within the villages of the area and while there, Ben was also involved in coaching the girl’s volleyball team, ages 9-12. Preventive health and Hygiene is a priority and Ben identified a list of items required, a fresh well water system that could both service the Camp and local area, two necessary septic fields, as well as a renovation of the boy’s dorm. Upon returning home, Ben’s enthusiasm has been infectious and to date he has been the reason over $50,000 has been raised to help with this work. Ben is currently planning to take a group of family and friends to Haiti in the spring 2013.

Ben’s heart for kids and camp came honestly, as for the past 20 years Ben found himself at Nanoose Bay Camp, Vancouver Island. In July, Ben continued to give back in his capacity as a volunteer youth counsellor at Nanoose Bay Teen Camp. As a team coach, Ben was in a position to mentor and be an example to kids 13 to 18 years of age.

Young men like Ben White is the reason we as volunteers are involved with the Canadian Junior Football League.

He teaches us what’s important. That is a rare quality in a young man of his age.

The 2012 Canadian Bowl will kick-off on Saturday in Langley as the Rams host the Saskatoon Hilltops at McLeod Stadium at 1:00pm.

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