AthletesCAN presents 2013 Athlete Social Responsibility Award in memory of Kyle Miller

Monday, September 23, 2013

OTTAWA, ON - AthletesCAN presented the 5th annual AthletesCAN Social Responsibility Award to the family of Canadian lacrosse player Kyle Miller at the 2013 AthletesCAN Forum Excellence Celebration in Mississauga, ON.

“It was an absolute honour for my family and I to accept Kyle’s award for Social Responsibility from AthletesCAN,” says Mat Marchildon, Kyle’s cousin and lacrosse athlete. “It served as a reminder of what Kyle stood for; overcoming adversity in our lives. Kyle’s memory will live on through anyone who chooses to tackle their daily challenges with positivity, hope, and an undying will to win. #BeatIt”

The AthletesCAN Social Responsibility Award recognizes an athlete who has demonstrated leadership in the area of athlete social responsibility, a term first coined by past AthletesCAN board of director, national team cyclist, and researcher Erin Carter.

AthletesCAN recognizes that athlete social responsibility (ASR) leaders play a crucial role in building a healthier, more active global population and are pleased to acknowledge those in sport who continue to give back. The ASR Award celebrates the importance of athletes giving back; honours the impact athletes have achieved through their volunteer work as role models in their community; and encourages former athletes to stay connected to the sport community.

Kyle Miller made an incredible impact in Canadian sport through athlete leadership both on and off the field of play. He first came to AthletesCAN in 2008 to enroll in the Dale Carnegie Effective Communications and Human Relations course that is offered to Canada’s national team athletes. He was living in New York City at the time and although the program was only run in Canada, they made an exception for him - they saw his potential to inspire others through his story.

Kyle attended his first AthletesCAN Forum only a few months later and returned in 2009, 2010, and 2011 touching the lives of hundreds of athletes and inspiring thousands of kids through KidsCAN School Day.

“Kyle was more than an athlete, a friend, and a teammate; he was, and still is an inspiration and Canadian hero. As he overcame his first battle with osteo sarcoma, the same disease that took the life of Terry Fox, Kyle endeavored to return to sport at the highest level and went on to win the 2006 Lacrosse World Championships with Team Canada,” says Erik Petursson, AthletesCAN President. “He also made a point of sharing his precious time with thousands of kids, one school at a time, inspiring many with his message of survival, perseverance, reinvention, and turning passion into action. It was an honour for us to share Kyle’s story with our athletes at the AthletesCAN Forum Excellence Celebration and to let his family know how much he meant to so many of us. His story must live on and be retold so that his legacy continues to reach and inspire as many Canadians as possible.”

Kyle was a Terry Fox spokesperson, member of the Esteem Team, an athlete representative, a fundraiser for the fight against cancer, a mentor and a friend. Giving back and sharing his story with our country’s next generation was second nature to him. He oozed character, leadership and inspiration and his presence and energy was felt everywhere he went.

Shortly after the 2011 AthletesCAN Forum, Kyle was diagnosed with the re-occurring disease - this time, affecting his lungs. He passed away on June 8, 2013.

Perhaps it was said best in an article by lacrosse player and reporter Teddy Jenner: “Kyle Miller may have never met Terry Fox, but he was touched by him. Just as many who have never met Kyle Miller will be touched by his life and his story. Much like his idol, Miller continues to leave an indelible impact on those around him as a true fighter, warrior and inspiration.”

It is an honour to recognize Kyle Miller for his significant contribution to sport and society as our 2013 AthletesCAN Social Responsibility Award recipient.

To view the tribute video of Kyle’s story, please click on the link below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iv6c29d3TM&list=UUngx8FoTvQ1qQMc-tzLsGKATo purchase Beat It apparel please visit http://www.kylemiller35.com/BEAT-IT-Shop.html - proceeds will be donated in Kyle’s memory in the fight against cancer.

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