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Vincent Massey Collegiate wins athlete of the year award – Winnipeg Free Press

Danika Nell did it all in her senior year at Vincent Massey Collegiate.

Competing in basketball, volleyball and fast-pitch, the 18-year-old finished her successful athletics year with an average of 97.4 percent.

Last week, she received the 2024 Manitoba Credit Unions Scholar Athlete of the Year Award.

NIC ADAM / FREE PRESS AAAA athlete winners Danika Nell (left) and Owen Weekes with their prizes.

NIC ADAM / FREE PRESS

AAAA athlete winners Danika Nell (left) and Owen Weekes with their prizes.

On Tuesday, the 18-year-old took home another, winning the Manitoba High School Athletic Association’s Female Athlete of the Year during a ceremony at the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

“It’s definitely been a busy year,” Nell said after her win. “Started with the volleyball season and immediately moved on to the softball season. It was so great to see the boys playing volleyball and it really set the tone for the whole school going into all the other sporting seasons. I just kind of carried that with me. And to finish strong is a great feeling.”

A well-deserved achievement for the athlete, who graduated as a volleyball all-star, is a member of the Manitoba volleyball team and is ranked as a Grade 12 Winnipeg Free Press Top Ten player.

When the volleyball season ended, Nell went on to dominate in the softball category.

In fast pitch, she has been a member of three provincial championship teams and has been named provincial MVP three years in a row. She earned a spot on the Canadian U18 softball team for a World Cup qualifying tournament in Columbia, where her team secured a silver medal. This summer she will compete again with the national team in Dallas in the group stage of the WBSC World Cup.

“I travel a lot for sports and stuff, but it’s just about communicating with the teachers and classmates,” says Nell about the balance between school and sports. “Arranging that work in advance and just taking the time to do it in the car and whenever you can. Sometimes it’s okay to accept that I might not get 100 percent for the next thing, it’s always a good attitude to have.”

Nell will be attending Boston University this fall, playing Division I softball at Boston University and working toward a medical degree.

“I love helping people in any way I can, and I’ve kind of channeled that into the sport as well,” Nell said.

NIC ADAM / FREE PRESS AAAA athlete winner Owen Weekes accepts an award on Tuesday.

NIC ADAM / FREE PRESS

AAAA athlete winner Owen Weekes will receive an award on Tuesday.

Nell also spends time supporting her community, both at school and in her city. She is a peer tutor at Massey and coaches/mentors younger athletes in both volleyball and softball. She also volunteers at the Osborne Village cleanup.

Vincent Massey Collegiate won the Athlete of the Year award, while Owen Weekes took home the men’s award.

“I feel like my experience with Massey sports from grades 10 to 12 was so great,” Weekes said. “All the support has been so much fun and building connections with teammates, coaches and players has been so great. It’s a good feeling to win both for Massey.”

Weekes, 17, played golf, volleyball and basketball his senior year, but particularly excelled in co-captaining his volleyball team, helping his school’s AAAA Provincial Championship team remain undefeated with a 49-0 record.

“At the beginning of the year we had goals to be really good,” Weekes said. “As the season went on, the undefeated thing kind of got into our heads and everyone started talking about it. And I think we all just acknowledged it, but we just kept playing our game and having fun.

Weekes was named MVP of the Provincial Championship, named Volleyball Manitoba’s 2023 Volleyball Player of the Year and was a member of Volleyball Manitoba’s all-star team. He was also part of the school’s basketball team that captured the AAAA Provincial Championship flag, while achieving an 80% average academically.