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2015 Bob West Memorial Award for Sportsmanship Nominees

2015 Bob West Memorial Award for Sportsmanship Nominees

Last updated: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - 15:05

A sportsm​an or sportswoman is defined as someone who exemplifies sportsmanship both on and off the disc golf course, observes the rules of play, and wins or loses with grace.

Brian Bjortomt, #28854

I would like to nominate Brian Bjortomt #28854.

I have had the pleasure to watch Brian in action many, many times as either a player or tournament director and have never seen him be unkind or short to anyone, even those of us that are trying to bug him with a “just a quick minute” question. He continually has a smile and appears to be happy to see everyone. He is constantly trying to get more women and juniors involved in playing Disc Golf.

He is the best thing for Disc Golf in Montana and I dare say the Northwest. Our state is blessed to have him as our PDGA coordinator.

I’m not much of a writer and would be happy to compose more of a note/letter if you’d like. Thank you for your consideration of Brian.

Nominated by: Karen Brown

Brian Gilmette, #45156

I would like to nominate Brian Gilmette #45156 of New Bern, NC for the Bob West Memorial Award for Sportsmanship. Ever since I first started playing (July 2015) to the present I have never met a disc golfer that embodies everything that the PDGA wants their members to represent. I have witnessed so many times where Brian has tried teaching new players the dos and don’ts of the sport and has always done so with a smile on his face and an overwhelmingly positive attitude. His dedication to the sport and to helping it grow is unmatched in the Eastern North Carolina area.
There was a small incident at a tournament not too long ago where a junior girl was getting picked on by some of the less wholesome players there for playing too slow. Once Brian found out he immediately posted on social media as well as made statements face to face about how degrading that is to the sport. He went the extra mile to make sure that that little girl felt welcomed back to any tournament that she wished. That little girl did come back and will be going to Worlds this year! Many other instances of Brian’s positive yet stick to the rules attitude that has always motivated me to do the same thing. He does so much work for his club and two local courses when others won’t but he never asks for help but is nothing but gracious and appreciative when people do help. Brian never asks for anything in return. Brian Gilmette is a true Disc Golf Professional. He always offers help to any new players and is always trying to encourage more kids and women to get in to the sport. He often caddies at events that he could easily just go play in but would rather caddy and watch and support his fellow disc golfers. Whether they are an Open player or caddying for women in the advanced division it’s all the same to Brian, he just loves the sport of Disc Golf. I don’t know that I could ever describe every quality that makes Brian such a great disc golfer and ambassador for the sport but I think that just shows even more that there aren’t enough good things you could say about the man. I hope that he is taken into consideration and hopefully I didn’t undersell him to much because when I think of the right and wrong things to do on the disc golf course, I think about Brian and what he has told or shown me and what he exemplifies on a daily basis. Thank you for your consideration.

Nominated by: Rick Rooney, #77798

Valarie Jenkins, #17495

I would like to nominate Val Jenkins for the Bob West Sportsmanship Award for all the work she did on the Women’s Global Event. It wouldn't have been possible without her.

In all my years of playing I have never ever heard anyone say anything bad about Val's attitude on or off the course. She has always been an outstanding sport win or lose. Gracious winners are not that common, but gracious losers are even more rare.

I recall watching her post event interview at Pro Worlds 2013 in Lemon Lake. She literally lost on the last hole to Paige. In the interview, she congratulated Paige and didn't make a single excuse for her loss.

Nominated by: Suzette Simons, #11957

Jerome Von Mechow, #45873

I would like to nominate Jerome Von Mechow for the Sportsmanship award.

Around 5 years ago Jerome accomplished one of his goals of installing a disc golf course in his home town of Sellersville Pennsylvania. He began building up a large following of ‘club’ members during weekly tag rounds, at times pulling more players than some of our local ‘C’ tier tournaments, and then expanded this weekly offering with fun, and intriguing side competitions such as; The Reindeer games, Match Play, Seasonal Champions, Doubles, Short Stuff Singles, Women’s league night, Fund Raising Events for Local Charities, Sellersville Invitational (tag holders free tournament), Sellersville Fish Bowl (now a B tier), Weekly tags with creative payouts, and many more events. His dedication and creativity was strong enough to influence other surrounding clubs who began to offer similar events in order to keep up with him.

However, what I feel he should be honored for the most was his idea of creating our very own Great Eight league based on teams representing their home courses (for which he gained no profit). In the first year we had 8 different courses represented, with each team playing a round together at each of the other teams courses, with the overall winning team getting a basket to place on their course. This allowed many players to try courses they might never have played at, and meet other players they might not have ever met. Well the league was such a success, that this year we have 16 teams called the Great Eights. As you can imagine with this many teams and players, Jerome could not possibly keep everyone happy, but as soon as the negativity began to grow Jerome jumped on it and called on all teams to focus on the fun and camaraderie rather than simply the competition, and he received great feedback and some confessions from players taking things to seriously. I recently learned that Jerome has also been asked by some of the participating clubs to come to their courses and offer suggestions for improvements (which he has done multiple times for free). He was also instrumental in the creation of another local course, Bootlegger’s Cave.

I know I haven’t listed all of his accomplishments, however I believe his dedication to growing the sport in a positive manner is worth some recognition.

Nominated by: Matthew Stollery, #46829