BC Lions kicker Paul McCallum has won the Best of BC award as the top professional or amateur athlete in the province.

BC Lions kicker Paul McCallum has won the Best of BC award as the top professional or amateur athlete in the province.

B.C. Lions kicker wins Sport BC award

Langley's Paul McCallum will receive award March 8

The public has spoken and Paul McCallum is their choice as the winner of Sport BC’s Best of BC award.

The award recognizes a professional or amateur athlete for outstanding athletic achievement.

The B.C. Lions kicker, who recently moved to Langley, beat out teammate Andrew Harris, soccer star Christine Sinclair, shot putter Dylan Armstrong and former NHLer Mark Recchi.

In his 19 seasons in the Canadian Football League, McCallum has won two Grey Cups, played in five CFL all-star games and was awarded the Grey Cup’s most valuable Canadian award and the CFL’s most outstanding special team award.

This past season with the Lions, McCallum set a new league record of 30 consecutive field goals. He also holds the record for the longest field goal (62 yards) and the highest field goal accuracy in a single season.

Harris was the Grey Cup’s most outstanding Canadian; Sinclair is the reigning Canadian soccer player of the year; Armstrong won gold and set a new Pan American Games record in the shot put; and Recchi helped the Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup.

“Through his performances in the 2011 year and over the course of his 19 year career, Paul has been a standout athlete,” said Carey Summerfelt, manager of sponsorship and events at Sport BC.

“British Columbians have taken notice of his athletic achievements and named him B.C.’s best athlete.”

“Not only has Paul McCallum’s tremendous determination led to a successful career in the CFL, but it has earned him a place in the hearts of British Columbians who cheer him on every time he faces the uprights,” said Ida Chong, the minister of community, sport and cultural development.

“They recognize that he is a remarkable leader in sport, and he truly deserves this award.”

McCallum will receive his award on March 8 at Sport BC’s 46th annual Athlete of the Year awards.

Several other Langley athletes are also up for awards.

Langley Secondary track and field star Georgia Ellenwood is nominated as the top high school female athlete; former Trinity Western Spartans men’s basketball standout Jacob Doerksen is up for university athlete of the year; and the Trinity Western Spartans men’s volleyball team is a finalist for team of the year. They won the CIS national championship in March 2011.

The two other nominees in that category also have Langley connections: Rayel Quiring is on the UBC women’s volleyball team, while Surrey United’s women’s premier soccer team, which won nationals in October features Katie Thorlakson, Randee Hermus, Natalie Halcro and Chelsey Hannesson.